Background

Courmayeur, Italy is the starting point for this running adventure. Stooped in climbing, trail running and skiing history it's a beautiful town nestled at the foot of Monte Bianco. The main part of the town is pedestrianised and it's here that you will meet the team and head for dinner before the adventure really starts the following day. The next day we start the run out of Courmayeur and you will quickly be leaving pavements behind and up onto the steep trails that lead to the refuge Elisabetta, along a similar route to that of the TMB (but in reverse). Having run 17km and already ascended 900m you probably deserve a coffee break! From here the path turns off the TMB route and towards our first and highest col of the whole route, the Col Chavannes (2603m), From here you will get far reaching views back down the Valley Veni down towards Courmayeur as well as of Monte Bianco as well as the route ahead of you and your next high point at the Col du petit Saint-Bernard. Before that we run down a long gentle descent through the wilderness of the Vallon de Chavannes’ pastures, a welcome relief to the previous steep climb. One more climb up to the Col and it's time for another brief stop. The Col has been used since Neolithic times, more recently a site to a hospice built in 1000 AD and then also in the World Wars. Frome here we continue our journey into France and make our final descent for the day down into Bourg Saint-Maurice following an old Roman way which links Lyon with Rome.

A good night's sleep following a hearty dinner you'll feel ready to tackle the next day. Day 1 is around 50km and +2,600m height gain, today, Day 2 is less distance but still 3,250m ascent! The run starts as more of a quick hike, we ascend almost 2,000m over 12km. This is where the running poles will probably come in handy. At least the scenery is enough to keep you going, passing lakes and forts as well as the mountain ranges that sit above the big ski resorts of La Plagne, Les Arcs, Tignes and Val D'Isere, until finally you arrive at the second highest point on the route; Passeur de Pralognan (2567m). From there you descend steeply at first to the Cormet de Roselend which sits above the town of Beaufort, famous for its cheese. From here there is still around 26km left to go before our next night's accommodation at Les Contamines, but the good news is you have done most of the ascent. Another col and then down into the hamlet of La Gitte before a steep ascent of 700m up to the Col de Gitte (2322m). If the weather is good you are promised fantastic views over the Chaîne des Aravis and Chaîne des Fiz as well as Mont Blanc, at the foot of which is the next and final day's destination; Chamonix. From the last col of the day, Col du Joly there is a lovely 8km run down to Les Contamines, and a well-deserved rest at the next night's hotel.

Day 3, the final day takes you back along some of the TMB route and its variants. The first climb takes you past the Chalet de Miage, which sits beneath the impressive snow covered Dôme de Miage and then onto the Col du Tricot, the high point of this last day at 2120m. A suspended footbridge takes you over the snout of the Bionnassay Glacier which stretches up towards the normal climbing route up Mont Blanc. On the other side and the trail continues onto Bellevue. From here it really is downhill all the way to Les Houches with the Mont Blanc massif reaching up into the sky on your right. The last 7km of trail gently winds through pine forest and onto the historic church square in the centre of Chamonix. It's finished! An amazing achievement and time to celebrate!

Accommodation & Transport

Accommodation for the first 3 nights, starting in Courmayeur, are in small village hotels. The last night, and the final destination for the trip, is in Chamonix which will be in the 4* spa hotel at Les Aiglons including breakfast on both mornings. It’s located in the centre of Chamonix. Amenities include the spa (treatments at extra cost) which has a heated outdoor pool and sauna, the hotel also has an outdoor space to relax in and free WiFi.  All accommodation is based on a twin room sharing basis unless you request single occupancy, which if available will be at extra cost. Evening meal is included on the first evening (from a set menu) at a restaurant in Courmayeur. For the 3 stages there will be a mixture of village hotels and possibly mountain refuges, these will include breakfast and evening meals as well as packed lunch. Transport during the holiday will be provided where needed. Transport to and from Geneva to Courmayeur / Chamonix can be booked via one of the many minibus operators that provide a regular shuttle service.

Ability

This trip is 3 days of running with an average of around 25 miles / 40km per day. This is a tough route and requires you to have completed one of our other adventures in order to participate. You will 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. You will need to be in top physical shape to take on this challenge as we move together as a team and have a fair bit of ground to cover. The reward though is high as you will have accomplished one of the hardest courses in this part of the Alps.  The trails on the TDS route cannot be underestimated, and therefore it's important to do some training before you arrive, particularly multi-day hikes, have run marathon distance in 3.5 hours or less and have 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.

Timing & Location

France and Italy. July - September

What's Included

  • First night evening meal in Courmayeur included (from set menu)
  • Overnight accommodation on the first night in Courmayeur and en route (based on twin room sharing or small dormitory, supplement for single room)
  • Final night's accomodation in Chamonix in a 4* spa hotel at the end of the trip (based on twin sharing)
  • Bag transport to each day’s end destination.
  • Packed lunch everyday and refreshment points where feasible en route
  • Evening meals and breakfast, except for the evening meal 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
  • 75 miles / 119km of some of stunning mountain scenery

What's Not Included

  • Drinks at the accommodation or additional main meals
  • Personal insurance (required)
  • Transfers to/from Geneva to Courmayeur / 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  
30th June 2017 04th July 2017 3 Running 75 C3, C4 4 €1230 / £1025* Register Interest Register Interest

Availability

  • Register Interest – register your details to find out more about this trip and future dates it will likely run.
  • Guaranteed – this trip is available but has also reached the minimum number to guarantee it running.
  • Available – the trip is available – please go ahead and book!
  • Few remaining – limited space left on the trip - sign up quick!

*£ price based off £/€ exchange rate @ 1.20