Appenzell Alps in Switzerland

The Ridge

Olivier Bernhard shares with us the panoramic 27 km/17 miles stretch called “The Ridge” that runs along Alpstein to Säntis, Switzerland. On a clear day, you can view six countries from its peak.

There is no other trail run I have done on the planet that is quite as scenic as this one. At the same time, the run is extremely challenging in many ways. Often you run along a very small ridge with both sides sharply dropping down a few hundred feet either side of you.

But it is exactly this setting that makes it so special, because you often feel as if you’re flying rather than running the ridge.

Pretty much every trail in the Alpstein has its challenging parts. I find the very steep inclines to be especially challenging in wet conditions. When I try to overcome those ascents, I often feel more like a mountaineer than a runner.

There are about five breathtaking little Alps with places serving great food along the trail. Most of these are restaurants located next to the lakes you will find in the Alpstein. In the summer, swimming in those little lakes makes for a nice cooling off after a long run or hike.

The Ridge is 27 km or 17 miles. I am aware that this is not an “ultra trail run” distance as such, so if you reach the Säntis at the end and you have not had enough, just turn around and take a different scenic route back down. I promise you will definitely not get bored - but don’t be surprised if you have to stop at one of the tempting little Alp restaurants around the lakes on the way down.

Lightweight trail running shoe for The Ridge
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The best time of year is May through October. I do not really mind rain or snow once I run but the most spectacular views are best on a stormy summer day, when all the clouds start to touch the summits.

The Ridge is located in the Appenzell Alps in Switzerland, between Lake Walen and Lake Constance. The summit of the Säntis mountain on clear days lets runners see six countries from its peak if weather allows: Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, France and Italy.
On Cloudventure - Trail Shoe
Mile 1
Elevation 4,937 FT
Grade 1.8 %
Mile 2
Elevation 4,937 FT
Grade 1.8 %
Mile 3
Elevation 4,937 FT
Grade 1.8 %
Mile 4
Elevation 4,937 FT
Grade 1.8 %
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The Ridge
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