Runcation Travel

Guided Chamonix Mont Blanc Training Camp Runcation

Summer 2019

 

To discover the birthplace of mountain sports, look no further than Chamonix, situated at the base of the highest mountain in the Alps, Mont Blanc. In addition to various mountain disciplines, the Chamonix Valley, also called "La Vallée du Trail," is also a hub for the top trail and mountain runners of the world to train and race. Our Chamonix Traincation offers an opportunity for the experienced runner to train, race, and vacation while enjoying guided trail running tours of the best trails around Mont Blanc. Enjoy quality high altitude training for runners in a week of high mileage with enough vert to get your mountain legs back under you. No views are sacrificed this week as we combine our favorite trails and vistas around the Mont Blanc massif into 7 days. Along the way, enjoy our curated Chamonix highlights of scenic and runnable trails, comfortable mountain chalets, and favorite cappuccino and cuisine spots as we run through France, Switzerland, and Italy on this adventure.

 

Our Chamonix Runcation includes two nights in a hotel in Chamonix, France, one night in a hotel in a neighboring town, one night in a mountain refuge, and two nights in a hotel in Courmayeur, Italy. This trail covers some of the top trails in the area as well as segments of the Mont Blanc Marathon, Skyracing course, and the world famous ultramarathon Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) run each August. In addition to guided runs with experienced running coaches, this training camp includes an opportunity to discuss sports nutrition, injury prevention, gait analysis and plenty of training days. 

 

This retreat is open to runners of various paces and disciplines that are looking for an opportunity to combine travel, training, and vacationing. Your pace is not as important, but you must be able to complete 10-20 miles/day of hiking/running, including dramatic elevation gain and loss. You can find out detailed mileage and ascent/descent information in our detailed itinerary. This trip is a step up in mileage and intensity than our Dolomites Runcation. Optional 12-week training package available from an experienced running coach to ensure you're trained and ready to go for this adventure of a lifetime! Curious if this trip could be right for you? Get in touch at runcationtravel@gmail.com. We love questions!

 
 

 
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Overview

•Includes the best trails and training around Chamonix      Mont Blanc

• Guided runs up stunning mountain ranges, peaks,             and alpine meadows

• Sunrises and sunsets from charming mountain chalets

• Comfortable hotels

• Optional add-on participating in the Mont Blanc             Marathon races


 

 

• Catered high altitude training for experienced runners

• Enjoy French, Italian, and Swiss cuisine, wine, and           coffee

• Accommodates all running disciplines, from road             racers to trail runners

• Baggage transport from hut-to-hut

• Gait analysis, sports nutrition, and injury prevention         sessions


 

   Enjoy a panorama of the Mont Blanc massif on your Chamonix Training Camp Runcation

Enjoy a panorama of the Mont Blanc massif on your Chamonix Training Camp Runcation

 

Sample Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Chamonix Meet ane Greet

Our trip will start in the afternoon with a meet-and-greet and orientation meeting to meet the guides and go over the logistics and itinerary of the upcoming week! We recommend that you arrive in Chamonix early to adjust to the time change and explore the fabulous markets, trails, and atmosphere of Chamonix.

DAY 2

          Double Day in Chamonix

After breakfast at our hotel, we'll head out for a training run along the rolling hills above the valley with a chance for an optional gait analysis and drill session following. You'll have the middle of the day free to explore the bustling mountain town of Chamonix before an afternoon adventure up the famous Chamonix Vertical Kilometer, part of the International Skyrunning competitions. It covers 1000 meters of elevation gain in 3.5km, with aided sections near the top incredible views that will leave you breathless (for several reasons). After heading up, you'll have the option to take a scenic run, hike, or lift back down before enjoying an evening in town.

