New Moon News

Words from the Worldloppet

With the American Birkebeiner just one week away, here’s a little overview of the first four weeks of Worldloppet events in 2022. Lumi Experiences has had groups at all four events. After much uncertainty in early January about whether or not there would even be mass-start citizen races in Europe, we can say with certainty…it’s on!!

Olympic stories told by Holly Brooks during Lumi Experiences trip in Seiser Alm.
8 Lumi trip leader and Olympian Holly Brooks shared her Worldloppet insights and Olympic stories with the group in Seiser Alm, one of her favorite venues.

The first four Worldloppet events of the winter are on consecutive weekends traveling from east to west across the Alps, starting with the Dolomitenlauf in Austria, then the Marcialonga in Italy, the König Ludwig Lauf in Germany and the Transjurassienne in France.

Lumi Guests at the Dolomitenlauf.
Lumi Guests at the Dolomitenlauf.

The Dolomitenlauf in Lienz, Austria is named for the Dolomite peaks south of the racecourse. Those craggy spires are perhaps symbolic of the rocky start to the season. The official Dolomitenlauf was canceled less than 24 hours before the start of the race when Austrian authorities pulled the event’s permit due to rising Covid rates. Fortunately, event organizers found a solution to mark the course and award Worldloppet passport stamps to everyone who completed the 42 km or 21 km loops. You can read more about the drama in the Lumi Experiences Blog.

Lumi leaders Kathi and Anna making sure everyone had treats for the Dolomitenlauf open track.
Lumi leaders Kathi and Anna making sure everyone had treats for the Dolomitenlauf open track.

In the end, the Lumi Experiences group brought the party to the Dolomitenlauf, with trip leaders setting up feed stations on a Tyrolean beer table and handing out chocolate and schnapps, rather than bananas and Gatorade.

Skiers at the start of the Marcialonga Story vintage ski event.
Start of the Marcialonga Story Vintage Event.JPG

Italy’s Marcialonga is one of the most popular Worldloppet events. It consistently fills all 8,000 start spots in just a few minutes. The event is especially popular for Norwegians who travel to northern Italy to soak up sunshine at a time of year that is typically very dark in Norway. The 70 km classic-only course is affectionately known as the “Much-too-longa.” Fortunately, fast tracks and sunshine made for ideal conditions. 

The Italians know how to dress well and have a good time. The Marcialonga Story vintage ski event was hosted in the Val di Fiemme Stadium – where the Nordic events for the 2026 Olympic Games will be held. The festive atmosphere was a great way to kick off the weekend.

Several ski areas around Val di Fiemme, such as Passo Lavaze and Seiser Alm are two of the world’s most scenic ski venues. The hardest part about skiing in these areas is not skiing too much before a big event. The trailside restaurants are pretty much as good as the skiing, which makes it easy to stop and rest along the way.

The Ettal Monastery overlooks the King Ludwig race start.
The Ettal Monastery overlooks the King Ludwig race start.

Germany’s König Ludwig Lauf is located in Bavaria. The event starts right across the street from the Ettal Monastery, best known for its brewery. The trail network does not have much snowmaking, so they rely heavily on real snow. How novel. Conditions in central Europe have been excellent this winter, which allowed the race to run along the full 50 km course. Much flatter than most other Worldloppet events, this is a great one for beginners and veterans alike. Of course, finishers are rewarded with a big bottle of Bavarian beer when they cross the line. Prost!

France’s Transjurassienne traverses the Jura mountains on the border of France and Switzerland. Our group has been rewarded this week with blue skies every day and excellent crust cruise conditions. Like Wisconsin, the Jura is known for its cheeses, particularly the smooth Comte. Unlike Wisconsin, there are no cranberry bogs. Instead, vineyards line the hillsides and produce several varieties of excellent wine. The Transju’ course connects many of the villages along the route, where snow is trucked in and lined down the streets.

Lumi Experience trip skis in ideal conditions at the Transju.
Ideal conditions for our group at the Transju.

It feels great to have the first four weeks of Worldloppet events complete. As the season progresses, the events seem to be picking up in enthusiasm and certainty. One of the highlights has been visiting the in-person pre-race expos again.

The Transju course prep through Les Rousses.
The Transju course prep through Les Rousses.

Speaking of expos, Lumi Experiences will be on-site at the American Birkebeiner Expo in Hayward this winter! Stop on by to say hi and learn more about the trips. I’d love to see you. We’ll be right next to the Worldloppet booth and will have lots of insights into places where you could travel on your next ski vacation.

Sign up before March 31 and save $300 on all 2023 trips and the summer 2022 Factory Tour Trip over Labor Day.