Chamonix trail running 2017
Run trails in the 3 countries of the Mont Blanc massif
Course overview

You only need to scan through the running magazines and forums to get an idea of how popular trail running is becoming. We have been offering these Alpine trail running weeks for several years, to help people get into this fascinating and totally addictive sport.
Our week long Alpine trail running weeks are based in Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc, as there are hundreds of kilometers of trails to choose from. We offer a great balance of running, coaching, and trail running advice, preparation and top tips.
These training camps are open to anyone, but we suggest that you will get the most out of them if you are happy running up to 10km, or even a half marathon. If you are in any doubt as to if they will suit, then get in touch to get advice from one of the coaches.
As well as enjoying a great week of trail running of c. 15 - 20km a day, we aim to teach you the key safety skills for route planning and Alpine running, with a focus put on the selection of equipment and how to develop your training plans for trail running.
Don't worry if you have never run on trails before, as you will pick up the skills quickly with expert coaching and guidance. All you need is to be fit for regular running, to have a sense of humour, and to love the outdoors. We will teach you the rest, and you are guaranteed a great holiday that you won't forget for a very long time, as well as having a lot of fun.
You are led and coached by a Personal Trainer, who is also an International Mountain Leader. Most importantly they will be a passionate trail runner who has competed in plenty of Alpine ultra running races, possibly even the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc. You are led by a genuine expert in ultra-trail running.
Dates: these are listed in the column on the right, and they show the live availability from our secure online booking system. When you book online, you receive immediate confirmation, your Alpine Information Booklet, course specific kit list and invoice.

Run on spectacular trails

Coached by UTMB finisher

Run on real mountain ter
Marathon du Mont Blanc week & UTMB week
If you book on our June running week at the end of June, you have the amazing opportunity to watch or even participate in one of the Marathon du Mont Blanc race events which include; vertical kilometer, 10km, 23km, marathon, or 80km. The events are scheduled on the Friday to Sunday. Click on website link for details.
On the last week of September, you overlap with the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc race series week, with the main UTMB set off on the Friday evening. The atmosphere in Chamonix this week is electric! We always try and ensure that this week you are led by a UTMB finisher, so they can give you all the race gossip.
Key learning points & features of our courses

Five full days of trail running coaching, led by top qualified mountain running professionals
Training provided by a UTMB, CCC, TDS, Tor des Geants, Chamonix Marathon finisher
Town centre accommodation in Chamonix for the week, on a B&B basis
Learn how to plan a trail run in terms of navigation, timings, and safety
Advanced gait analysis to improve mountain running efficiency, and performance
Coaching from a qualified Personal Trainer, to develop future plans
Focus talks during week to inspire you for the future; 'Running the UTMB' & 'Tor des Geants'
Advice from industry experts on clothing, equipment, and mountain running safety
Not only will you enjoy a week of running on some of the best trails in the Chamonix region, but you will have gain a huge amount of tips and advice for performance guidance, efficiency of gait, mountain techniques, and safety skills, so you leave the week feeling more inspired and better informed about trail running than ever before.
Our trail running trips in the press

Brief Course Itinerary
Chamonix is blessed with hundreds of kilometers of trails over all types of terrain, from forest tracks to high alpages and mountain passes, and so the itinerary can be flexed on any day to take account of weather conditions, to ensure that you sample the best on offer. The itinerary below is to provide you with a taster of what you could achieve, and isn't fixed in stone. As far as the distances run each day, we advertise c. 15 - 20km each day, though try and select routes to cater for people to opt out of sections if they would like an easier day. We aren't expecting you to be mountain running machines, just a great spirit of loving the mountains, and wanting to give it a go. Speed is nothing. Enjoyment is everything! Many clients come back year after year to repeat this Alpine trail running week, but they need never repeat a trail they have run before.
Travel to Chamonix to arrive for the 17:00 check-in followed by and course safety and itinerary briefings. There is time for kit checks or rental of equipment (see inclusions below for what you are provided as part of the course price). Briefings are over by 18:00 and the Chamonix hosts accompany the group to pre-dinner drinks. Some clients opt to travel out a day or two early to get their hill legs back and to explore the town. Night in Chamonix.
A classic warm up trail run in Chamonix, such as up to the Plan d'Aiguille and to Montenvers, then the option of running down to Chamonix, or taking the train. The key focus of the day is to develop different running techniques for varied terrain types. Night in Chamonix.
Equipment and clothing choice and its selection - footwear, poles, bags, compression kit.
Highlight - running the amazing balcony trail overlooking the whole Chamonix valley.
Today the focus is on key mountain skills for trail running, and so the day is spent mountain walking / running , with a focus on navigation techniques and acclimatisation issues. Typically this is a fairly long hill day in the Aiguilles Rouges nature reserve. Night in Chamonix.
Mountain navigation for running routes, using GPS, maps & compass - NNAS syllabus.
Highlight - gaining autonomy skills hiking and running in unspoiled stunning scenery.
We take the picturesque Mont Blanc express train from Chamonix to Vallorcine, and run a section of the Chamonix Mont Blanc marathon to Montroc or further to Le Tour. Alternatives are to traverse the Col du Salenton, or run up to summit Mont Buet. Night in Chamonix.
Focus on injury avoidance, and common first aid scenarios - planning, stretching, triage.
Highlight - running over the Aiguillette des Posettes with Mont Blanc ahead of you.
Often a day running in Italy or Switzerland, to run on sections of the UTMB race route. This day will provide you really different views of the Mont Blanc massif, and the experience of running in a different country. You will be fully involved in the day's route planning. Night in Chamonix.
Focus on pacing, timings, effects of gradient, and terrain factors - personal plans.
Highlight - experience running on a section of the legendary UTMB trail race route!
A longer trail run, up to a half marathon in length, to really put all the elements together that you have learnt over the week. Typically the route taken would follow that of the Cross du Mont Blanc, the annual half marathon event. Descend by cable car. Night in Chamonix!
The icing on the cake after all the efforts for the week - run a half mountain marathon.
Highlight - completing a half marathon across the mountains on rough Alpine trails.
Breakfast then the accommodation check out is by 10:00. Most arrange their airport transfers to leave around this time, to catch a flight from Geneva about midday. Depart for home.

