Sunday, February 24, 2013

Comparison of Worldloppet ski events

Finlandiahiihto was 6th and last Worldloppet ski race this winter for me. Now I'm feeling totally exhausted and need a good rest. Based on my subjective opinion and experience from the different Worldloppet events I composed a comparison of 7 different Worldloppet ski race.

Birkebeinerrennet Dolomitenlauf Marcialonga König Ludwig Lauf
Distance 54 km CL 42 km CL 70 km CL 50 km CL*
When (week) 11 3 4 5
Total ascent (m) 1010 745 757 272*
Start Rena Obertilliach Moena Ettal
Finish Lillehammer Obertilliach Canazei Oberammergau
Track condition 10 10 9 1*
Route 10 8 9 8*
Fluency (no jam at track) 8 8 6 7
Washing facilities 9 6 4 -
Transportation - - 9 9
Comments Scenic route over the mountains. Physically tough. At high altitude. Steep and long climbs. Through tiny villages at Val di Fiemme valley. *Due to exceptionally warm weather and lack of snow, route was shortened to 42 km.
Tips Start slowly, demanding climb at the beginning. Travel 2-3 days before to acclimatize to higher altitude. The start place is crucial. Lots of waiting and standing in queues if start place is in the last groups. Original 50 km route would have been more scenic.

La Transjurassienne Tartu maraton Finlandiahiihto
Distance 50 km CL 63 km CL 50 km CL
When (week) 6 7 8
Total ascent (m) 648 695 527
Start Les Rousses Otepää Lahti
Finish Mouthe Elva Lahti
Track condition 10 10+ 5
Route 10 10 6
Fluency (no jam at track) 8 9 7
Washing facilities 8 - 9
Transportation 5 8 -
Comments Very scenic route. Lots of snow. Well organised. Easy and good route. Tracks in excellent condition. Overpriced. Tracks always in poor condition.
Tips Rent a car from Geneva airport, don't take transportation from the organiser. Get accommodation from Mouthe. Tampere maja accommodation in center of Tartu is excellent. Buses to start leave very close. Never again…

As requested I added similar comparison table from three well-known ski events in Finland...

Pirkanhiihto Pogostan hiihto Vuokattihiihto
Distance 90 km CL 51 km CL 60 km CL
When (week) 9 11 12
Total ascent (m) 749 447 777
Start Niinisalo Ilomantsi Vuokatti
Finish Tampere Ilomantsi Vuokatti
Track condition 8 8 9
Route 7 8 9
Fluency (no jam at track) 8 9 9
Washing facilities - 9 9
Transportation 9 - -
Comments Early start at 7 AM. Typically dark and cold at the beginning. Hospitality and nice atmosphere. Beautiful route in wilderness up to Petkeljärvi national park. Scenic climb to Vuokattivaara.


  1. Great, good comparison from various angles.
    Even though that Pirkka ski race and Pogostan race are not a part of Worldloppet series - would you evaluate those as well. Thx.