By Teemu Virtanen
La Diagonela is the largest cross-country ski race in classic technique in Switzerland. It partially follows the same beautiful course as the famous Engadin Ski Marathon.
This year, the organizers are happy to announce that the full course is going to be used except a short section near St. Moritz where the track leads over the Meierei to the lake of St. Moritz and then back to the marathon track and to the Stazersee via the “Kutscherweg”. The whole track is therefore 3 km shorter than normally, making the total length to 62 km.
The course runs from Zuoz via La Punt and Celerina to St. Moritz, then to Val Roseg and Pontresina, and from there to the Engadin airfield and back to Zuoz. There is a long climb up to the finish line that is in the middle of the town on the historic market square. There are two sprint competition points on the course; the first one in Samedan at 16 km and the second one at the Engadin airfield at 44 km. There are no climb competition points.
The idea for the race came about when the organizers wanted to revive the classic Nordic skiing tradition and have a perfect long distance race in the spectacular location of the Engadin valley. They realized that their main selling points were stunning scenery, high altitude, above 1,800 meters a.s.l., and uniquely nice atmosphere, and those are now fully utilized for La Diagonela.
There are more than 220 km of groomed tracks in the area, which makes the valley a perfect place to spend some time before or after the event. There are also several glaciers in the valley; Morteratsch Glacier, at around seven kilometres the longest glacier in the Engadin, Roseg, Tschierva, Sella and Pers, and they all offer an equally striking display of nature and some of them can be accessed by skiing.
The Engadin valley is famous for its breathtaking surroundings, idyllic towns and many international events that are held in the area. Engadin truly stands for exquisite experiences where the past is as alive as the present, and the Swiss nature is simply spellbinding.