Swiss team win ski mountaineering race

The three-man team won the extreme Patrouille des Glaciers event, covering the 110km from Zermatt to Verbier in a time of six hours and 24 minutes.

This content was published on April 19, 2008 minutes

The victory by Florent Troillet, Alexander Hug and Didier Moret was the first by a Swiss team in eight years, and was only six minutes shy of the record set in 2006.

For the first time, the winners were also awarded the title of Long Distance Team World Champions by the International Council for Ski Mountaineering Competitions.

The Swiss patrol braved the cold, snowfall, wind and fog to complete the very challenging course along the "haute route" which meant having to ascend and descend more than 7,000 metres.

The organisers say participants must not only have plenty of mountaineering experience and mastery of the extreme conditions encountered along the way, but also be physically and morally prepared.

Around 4,200 athletes or nearly 500 more than the last Patrouille des Glaciers in 2006 entered this year's competition.

The idea of carrying out the event was the initiative of two army officers of Switzerland's alpine division shortly before the Second World War. They wanted to test the capabilities of the troops with a special long-distance race.

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