Close this search box.

World medallists from across the globe line up for SkySnow World Championships

The countdown to the second SkySnow World Championships has begun. Here, a glimpse of the stunning venue in Tarvisio. ©Tarvisio Winter Trail

The 2024 skyrunning season is ready to kick off with the much-awaited return of the SkySnow World Championships. The second edition will take place in Tarvisio, North Eastern Italy, on March 8-9, 2024.

The SkySnow discipline – running on snow at altitude with micro-crampons – was introduced as a natural extension of skyrunning during the winter season. The first SkySnow World Championships in 2022 in Sierra Nevada, Spain, were an immediate success with athletes participating from 15 countries. In this second edition, 21 countries from across the globe will battle for the medals and world titles, including the reigning World Champions, Luca Del Pero from Italy and Virginia Pérez from Spain.

Twenty-one glittering medals are at stake as well as World Titles for the VERTICAL, the CLASSIC and the COMBINED categories. The top three countries will also be awarded medals.

Spain’s Virginia Pérez is the standing SkySnow World Champion and she’s back for more…medals?  ©@josemiguelmunoze

No less than 14 skyrunning medallists will be aiming to stock up their collection.
In the first Championships, Italy, Sweden and Spain headed the medal count and this year, the strongest contestants come from just these countries, challenged however by new entry, Japan, where SkySnow has been a reality for two years with a national circuit.

Dai Matsumoto, President, Japan Skyrunning, is sending a team of six participants. “In the first SkySnow World Championships in 2022, we decided not to travel due to coronavirus precautions. This time it will be the first world championship on snow for Japanese athletes. Although SkySnow has a short history in Japan, our island is also a country blessed with snow. Through our challenge, we want to prove that SkySnow is a global sport!”

In the 2022 Championships Del Pero swept the board pocketing all three gold medals. “A repeat is always difficult, but I’m in good shape so I’m stoked and motivated. Running in my country and knowing the course is also positive. The Vertical is really hard, but I think I can give my best in the Classic which is more my style. I hope it will be a great battle with top-level competition!”

Reigning SkySnow World Champion Luca Del Pero from Italy is a daunting contender with three golds from the last Championships under his belt.  ©@josemiguelmunoze

The 2022 women’s world champion, Virginia Pérez, took home three medals, one of each. “I’m really looking forward to both events! I’ve been preparing very hard and I’m super-excited to be back. I’ll be going into the championships with the pressure of defending my title, as I know there will be many girls aiming for a medal. I’ll fight to do my best and, at the same time, enjoy the mountains and the snow – as always!”

After a silver and a bronze in 2022 by twins Lina and Sanna El Kott, Sweden will present Tove Alexandersson, 2018 Skyrunning World Champion in Scotland. No stranger to gold medals, she won 19 in the World Orienteering Championships and ten in the World Ski Orienteering Championships. “When I read about the SSWC two years ago I thought it looked fun and wanted to participate next time. I don’t think my orienteering experience will help much, but where I come from, we have snow from November to April, so I’m used to running on snow and ice since I was a kid. However, I’ve never run with crampons before!”

Sweden’s Tove Alexandersson will try SkySnow for the first time…and come out a champion? ©LongLight

The stunning location of the events, bordering on Austria and Slovenia in the Udine Province, lies in an amphitheatre surrounded by the Julian Alps, known for its cold climate – and a guarantee of the principal element of this discipline – snow.

The events launch on Friday, March 7 with an opening flag ceremony followed by the VERTICAL discipline on Saturday, March 8. The Vertical Monte Lussari will start at dusk where athletes will face a demanding 974m vertical climb over the 3.6 km ski run reaching 1,786m altitude, wearing micro-crampons to grip the snow and headlamps to light up the course.

Saturday, March 9 is the turn of the CLASSIC discipline at the Monte Mangart Winter Trail – a spectacular figure-of-eight touching on the turquoise Fusine lakes – 15.4 km long with 515m vertical climb touching on the highest point at 1,391m altitude.

From the heat of Brazil to the cold of the Julian Alps, Fernanda Maciel is looking forward to testing her skills in a new sport. ©Marcelo Maragni/Red Bull Content Pool

Ultra-running superstar Fernanda Maciel from Brazil will also join the competition.
It will be my first experience in a Vertical and short race on the snow, so I’m super excited. It’s very different from the forest and hills that we are used to running, that’s why this kind of competition inspires us Brazilians even more. Long distance races of 100 miles are more my style, so for sure I’ll suffer in the SkySnow Championships!”

Other top athletes to watch out for are, from Italy: Tadei Pivk, 2015 European Champion, 2023 Youth World Champion, Gianluca Ghiano, Marcello Ugazio, Lorenzo Rota Martir, Corinna Ghirardi and Chiara Giovando. From Spain: Alain Santamaria, and Silvia Lara; from Portugal, Joana Soares; Martin Nilsson from Sweden and, from Argentina, Javier Charriqueo, two-time Olympian in Beijing for the 1,500m and London, for the 5,000m. SkySnow will no doubt represent a new challenge also for him.

Countries participating in the 2024 SkySnow World Championships
Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Croatia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, USA.

New countries from across the globe – some which have never seen snow – will compete in the 2024 SkySnow World Championships. As usual, strength, guts and technique will be the deciding factors for the titles and medals, but micro crampons are the asset no-one can do without!

Race programme:
Friday, March 8, 2024

18:30 Vertical Monte Lussari (VERTICAL)

Saturday, March 9, 2024
14:00 Monte Mangart Winter Trail (CLASSIC)

Main sponsor of the events is Italian brand NORTEC, market leader and producer of ISF approved micro crampons, also sponsor of the 2022 World Championships in Spain. Technical sponsors are SCARPA, Crazy Idea and Weissenfels. The events are supported by institutional partners: the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, PromoTurismoFVG, the Tarvisio Council and BIM Drava, and in collaboration with FISky, the Italian Skyrunning Federation. The events are organised by the Mario Tosi Sports Association.

More info
Race website