When sport turns into passion.

Stephan Hugenschmidt

Stephan Hugenschmidt
Stephan Hugenschmidt, one of the most successful trail runners, has lived in Schiers since 2015. The Prättigau ambassador has made a name for himself in trail and ultratrail sports, is the winner of renowned runs and holds course records. We talked to him about the fascination of trail running in the Prättigau.

Why did you become an active trail runner?

Stephan Hugenschmidt: Something like that develops. I started running as a child. My father, who was also a running enthusiast, used to take me whenever I felt like it. At that time, he also ran in the mountains from time to time, and I usually went along. But I rarely took part myself. I didn't find it very satisfying to run up a mountain and then take the train down. Even before that, I preferred running in the mountains or over mountains instead of just running up one. I was really infected by the "mountain virus" when I moved to Switzerland (Uzwil) to work after my studies. At that time I went to the mountains every weekend. This went on for three years until I decided to make a dream come true and move to the mountains. As chance would have it, Trumpf in Grüsch had advertised a suitable position at the time, and that's how I ended up in Prättigau.

What specifically fascinates you about trail running?

Stephan Hugenschmidt: The simplicity of the sport. In principle, all you need are well-tread running shoes and you're ready to go. Moving quickly and easily in nature, in the mountains, is what makes it so appealing to me.

Is the Prättigau suitable for trail running? And if so, what makes it special?

Stephan Hugenschmidt: Of course the Prättigau is suitable for trail running! I particularly appreciate that it is not overrun and you can be out and about for hours in an intact natural environment without meeting anyone. And of course the unique landscape: first the gentle grassy mountains and behind them the imposing rock faces of the Rätikon. Stunning!

Which trail running highlight in Prättigau can you recommend?

Stephan Hugenschmidt: Definitely the Schesaplana, and from the Schesaplana Hut via the Schweizer Steig. This path winds its way through the imposing rock face of the Rätikon. From a distance you think: It's impossible to get up there without climbing equipment, but the path then turns out to be spectacular, but surprisingly easy to walk on. From the summit via Totalp to Gamsluggen and via the Prättigauer Höhenweg back to the Schesaplanahütte, where you are well catered for.