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BACKGROUND

Run the second half of the ultimate iconic multi-day trail running route in the Alps, the Tour du Mont Blanc! It follows one of the world’s toughest 100 milers, the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, circumnavigating the highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc at 4,810m and passing by its 71 glaciers and 400 summits. On this trip we split the usual 6 day Tour du Mont Blanc in half, which is ideal for those who want to experience the thrill of this incredible trail but without having to complete it all in one go!

This is a great running adventure to sign up for if you want to explore the Alps more or to recce the route for the UTMB. As always you will have a Lead Runner with you, logistic support as well as food and accommodation provided. The scenery is absolutely stunning and you’ll experience some of the most breath taking views of Mt Blanc the area has to offer. It's broken down into 3 stages with a day to relax in Courmayeur at the beginning and Chamonix at the end of the trip.

We start the trail run in Courmayeur, Italy. Following a steep ascent out of the valley you may see the sun rise over clouds carpeting the valleys far below. After a couple of hours running on a stunning balcony path, there will be time to stop for a refreshment at the Rifugio Bonatti hut, dedicated to the legendary Italian climber. Indeed, you will be passing some of his ground breaking first ascents as you run the route. From there we approach the fearsome Grand Col Ferret marking the Swiss border at 2537m. The trails down from the col are perfect. You will hear the cowbells from the lush green valley below, as you descend through the stunning scented mountain meadows into the little village of Le Fouly, our next stop; the first of two in Switzerland.

The trail passes through forests running alongside the river and through tiny Swiss villages and fields of hay and wild flowers before heading up to Champex-Lac. Champex is a paradise in the mountains and sits at the juncture to another famous hiking route and potential running adventure - the Walker’s Haute Route. Three more high points stand between us and Chamonix, and around another 25 miles. The view from the next climb is hard to take in, since you can see all the way down to Martigny, 1500m below. Its broad flat valley leads to Zermatt and beyond. The path descends from here through some rocky and tree root covered trails to the Col de la Forclaz and then steeply down to Trient and its beautiful pink church and backdrop of dramatic glaciers, where we spend our last night on the trail.

Our last day, today we will complete our journey and return to Chamonix. A steep climb up from Trient provides one of the most impressive views on the whole route of the Mt Blanc Massif which dominates the horizon, its glacier pouring over into the Chamonix valley below and the end of our adventure. We trot down through the mountain trails into Chamonix to celebrate. It’s an amazing achievement, 54 miles / 88km and 4,500m ascent crossing through 3 countries.

ACCOMMODATION & TRANSPORT

Accommodation on the first night is in Courmayeur, Italy. It's beautiful pedestrian streets are just a 2 minute stroll from the hotel and a great place to start this amazing adventure at the foot of Monte Bianco. For the last night in Chamonix, you will be staying in the 4* spa hotel, Le Refuge des Aiglons (or an equivalent standard hotel), both nights include breakfast each morning. Aiglons is located in the centre of Chamonix with stunning views of Mt Blanc. Amenities include the spa (treatments at extra cost) which has a heated pool and sauna, the hotel also free WiFi. Accommodation is based on a twin room sharing basis unless you request single occupancy, which if available will be at extra cost. 

For the 3 stages there will be a mixture of village hotels and possibly mountain refuges, we pick the best available on the route, these will include breakfast and evening meals (except for Courmayeur and Chamonix) as well as packed lunch each day you are running. Transport to and from Geneva to Chamonix can be booked via one of the many minibus operators that provide a regular shuttle service and we will include your transfer from Chamonix to Courmayeur for the start of your trip.

ABILITY

This trip is 3 days of running with an average of around 18 miles / 29km per day. It's not always that easy to run these routes particularly quickly, trail running is often a leveller! So be prepared to be out on the trails for most of the day, we walk the uphills so there is time to soak up the scenery. Clients are always surprised by how much hiking can be involved in the Alps but this is inevitable in such steep environments. The trails on the TMB cannot be underestimated, and therefore it's important to do some training before you arrive, particularly multi-day hikes, have run marathon distance in around 4 hours or less and have some experience on trails. We also do a kit check on the evening before we set off and highly recommend bringing poles. The Lead Runner will route find and as with all our running adventures you will be running as part of a team. If you want to run the route quicker - please get in touch we can do this as a bespoke trip and arrange accommodation and logistics.

TIMING & LOCATION

The trail run will start in Courmayeur, Italy. You will need to arrange transport to Chamonix from where we will provide onward transfers to Courmayeur. The route we run over the 3 days will bring you back to Chamonix. It's possible to run this route from July to September.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Overnight accommodation in a 4* spa hotel at the end of the trip (based on twin sharing)
  • Overnight accommodation in a centrally based hotel in Courmayeur
  • Overnight accommodation en route (based on twin room sharing or small dormitory, supplement for single room)
  • Bag transport to each day’s end destination
  • Transfer from Chamonix to Courmayeur
  • Packed lunch everyday and refreshment points on the last 2 days
  • All evening meals and breakfasts, except for the evening meal in Courmayeur and on the last night in Chamonix
  • A qualified Lead Runner for the team, with you every step of the way
  • Run the Wild tech t-shirt
  • Champagne at the finish
  • 54 miles / 88km of some of the best scenery in Europe

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Drinks at the accommodation or additional main meals
  • Personal insurance (required)
  • Transfers to/from Geneva to Chamonix
  • Travel to Geneva for the start of the holiday
  • Travel from Geneva at the end of the holiday

Booking

Start Date End Date Days Mileage Grade Spaces Price Status
08th September 2020 12th September 2020 5 54 C 4 €1200 Available Book Now

AVAILABILITY

Availability Status Definitions:

Available – the trip is available, please go ahead and book!
Guaranteed – this trip is available but has also reached the minimum number to guarantee it running.
Few remaining – limited space left on the trip, sign up quick! 
Sold out - sorry you've just missed it, please get in touch to get on the reserve list or create a bespoke trip!
Register Interest - let us know you are interested in booking.
If there are are no dates listed - we will be looking to put up new dates soon, get in touch if you would like to register interest or book a private trip.

*Price quoted in Euros but payment also accepted in GBP

Difficulty

Difficulty of route, ascent per day, fitness required and experience (if in doubt call the office to find out more).

A(easy)
Easy undulating trails at low levels of elevation and relatively small amounts of cumulative ascent (up to around 500m).
B(moderate)
Some steeper sections on trails. Good fitness is required and total cumulative ascent may reach 1000m.
C(challenging)
Many steep sections with long climbs up hill. Expect long days out of up to 6-8hrs and cumulative ascent of around 1500m ascent.
D(strenuous)
Steep mountain trails with passes and anything over 2000m cumulative ascent. You need to be in top physical and mental condition and be prepared for long days.
E(extreme)
Basic mountaineering skills required / 2000m+ ascent.

Ability

Ability of Group – based on your running speed and experience (we will verify at the time of booking). You will be running as a team and therefore you will be running at the speed of the Lead Runner.

1(jogger)
3-4 miles an hour / 5-7km an hour on the flat
2(strider)
5-6 miles an hour / 8-10km an hour on the flat
3(runner)
7-8 miles an hour / 11-13km an hour on the flat
4(mountain goat)
9-10 miles an hour / 14-16km an hour on the flat