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Chamonix - Trail Running Tour du Mont Blanc

A trail running tour in one of the most famous routes in the Alps

Dates: 25 July - 2 August, 2020 ​

Price: 2850 EUR

Remember, this is the Alps, rocky and steep terrain, high alpine meadows, glaciers, peaks, streams, lakes and amazing scenery.

This is an nine day and 165 Km journey with lots of ups and downs... To be specific, almost 10,000 meters of elevation gain. The route takes us from Chamonix - France through Italy, Switzerland, and back to Chamonix.

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the most famous trail running and hiking routes and a dream for many trail runners around the world. The path encircles Western Europe’s highest peak, and it combines inspiring mountain scenery with cultural vibrancy in the alpine regions of France, Switzerland and Italy.

To run the Tour du Mont Blanc you do not necessarily need to be in a race. All you need is your running shoes, previous training and your passion for exploring new trails.

This journey is fully supported with luggage transfers, shuttles to and from Geneva airport, all accommodations and meals (except for lunch and dinner on the rest day in Courmayeur). The accommodation varies from mountain huts to hotels. Some of the huts only offer dormitories, in the hotel it will be twin rooms. Single occupancy is available for an additional cost. However, this is limited to the hotels in Chamonix and Courmayeur only. In the huts you will be sharing a small dorm with other runners.

The alps and the TMB is a challenging route, but you’ll run and hike with a light vest and in the company of an experienced International Mountain Leader (UIMLA) that will be with you all the time.

General Recommendations:

The tour is challenging, with steep and long uphills and downhills. The more prepare you are the more you will enjoy. You will have time to relax, to recover and to have a beer or two in the afternoon.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Chamonix, July 25

 

Transfer from Geneva Airport to Chamonix. Depending on your time of arrival you will have time to walk around the vibrant village of Chamonix, make last minute gear shopping or just relax at the pool and outdoor patio of our chosen hotel in Chamonix. In the evening we will have a group safety briefing, followed by dinner.

Day 2 | Chamonix – Les Contamines, July 26

Today is the official start of our epic journey. We leave Chamonix and take an undulated first trail from Les Gaillands towards Les Houches. Once in Les Houches we climb up through the forest heading to Le Delevret and Col du Voze, where we start the downhill through the woods passing charming chalets and rustic farms as we head towards Saint Gervais les Bains.

 

After a gentle uphill through forests and alpine meadows we will arrive to our overnight destination close to the village of Les Contamines.

  • The route: 31 Km - 1580+ 1460-

  • Highest point at 1850 meters

  • Approximate time 5 - 6 hours

 

Day 3 | Les Contamines– Refuge de Mottets/Les Chapieux, July 27

Easy riverside trails take us to the church of Notre Dame de la Gorge. After the church we have a long and a steep ascent leading to Col du Bonhomme. Depending on weather conditions the pass might show snow patches. A little bit higher we reach the second col of the day the Croix de Bonhomme at 2440 meters of altitude, where we will enjoy amazing views of the valleys on both sides. A nice and runnable trail takes us downhill to Les Chapieux, from here we will have a mix of a flat trail to a steady easy uphill towards Refuge Les Mottets at 1864 meters, which will be our hut for the night.

  • The route: 24 Km - 1650+ 940-

  • Highest point at 2440 meters

  • Approximate time 6 - 8 hours

 

Day 4 | Refuge de Mottets – Courmayeur, July 28

The day starts with a steep trail, but the views will be our boost to continue and finally cross the border into Italy at Col de la Seigne. Once on the col (or shoulder) you will admire the views of  the French and the Italian valleys. On the Italian side we will have a long descent into Val Veny. If we are lucky, the valley will be cover in yellow flowers with sparking glaciers descending off Mont Blanc. A long flat path will take us to the start of the steep trail towards the ridge on Mont Favre, and then on to the Col Checrouit and then a final steep descent to Courmayeur. Tonight, we will enjoy the famous Italian pizza in one of our favourite pizzerias in town.

  • The route: 25 Km - 1370+ 2050-

  • Highest point at 2500 meters

  • Approximate time 6 - 7 hours

Day 5 | Courmayeur (rest day), July 29

After almost 80 kilometers and 4600 meters of elevation gain in our legs, Courmayeur is the perfect place to rest. After breakfast, you will be able to enjoy the small vibrant village and surrounding areas, filled with beautiful single trails, gelaterias, coffee shops, restaurants and bars. You can just relax, have a massage or explore the trails. There is also the possibility to take the Helbronner Skyway cable for fantastic views of the Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) and the highest peaks in the Alps. Lunch and dinner will be on your own this day in Courmayeur.

