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Sickalps – Show Porsche drivers the mountains

August 9, 2022 / By Richard Lindhorst
Sickalps – Show Porsche drivers the mountains

In 2017, Kerstin Battenfeld and Moritz Leidel, known to many as @FLAT6HIGH5 on instagram, did a tour through the Alps in their Porsche 911 SWB on holiday. This gave birth to the idea of making a joint event out of it. The two set off to create ever new unforgettable experiences on European mountain roads for groups of up to 15 cars. Their spirit child was named “Sickalps”. In doing so, they traverse the mountain passes of Austria, Italy, France and Switzerland in carefully planned routes. The like-minded people are often only linked by the digital worlds of Instagram until the respective tour.

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Sickalps is all about the community!

The most important requirement: No egos! Because experiencing the feeling of Sickalps together is the trump card. For the organizers, it’s all about the community. “The more beaming faces, the better for everyone,” says Kerstin. And you see plenty of them on the Sickalps tours. Whether it’s on the legendary early-bird tours at 5:00 AM up the Großglockner to watch the sunrise or at the best Kaiserschmarrn in the world, somewhere in the last corner of the Nockalm Road, baked on an old cast-iron stove over an open flame. Moritz and Kerstin have a soft spot for local food and always go on meticulous searches for culinary treasures. So the two scout new points for the routes and sometimes lay the routes just around it.

The more beaming faces, the better for everyone!

Kerstin Battenfeld, @FLAT6HIGH5, organizer of Sickalps

In their 1965 Porsche 911 SWB, the two have now driven countless kilometers on the Alps’ mountain passes. In the process, they have infected many people with this inexplicable Alpine fever. As they get requests almost on a daily basis, they had to be carefully integrated into their everyday life. In addition to the activities behind the wheel and in the passenger seat, with the roadbook in hand, Moritz, as a self-employed design agency owner, and his wife Kerstin, responsible for PR & Marketing at a luxury watch manufacturer, have to manage their scarce time well.

With the alpine tours Kerstin and Moritz charge their batteries

But as they both emphasize, it’s a kind of recuperation. Because the energy they draw from the memories and emotions pushes them in everyday life, as they say themselves. Driving legendary roads in the mountains, coupled with making numerous friends around the world, inspires them both. “These special tours are always more inspiring than any after-work networking event,” says Moritz.

Sickalps Panorama Schweiz

In the old arcade gaming tradition, you can drive your way to the top at Sickalps!

For this year, the two thought of something completely new, so that “old acquaintances” of past tours, can also experience the next stage together. “This inevitably means growing together as a team, discover new routes together and make ever stronger friendships,” Moritz explains the idea. The formerly avid arcade gamer therefore integrated the logic of old computer games. Level by level, you can play your way forward, or in this case, drive your way up. In level 1 FLAT6 HIGH 5 collected the beginners this year. There were enough requests, the game sheet of the tour quartet “Switzerland and Austria/Italy Level 1” was sold out after a very short time.

Each tour is accompanied by a professional photographer. He thus frees the participants from the constant search for the perfect photo spots. Their heads are free and everyone concentrates on the surroundings. “This way, everyone quickly falls into the desired Zen state as they glide through the rugged, varied mountain landscapes,” Moritz describes it with a smile on his face. It also gives each tour its own unique look. Because the photographers don’t just see the one car, but what’s happening between the lines. Grandiose imagery captures the moments that emerge on each of the approximately 400-kilometer tour days.

No Sickalps event without posters, shirts and stickers!

Of course, the obligatory give-away packs consisting of a poster, shirt and sticker are not to be missed. “It’s not an event without these three ingredients,” says Moritz with a twinkle in his eye. The participants cherish these trophies and like to present the artwork in their garage or even living room.

It always amazes me how the artwork in the garages and living spaces of the participants becomes part of their automotive identity. As a designer, this makes me proud and a little embarrassed in equal measure, because you rarely experience this appreciation in the daily projects of professional life.

Moritz Leidel, @FLAT6HIGH5

In Level 2, there is a special challenge from the two “game designers” this year: It leads through the French Maritime Alps along the legendary Route des Grand Alpes. Over the 21 passes, a total of about 700 kilometers of driving distance come together. The journey from Lake Geneva to the Côte D’Azur will be spread over three days. “More is not possible,” says Moritz, reviewing his knowledge of the exploratory tour from last year. More than 300 kilometers are not possible there in a day. According to Moritz, Level 2 is only something for real curve lovers. After all, the pure driving time will be around six to seven hours per day.

“By the end of the Sickalps tours, you feel like a junkie going cold turkey”.

“It is really important to us to create lasting beautiful experiences. We want to be able to look back together on an “experience” in the truest sense of the word. The participants grow close to our hearts and we always feel this most strongly when we say goodbye to everyone after breakfast on the last day. It is not uncommon for a tear to roll down one or the other’s face when it is then time to head home in the air or water-cooled,” is how Kerstin describes it. She can’t help but let out a little sob.

“We are grateful for everyone who feels this joy within themselves and shares the passion for these types of vehicles. It’s no longer just a hobby for us, but has become part of our shared automotive DNA. At the end of the Sickalps tours, you feel like a junkie going cold turkey,” is how Moritz describes it.

Thank you to everyone who follows or inspires us on Instagram. Those who follow us daily on our channels @flat6high5 and @sickalps and send in their feedback or suggestions. Thanks to the photographers who can’t wait to go on tour with us to capture these experiences in pictures as well. We promise: We’ll keep going – until our 1965 SWB can’t see any more curves.

Moritz Leidel, @FLAT6HIGH5

The five tours this year (two each in Austria/Italy and Switzerland, as well as one in France) brought it to 27 border crossings. A total of 8,017 kilometers were covered during the 34 pass crossings. The 59 vehicles were occupied by a total of 77 participants, who were able to enjoy 62 gigabytes of photo material at the end.

© header: Flat6High5/Sickalps, Max Müller

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