On the last weekend in January, the small village of Werfenweng - just under a thousand souls - becomes one of the centres of skimo race in Europe. The Erztrophy, Austria's biggest ski mountaineering event, is held on the slopes of the ski centre of this small locality near Saliburg. But don't call it just the 'national cup'.
Over the last few years, the trophy, which includes a vertical and an individual event, has grown in size and the scope of its participants, attracting athletes such as Jakob Hermann, Sarah Dreier, Jacqueline Brandl and Anna Marie Michel.
An exceptional growth, which has led a small event born from the passion of three young ski mountaineers (Laner Hannes, Wallner Tom and Stock Markus are their names) to become part of the prestigious 'Skimo Alpencup', the competition circuit of four races taking place between Austria, Germany and Italy. In between, to seal the international appeal achieved by the event, the inclusion of the Erztrophy in the ISMF Ski Mountaineering World Cup, in 2019.
Reaching its 20th edition in 2024, the Erztrophy is destined to become the one of the first races of the year for the most accomplished ski mountaineers, eager to showcase themselves on the international scene. In addition to the Senior and Youth categories, the organizers have also planned reduced circuits for up-and-coming U18 and U16 athletes.