24th-30th August: Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
Every year at the end of August, the world of trail running descends on Chamonix for a week of endurance foot races. This year, four individual races and a team challenge will cross seven valleys, 71 glaciers and 400 summits!
The week culminates with the epic individual Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc.
Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
The original and the superlative. The race circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif, and crosses three countries, starting from Chamonix and crossing through Switzerland and Italy, across 168km and 9600m of positive height gain.
CCC – Courmayer-Champex-Chamonix
While it is considered to be the ‘little sister’ of the UTMB, the CCC is certainly challenging in its own right, with 101km and 6100m of positive height gain to contend with, and since its creation in 2006 the race has become as popular as the UTMB. The course forms a half-loop of Mont Blanc, starting on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc tunnel and ending in Chamonix.
TDS – sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie
The TDS is a more technical route which crosses the Aosta valley in Italy, as well as the Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions of France, across 119 km and with 7250m of positive height gain. Another half-loop of Mont Blanc, this race also starts in Courmayeur, Italy, before entering the Upper Tarentaise region and heading back up to Chamonix,
PTL – Petite Trotte à Léon
This non-competitive, team event is a total adventure. Much of the course lies above 2500m and is undertaken in total autonomy, with only GPS waypoints provided for navigation. The race can take up 141 hours – longer than all the other maximum race times combined – and is 300km long, with 28,000m of positive height gain!
OCC – Orsières-Champex-Chamonix
This new race was added to the UTMB events last year in 2014. The OCC starts in Switzerland and crosses the Franco-Swiss border and offers an opportunity for trail runners who don’t have the qualification points for the other races to be part of the UTMB festivities. 53km, 3,300m positive height gain.