Tour du Mont Blanc

Chamonix, France

Organiser's Description

Run the ultimate iconic multi-day trail running route in the Alps! 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. 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, refreshment points, 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 6 stages with a day to relax in Chamonix at the beginning and end of the trip.

Races

  • Individual Entry - Deposit 168km over 6 days, 9000m of ascent
    €630 BOOK

Overnight accommodation in a 4* spa hotel at the beginning and end of the trip (based on twin sharing)

First night evening meal in Chamonix included from a highly rated restaurant

Overnight accommodation en route (based on twin room sharing or small dormitory, supplement for single room)

Bag transport to each day’s end destination

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

104 miles / 168km 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

We start in Chamonix and head down the valley to Les Houches before making our way up over to Les Contamines. Our first night is spent here before we carry on to the steep climb over the Croix du Bonhomme. The views from the Croix back down the valley and towards Geneva are incredible. From there we head down to spend our second night at Les Chapieux, a remote hamlet and our last stop before heading over into Italy. The next morning as the sun rises from behind the Aiguilles des Glaciers you will climb up to the Col de La Seigne. From here the route stretches into the horizon along the valley leading to the mountain pass 25 miles away which marks the border with Switzerland, a point where you will be standing the next day. We sweep down into Italy, staggering views of couloirs and rock buttresses towering on the left, leading up to Monte Bianco. The path undulates on nice smooth trails before a last climb, and then a steep descent into Courmayeur. At around halfway of the total route we will be staying here for pizza and a warm bed!

Leaving Courmayeur early the next day 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 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, 104 miles / 168km and 9,000m ascent crossing over 3 countries.

Accommodation on the first and last night in Chamonix will be in the 4* spa hotel, Le Refuge des Aiglons (or an equivalent standard hotel) including breakfast on both mornings. This beautiful hotel 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. The evening meal on the first evening is at one of the best restaurant's in Chamonix, this is included in your booking and is a great chance to meet the team and your guide.

For the 6 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) 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.

This trip is 6 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. We endeavour to run a couple of trips each year of the TMB adventure in order to cater for different running speeds, so we ensure everyone is of a similar ability before they sign up. 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 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. It's possible to do it in 3 days self-guided and we can provide all the logistics.

CLOTHES:

Lightweight waterproof jacket (preferably Goretex / Event – must have a hood and sleeves)

Lightweight waterproof trousers or leggings (optional for Intro to the Alps and Running & Yoga trip)

Wicking top and shorts / leggings

Sun hat / cap

Warm hat and gloves

Additional warm layer / thermal top (for when we stop or it gets cold)

Socks (eg: Injinji)

Trail running shoes (sufficient tread)


ACCESSORIES:

Fully Charged Mobile Phone including the numbers for the Lead Runners, Event Director as well as appropriate emergency services (charge before use and make sure it's in a waterproof case or bag)

Lightweight, comfortable running pack (5-12 litres ideal for our weekend trips, 11-15 litres for longer trips)

Water Bottles / Bladder with minimum of 1 litre capacity in total

Sunglasses (the sun is very strong in the Alps)

Snacks to sustain you for the planned route (eg: GU gels, trail mix, chocolate)

Salt Tablets (GU or Nuuns, especially in hot weather)

Emergency cash

Waterproof bags / dry bags to keep stuff dry

Headtorch (only on multiday trips eg: TMB for use in accommodation)

Whistle (normally found attached to your bag)

Personal first aid kit (eg: blister packs, sunscreen, asthma inhaler etc)

We will be checking your kit for our European adventures.

Total cost is 2100 Euros.

Initial deposit payment of 30%. You have a right to cancel until 6 weeks before (but no refund will be given), and that the balance payment of 1,470 Euros is due 6 weeks before the event.

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Tour du Mont Blanc

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