Day 6 | Courmayeur – La Fouly, July 30

Our legs are rested, so we start the day with a vertical climb towards Rifugio Bertone. After admiring the views, we follow an almost flat, beautiful, easy but high trail towards Rifugio Bonatti. We will pass the beautiful Rifugio Elena, where we can enjoy a coffee or a drink and then continue our way towards the high Gran Col Ferret. We will contemplate the spectacular views of the Swiss and the Italian valleys from the col. A beautiful descent on a single trail will take us to our accommodation for the night at the end of Val Ferret.

  • The route: 29 Km - 1960+ 1748-

  • Highest point at 2525 meters

  • Approximate time 6 - 7 hours

 

Day 7 | La Fouly – Col de Forclaz or Trient, July 31

We start the day with an easy descent to the ancient village of Praz de Fort. We will get some water from the local fountains and continue our path to the start of the ascent towards Champex Lac. Leaving Champex Lac behind we head up through the forests on an easy open path until Plan de l’Au where we start a steep ascent traversing around the mountain to la Giete. Once in the highest point we run downhill towards Col de la Forclaz and continue our descent to the last Swiss village and its iconic pink church in Trient.

  • The route: 31 Km - 1480+ 1700-

  • Highest point at 1470 meters

  • Approximate time 6 - 7  hours

 

Day 8 | Trient - Chamonix, August 1

We have a couple of uphills and downhills more until our final destination. On the way we will have fantastic views of the Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles Rouges mountains. We traverse the mountain before we start our last descent towards La Flegere and Chamonix.

 

We have come to the end of an epic journey of almost 170 Km and 10.000 meters of elevation gain. We will have enough time to relax at spa and the pool of our hotel. Massages and other treatments are optional. We will close our journey with a celebration dinner and drink.

  • The route: 28 Km - 1750+ 1960-

  • Highest point at 2065 meters

  • Approximate time 6 - 8 hours

 

Day 9 | Chamonix, August 2

We enjoy a last breakfast together and then time to pack all the memories back home.

A note about fitness: This adventure involves physical activity around 7 hours per day, some days has over 1500 meters of ascent, at altitude up to 2800 meters above sea level. To participate comfortably in the tour, you will require a certain level of fitness. To make a self assessment wether or not this is for you, you should consider yourself to be in good fitness, be accustomed to running/hiking, and be able to do it comfortably for at leats 3 hours in a day. Please consult a doctor if you feel that this might be a challenge before booking.

The entire tour is done in English.

*We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, National Parks regulations or notifications and unforeseeable circumstances

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions

How Challenging ?

High effort. This is a serious adventure where we can expect 6 -8 hours of running/hiking per day, with up to 1700 meters of hight gain. Previous multi-day trail running experience is recommended. More info about effort levels here.

Price and Details

The tour includes:

  • Everything described in the tour

  • All of the scheduled activities

  • All accommodation during the tour (8 nights)

  • Most huts in shared rooms (single occupancy only available in Chamonix and Courmayeur for an extra price. Hotels in twin rooms

  • All meals during the tour (8 breakfast, 7 packed lunch, 8 dinners)

  • All transport during the tour (except for those by feet!)

  • Experienced and certified UIMLA guide

​​

The tour excludes:

  • Transport to Geneva (e.g. flights)

  • Insurance. All participants are required to have their own insurance appropriate for outdoor sports; such as health, accident, mountain rescue, repatriation, cancellation, personal liability, etc.

  • Trail snack to eat on the go - dried fruit, nuts or energy bars to last you throughout the entire runs (further info in the packing list)

  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages

  • Expenses for extra activities, such as; massages, spas, sauna, hot tub

  • Any accommodations for extra days in Chamonix

Price: 2850 EUR

30% deposit due to secure your reservation, remaining 70% due 60 days before the start of the expedition. Single occupancy limited to Chamonix and Courmayeur. Excl. VAT, where applicable.

​Participants: 

min 5 - max 9 

Start: Geneva (Cointrin Airport)

End: Geneva (Cointrin Airport)

We reserve the right to change the itinerary without previous notice due to weather conditions, and unforeseeable circumstances.

 

This tour is governed by the Terms and Conditions