Founding father of the SELLARONDA SKIMARATHON Over twenty years ago in Canazei three or four friends with a great passion for ski mountaineering, one autumn evening while chatting away in a pub, “invented” the SELLARONDA SKIMARATHON. A few months later with the first snowfall they set off at night to give their dream a go, “ the 4 passes” . They spent almost all night on the slopes. At the beginning they discussed all the organizational aspects, above all deciding whether it was better to tackle the circuit clock-wise or anti-clockwise, as well as where to tackle the ascent to Passo Campolongo (Bec de Roces).
One of those friends was Diego Perathoner, who in ’95 decided to organise the “Tour of the 4 passes” with skins.
He thus became the head of the Organizational Committee coordinating the four Ladin valleys which surround the Sella massif to initiate this innovative project. He also had the bright idea of rotating the starting/arrival town each year to give each valley a turn. If there were only 100 couples at the starting line of the first edition over the years it became the world’s most famous ski mountaineering race on groomed slopes, in fact after its 6th edition Diego had to put a limit on the number of athletes registering.
The first 5-6 editions were dominated by the legendary couple Chicco Pedrini and Fabio Meraldi, a few years later they handed over their crown to Hansjorg Lunger and Guido Giacomelli.
A few editions were very difficult to organize due to the severe weather conditions, with strong winds and heavy snowfalls all the Organizational Committee was put to the test.
The 5th edition was especially difficult for Diego Perathoner, where Corvara had to take over from Selva in Val Gardena as start/arrival location. In 2009 he had to make the most difficult decision: cancel the competition a few hours before the start. The controversy which followed hurt Diego deeply and became hard for him to forget.
During the same year, on 26th December, Diego Perathoner lost his life, together with his three friends from the Mountain Rescue team, during a rescue on the Sella massif. All of a sudden the SELLARONDA SKIMARATHON lost its founding father, its president, its soul. For a moment the idea of not continuing with the event developed, but the Perathoner family gave strong signals to push ahead with his work. In 2010, in a joint effort, the volunteers of all four Ladin valleys organized the first edition without Diego.
To go ahead with this prestigious event is one of the best ways to honour and remember Diego Perathoner. The organizational committee’s leitmotiv is:
“INANT CON TIA IDEES” - Move forward with your ideas