Hannibal in the Alps–today!

When seven young ski climbers from Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and France decide to cross the Alps in only three days, using only their touring skis to climb up and down 13,500 vertical meters for 210 kilometers, what do they call their trip?

But it’s obvious:

Hannibal

(Thanks to Mr Crotchety, a fellow ski enthusiast, for the link.)

It hardly matters that this team, representing Dynafit (a ski maker), made the crossing in the eastern (Austrian) Alps, right around the mountains and valleys where I spent my youth. Hannibal made his crossing, with elephants but without Dynafit skis, in the western (French) Alps, near their highest point. Here is the map of his trip and life (as well as in the masthead above).

We’re not sure exactly where he crossed, so teams from Stanford and other universities are trying to follow in his footsteps to find them (ie, the steps).

But it hardly matters. Daring crossings of the Alps, eastern or western, still evoke, and forever will, the most daring crossing of them all.

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