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Chamonix winter trail running 2017
Trail running weekend in the Mont Blanc massif
Course overview

Trail running is seeing a huge growth of people getting into this amazing sport. We have been offering Alpine trail running camps for several years in the summer months, and are now delighted to offer them in the winter too, for those addicted to the sport.
Our winter trail running weekends 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 weekends 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 weekend of winter trail running, we aim to teach you the key safety skills for route planning and Alpine running, with a focus on the selection of appropriate equipment and how to develop your training plans for trail running.
Don't worry if you have never run on winter 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 all the skills you need.
During this weekend you will have the opportunity to try snowshoe running, as this is a great crossover sport that enables you to get further into the backcountry. Snowshoe loan is included in the price. You are guaranteed a great holiday that you will never forget.
On these courses you are coached by a leader who is qualified both as a Personal Trainer and International Mountain Leader (snowshoe guide). During the weekend you will run on prepared trails, and also on untracked terrain, to experience the best of winter Alpine 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.
Key learning points & features of this trip

Two full days of winter 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 weekend, 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
Experience winter snowshoe running, to access deeper snow and backcountry areas
Focus talks during weekend 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 weekend of winter running on some of the best snow trails in the Chamonix region, but you will have gain a huge amount of tips and advice for performance guidance, efficiency of gait, mountain and safety skills, so you leave feeling more inspired and better informed about trail running than ever before.
Bespoke winter running guiding

If you aren't sure about doing a full weekend, or are on holiday in the region and would like a taster day, then get in touch to arrange a day of winter trail running. This is a great option if you are out in the Alps on a week long trip or multi-activity holiday, and want to try something really different. A day of bespoke guiding for between 1 to 4 people costs from £150 for the day, depending on the objectives and experience.

One of the things that we like the most about winter trail running, is that it can be done every single day of the winter, and in all conditions from deep fresh powder (see photo above), through to hard packed snow trails. Just let us know what type of running you are looking for, and we'll make it happen for you! Our local knowledge and experience are second to none for winter trail running.

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. After each day in the itinerary is an outline of the key teaching focus points for every day, so you get a real idea of what you can learn about. We get many clients who come back year after year to repeat our Alpine trail running camps, as they need never repeat a trail they have run before.
  Friday
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). You will meet your guide at the briefing (if they aren't doing it), and they can chat through your previous experience, running background, and aspirations for the weekend. They will discuss with you the current conditions, and if they require you to run with an avalanche beacon (provided if required) during the weekend. 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 on a B&B basis.
Saturday
After breakfast you meet up with your guide, normally at around 09:00am, to allow enough time for you to digest your breakfast. They will brief you on the latest weather and conditions, and provide any extra equipment that may be required, such as snowshoes. A typical run is to take the picturesque Mont Blanc express train from Chamonix to Vallorcine, and run on winter forest trails in the lower Berard valley and around Les Granges. Another option is the trail run up to the Loriaz Refuge. As well as running, you will learn a lot of key skills such as pacing, using poles, and (possibly) the use of snowshoes. For winter trail running, there are a whole host of changes to make in terms of techniques, clothing, nutrition, and the safe selection of a route. Night in Chamonix on a B&B basis.
Sunday
A longer winter trail run, up to a half marathon in length, to really put all the elements together that you have learnt over the week. Typically in the Italian Val Ferret, where you run up to the Bonatti mountain hut, situated at over 2000m. In the fresh snow, this is a stunning viewpoint, and the Malatra valley is often in runable condition, to allow you to run / speed walk all the way to the viewpoint of the Pas Entre Deux Sauts, which offers unforgettable views across to the huge south face of Mont Blanc. You will learn more about avalanche awareness, and the safe choice of routes in winter condition, as well as how to move quickly and run on snowshoes, and the techniques involved. Depending on temperatures and conditions, you might run to 2500m in altitude. Return to Chamonix, and depart.
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
2 full days UIMLA guiding, 1:4 max ratio
3 days holiday in total, Friday-Sunday
£299
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 two days, 2) Chamonix course hosts for logistics & briefings, 3) Pre course information booklet, 4) Equipment discount voucher for UK shops, 5) Two nights B&B accommodation in the Chamonix valley (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, 9) Equipment hire of poles, and snowshoes if required.
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 (not normally required), 4) Activities insurance, & excess baggage charges.
Discounts: If you prefer to organise your own accommodation, whether for an upgrade or extension, we discount the course price by £100 for you. Please let us know if you intend to do this before you book, so we ensure that the booking system only charges you £199 in total.
Current course availability

Course Dates
Winter Trail Running
  • No Dates Available
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Price: £299 Book online

Preparatory trips
Intro Fell Run weekend

Personal trainer session

Alternatives
Bob Graham guided
1st time Ultra weekend

Chamonix Trail running

Next trips
Gran Canaria trail run
Alpine Skyrunning
Client feedback

A fantastic trip. Thank you so much for looking after me so well, whilst challenging me so much. Brilliant

Tina C , Winter Trail Running

We had really enjoyed your Summer trail running camp, and couldn't wait until the next year for more. This weekend was even better and inspirational

A & D , Winter Trail Running
Testimonials
Press & media
Films & videos
Photo gallery
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 winter trail running venues...
Time Difference
GMT +1hr
Local Currency
€ Euros
Travel from UK
1hr flight
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 trail running camps, 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.
 

NEW book out! - Trail Running
Chamonix and the Mont Blanc region

Kingsley Jones. April 2016. Cicerone Press. ISBN 9781852848002

Available direct from Icicle Windermere, or you can order
online;
click here. Author signed copies available. £14.95
240 pages, with 40 trail running routes, each
with height profiles, and 1:100k scale mapping

Features routes in France, Switzerland and
Italy, & how to adapt your running in the Alps

Includes the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, and
Marathon du Mont Blanc, for race recces

As featured in Trail Running Magazine and
in Marathon Talk, and on Cicerone Extra
 

 
 
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