ITINERARY NOTES: Where possible we follow itineraries. Mountain adventures are weather and conditions dependant, so occasionaly we are forced to alter the plans. If this is the case, suitable alternatives are offered. Please use this outline itinerary as a guide to the types of route / activity that you will attempt.
Course Prices
Standard course
5 full days UIMLA guiding, 1:6 max ratio
7 days holiday in total, Sunday-Saturday
Live availability
Click on the planner logo to the right to
see the real time live course availability
Latest Availability
Secure online booking system
Inclusions: 1) UIMLA guide for five days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) Pre course information booklet, 4) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 5) Six nights B&B accommodation in Chamonix (inc. bedding & towels), 6) Free 36 page technical Course Instruction Booklet, 7) Road / train transport in Chamonix valley, 8) Logistics support and several optional evening instruction sessions.
Exclusions: 1) Travel to and from Chamonix, 2) Personal laundry, telephone calls, lunches, evening meals, & any purchases in mountain huts / hotels / restaurants, 3) Cable cars and mountain uplift, 4) Road transport outside the Chamonix valley (not usually required), 5) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Cham Trail Running
  • [ 1 ] 20 - 26 Aug 2017
  • [ 0 ] 3 - 9 Sep 2017
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Price: £699 Book online

Preparatory trips
Intro Fell Run weekend

Personal trainer session

Bob Graham guided
1st time Ultra weekend

Gran Canaria trail run

Next trips
Alps winter trail running
Alpine Skyrunning
Running trips in the press
Sunday Times
Client feedback

I had been on several running camps before, but this far exceeded my other experiences in terms of how much I learned and how it was tailored to me

Grant W , Trail Running

Thank you for looking after me so well. This was an amazing week, where I achieved so much. I never thought I could do this sort of thing, but now I am hooked

Alison H , Trail Running

The level of personal training, attention to detail, and local knowledge, of our coach was second to none. Thanks

Susie B , Trail Running
Press & media
Films & videos
Photo gallery
We wrote the book on it...
Published by Cicerone Press,
by Kingsley our head trail running guide & trainer

40 routes inc UTMB, Vertical KM, Chamonix 80km, CCC

Click to buy!
Trip photo gallery
A photo gallery of images shot on our Chamonix Trail Running courses and races in the Mont Blanc massif, so you can see the range of terrain and amazing landscapes you will run in.
Location data for this trip
The majority of our trail runs are based in the Chamonix valley in the French Alps. It is also easy to access the Valais region of Switzerland or the Aosta Valley region of Italy, as these involve less than an hours drive. There is a great choice of trail running venues in all these regions.
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
Pro Trailer Original poles
We stock these innovative and unique running poles in our Windermere shop, and are the only UK stockist. They were developed specifically for trail running (though they are great for ski touring and hiking too), and only weigh in at an incredibly light 169g for the unisize 125cm pole.
We have tested these poles and find them extremely durable, and the multi-grip handle extending down the shaft reduces vibration and excels on traverses. All clients on our running courses are offered a 'try before you buy' scheme where you can test a pair, and as with all technical gear, there is a client discount. View poles on shop website; click here.
Free resources

FREE Podcast
Getting into trail running...

Trail running is a fastgrowing sport, and this podcast explains what it involves, how to get into it, and also goes through all of the equipment that is required
Download podcast (3.76 MB)
See all the Icicle podcasts

FREE Resource
Alps trail running kit list...
If you are planning on attending one of our trail running courses, you can see a kit check list of the clothing and equipment that we recommend you take.
Trail running kit advice page
Download the kit list here
Suggested reading and kit
Why choose our trips?
The photo above sums it up. All of these finisher jackets of the UTMB race series belong to our head running leader. We genuinely think that there is no other operator out there who is more credible!
There are several other operators who also offer guided trail running, and we aren't afraid to advertise that fact. Please look at their itineraries to see how they differ from ours.
We don't offer talks from 'celebrity' runners, or go in for the chardonnay in a hot tub 'lifestyle', or quasi-scientific courses. Ours are run by people who do it, not talk the talk.
The effect on our prices is that we can offer you great value. We genuinely believe that you'll spend more time actually running and in the mountains on our courses, than with anyone else.
Anyone who is leading you will be a finisher of one of the iconic trail races, such as the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, Tor du Geants or Leadville or WS100.
Author signed!
'Trail Running Chamonix and
the Mont Blanc region' link
...or the NEW book...
'Trail and Fell Running in the
Lake District'
buy a copy
by Kingsley Jones. Cicerone Press

£14.95 each
Each book has 40 trail running
routes, each with height profiles,
and full colour mapping

Features how to adapt your
running in the mountains, and
an index of where to stay

Includes famous races in each
region, e.g. UTMB, Langdale
Horseshoe and Chamonix VKM

To purchase a copy, click here

Running - Top sellers from our Windermere Lake District store - Click to shop online...
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