DAY 3

Ridge Running Special

In the morning we'll catch transport to a nearby town where we'll start our run by climbing up towards a spectacular loop of ridge running with dramatically different geology than the town of Chamonix. Our run will cover a circuit off the beaten path up mountains and ridges with green alpine valleys contrasting against snow-capped mountain. Options will range from 20km-25km on the trails today on a mixture of smooth and technical trails. The afternoon is free for you to explore the town of Les Contamines or hang out on the comfortable sun terrance at our hotel before we get ready for our mountain hut trip on the TMB the next day. 

DAY 4

TMB Highlights Day 1

After an early breakfast we'll head out the door of our hotel to start our first day running the highlights of the famous Tour du Mont Blanc, one of Europe's most famous long-distance trekking routes and the course of the Internationally renown Ultra Tour Du Mont Blanc race each August. Today we'll cover around 14 miles with 5,700 feet of elevation gain and cross over the highest point of the Tour du Mont Blanc. On the way we'll run through the Reserve Naturelle des Contamines-Montjoie, crossing streams and meadows before starting our climb up to the Col du Bonhomme and the higher Col de la Coix du Bonhomme. On clear days views are visible to Val Montjoie to the north and Vallon de la Gittaz to the southwest. Our French refuge for the evening is set in a peaceful green valley with marmots, donkeys, and quirky mountain decor.

DAY 5

          TMB Highlights Day 2

On the route today we'll cross over from France into Italy and make our way towards once of the most scenic rifugios on the tour which sits on a spur overlooking the Vallon de la Lée Blanche. Today's stretch is one of the most spectacular as we descend into the Val Veny where views and Italian cappucinos await. We'll cover 15 miles with over 4,000 feet of elevation gain before descending into our home base for the next two evenings, the famous Italian mountain town of Courmayeur, for aperol spritz, Italian cuisine, and gelato.

DAY 6

Courmayeur Circuit

We start off today's day trip from town along one of the most scenic sections of the TMB. After a big climb out of town, we're greeted by smooth single track with a backdrop of the chain of Mont Blanc, from Col de la Seigne to Col Ferret. Our destination for food and beverages is s special rifugio before continuing the trail back to Courmayeur. After an afternoon where you're free to relax, explore, or adventure around Courmayeur, we continue our theme of meals at rifigios with excellent cuisine and views by heading back up to a different mountain view for dinner. Our final evening promises to be a real treat as we take a cable car up to a colorful Italian rifugio for a spectacular dinner with a view of Monte Bianco and the surrounding mountains.

DAY 7

Courmayeur to Chamonix

After a quick loop on the trails to explore more sections above Courmayeur, we'll catch our final transport back to Chamonix. We'll reach Chamonix by the afternoon where we say our goodbyes with new friends and tons of memories.  If you wish to continue your stay in Courmayeur or Chamonix or add on more guided day tours, we can help you arrange those as well!

 
   Enjoy a cappucino break with a view on your trail run

Enjoy a cappucino break with a view on your trail run

 

What’s included

Roundtrip transportation from our first day to the end of the trip

All accommodations and bookings 

Trip logistics of route planning, lodging, and transportation reservations

A 8:1 ratio of guide to participants

Baggage transport from hut-to-hut on our days on the TMB

Knowledgable guide and running coach along the entire route

Breakfast and three-course dinner at the mountain refuge

 

Not included

International airfare

Alcoholic beverages and meals 

Travel Insurance

Lift tickets up to the final dinner in Courmayeur


Who should attend?

If you're an experienced runner or athlete in good health, this Chamonix Runcation Training Camp is for you. This vacation is perfect for:

  • runners training for UTMB, Mont Blanc marathon, or European trail races
  • trail or mountain runners looking for a week of quality training and vacationing on guided trails
  • road racers, track, cross country, and trail runners looking for an introduction to mountain running training
  • athletes of all disciplines that are healthy and in good fitness looking for summer altitude training on soft surfaces and high mileage

Book Early

Rooms are first come, first served. To secure your spot and participation in the Mont Blanc Marathon races, booking is required by October 1st. Otherwise the booking window closes February 1.