Atomic athlete Kilian Jornet came in first place at the Patrouille des Glaciers 2012. Struggling with warm winds, he and his team mates prevailed against the competition, winning the race with a clear margin.
The Patrouille des Glaciers is one of the classic races in competitive ski mountaineering. The race, organized by the Swiss Army, takes the athletes across a 53 km long course from Zermatt to Verbier. Approximately 4000 meters difference in altitude in ascents and descents, respectively, make the Patrouille des Glaciers one of the toughest mountaineering races worldwide. Due to the warm temperatures during the last few days and strong warm winds of roughly 80 km/h along the up to 3,500 m high track, the race had to be stopped midway through for safety reasons. As a result, the organizers counted only the course between Zermatt and Arolla. During the first ascent, a Swiss team took the lead; however, on the remaining lag of the race, together with his team ATOMIC athlete Kilian Jornet moved ahead of the field, winning the Patrouille des Glaciers in Arolla. The three-man team comprising Kilian Jornet, Wiliam Bon Mardion and Matheo Jacquemound performed a strong race amid difficult conditions. They would have probably won the race even if it had not been stopped midway through. "I am very happy about our victory. The Patrouille des Glaciers is one of the most important ski mountaineering races and finishing the competition with my team mates as winners means a lot to me," commented Kilian Jornet after crossing the finish line.