When does the running season start in the Engadin? Well, answering this question is almost impossible since the running season actually never ends! Here, we don’t stow away our trail running shoes once autumn is over. No way! At most we may replace them with a waterproof pair with extra deep treads. If you want to travel throughout the year – and through the Engadin, of course – and run, our high valley is the perfect place for you.
While the Engadin summer provides trail runners with root-covered rugged mountain paths, the snowy season offers them a whole new running territory. Amid our high-alpine scenery, you will experience magnificent running sensations on snow, across snow, through snow and – when snow is falling – even under snow.
With the extensive network of immaculate winter trails marked by pink signposts and freshly prepared each day, you will probably spend some time deciding which trail to tackle next. So maybe our recommendations will help you choose? But remember, whichever route you take, don’t forget to pause on your journey to take in the quiet beauty of the winter scenery.
It’s easy to be enchanted by the fuss-free 3.6-kilometre-run from the Marguns summit station to Chantarella which provides magnificent views over the Inn-valley and is surrounded by a magical and snowy mountain world. It only takes a few paces from the starting point to hear … simply nothing! Far from the pistes, you will move in snowy silence while enjoying the view of the vast “La Plaiv” down in the valley. “La Plaiv” is a soft sounding name for the high valley’s wide area between La Punt-Chamues-ch and S-chanf. Explore this region on the mostly gentle 11-kilometres-run from La Punt with only one notable ascent before you reach your trail finish at Cinuos-chel.
Whether you choose the relaxed 10-kilometres-circular trail from and to St. Moritz (Bad) via Silvaplana that leads you first across the frozen Lake Champfèr and on your way back through a fairytale-like snow-covered larch forest, or you choose the winter trail classic Maloja-St. Moritz with 16 stunning kilometres across Lake Sils, Lake Silvaplana, Lake Champfèr and Lake St. Moritz – running on water has never been easier or more beautiful!
«Short but impressive» is a good concise description of the informative Morteratsch trail run that leads you from the Pontresina station to the massive ice tongue of the sweeping Morteratsch glacier. It will take you only about 3 kilometres but you will run through time and cover several millennia of Earth’s history. Take the 16 breaks at the information posts along the way to learn more about the receding glacier.
The Winter trailrunning routes that we recommend follow the official Winter hiking paths which are marked by pink posts and signs. These Winter hiking paths are regularly maintained, and during the main season (Christmas until the end of February) and on weekends, they are highly frequented. At certain places, the trailrunning routes also follow the cross-country-skiing slopes or cross them. We therefore ask trailrunners to be aware of winter hikers and cross-country-skiers. In addition, we ask trailrunners to not venture off the marked trails. By staying on the marked trails, you respect wild animals and nature protection areas. For more information, we invite you to visit “safety guidelines and other tips for respecting nature”.
To ensure that your winter trail runs end with the release of many happy hormones and not a nasty cold, you should adapt your running equipment to the cold season. As the scouts say: There is no bad weather, only unsuitable clothing! «Layers», therefore, is the magic word. Wear 2 to 3 breathable clothing layers, a cap or headband and your watertight running shoes. Also, don’t forget your sunglasses and gloves. And off you go – to do your warm-up, of course, as your muscles need to get used to the very cold temperatures before you really get started. And yes, an early-morning run over crunching snow or a late evening run through the winter forest is simply beautiful – but please keep in mind that the winter sun is a late riser and goes to sleep early. Therefore, be sure to make yourself visible in the winter darkness, preferably with reflectors on your clothing and a strong headlamp. And watch out for the snow groomers that prepare the trails during the night.
Photographer: Christoph Gramann
Runner: Anne-Marie Flammersfeld