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Self-guided trail running 2017
Alpine trail running and famous ultra-trail race recces
Trip overview

As well as offering a wide range of guided trail running, there is a rapid growth in self-guided trail running, for those wishing to navigate themselves along the trails at their own speed. We offer self-guided trail race recces for the most famous running events in the Mont Blanc massif.
Currently we offer self-guided race recces for the following events; UTMB, TDS, CCC, OCC, 80km du Mont Blanc, and Marathon du Mont Blanc. We provide a detailed race notes 'road book', a GPX file for GPS units, a map, accommodation booking(s) in your name, baggage storage, logistics support, and a briefing from one of our trail running guiding team in Chamonix.
The days are planned to run between a half marathon and marathon distance each day in the mountains, so these trips are physically demanding, and are designed for those with the pre-requisite experience for one of the events whose route they are recce'ing.
If you've got any queries about these trips, then please get in touch, and speak with one of our team who actually have done all of these races. There's not many companies who have staff on their team, who can promote that - in fact we can't think of any others at all.
Dates: Our itinerary can start on any day that you choose, so decide what day you would like to start your trek, and get in touch with us by e-mail. We upload a private self-guided trip onto our booking system, and then you can book and pay securely online. You receive an immediate e-confirmation and kit list. You receive your trip detailed itinerary and route notes etc in Chamonix at the briefing.

Brief trip itineraries
The list below shows the race recces that we currently offer a self-guided option for. We have developed this list over the years, to cater for the growing demand. If there's an Alpine trail running race that isn't featured below, the chances are that it's been organised before as a bespoke trip, and we can make it happen, so get in touch. These are the most popular self-guided trail running recces...

UTMB: Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
Duration: 6 days, with 4 days running
Price: £149 for 1-3 people, £199 for 4-6 people, £249 for 7+ people
Accommodation: 3 nights on route, with 2 nights in Chamonix (1 at either end)
Route: run the full UTMB, stating from Chamonix, via St Gervais, Contamines, Chapieux, Courmayeur, Arnuva, Fouly, Champex, Trient, Tseppes, Vallorcine, Flegere, Chamonix.

Day 1 - Travel to Chamonix to arrive for full briefings on kit and huts. Night spent in Chamonix.

Day 2
- D+ 1577m, D- 1434m, 31.5km. Start in Chamonix, and run to Les Houches, then ascend Col de Voza, and down to Saint Gervais, then river tracks to reach Contamines.

Day 3 - D+ 2387m, D- 2755m, 46.9km. Run up Col Bonhomme & descend to Chapieux. Then over Col de la Seigne, down to Combal, before the last climb to Checroui, and the steep descent into Courmayeur.

Day 4 - D+ 3247m, D- 2928m, 41.7km. Ascend to Bertoni and Mont Saxe to Bonatti, over Grand Col Ferret into Switzerland, via La Fouly and Issert, then up to Champex.

Day 5 - D+ 2559m, D- 2653m, 42.9km. Ascend to Bovine, down to Trient, then over Col de Balme, down to Vallorcine, up to Tete aux Vents, then descend from Flegere to Chamonix.

Day 6 - Breakfast & depart

  TDS: Traces des Ducs du Savoie
Duration: 5 days, with 3 days running
Price: £149 for 1-3 people, £199 for 4-6 people, £249 for 7+ people
Accommodation: 2 nights on route, with 2 nights in Chamonix (1 at either end)
Route: run from Courmayeur, via the Petite St Bernard pass to Bourg St Maurice, then over the mountains to Cormet de Roselend, Les Contamines, Col de Tricot, and Chamonix.
  CCC: Courmayeur, Champex, Chamonix

Option 1 - Express (c.50km / day)
Duration
: 2 days, with 2 days running
Price: £149 for 1-3 people, £199 for 4-6 people, £249 for 7+ people
Accommodation: 1 night on route, fly in on Sat early AM and fly out on Sun evening
Route: run from Courmayeur, via Bonatti, Grand Col Ferret, La Fouly, Champex, Bovine, Trient, Tseppes, Vallorcine, Tete aux Vents, Flegere, and Chamonix.


Option 2 - Leisurely (c.33km / day)
Duration
: 5 days, with 3 days running
Price: £149 for 1-3 people, £199 for 4-6 people, £249 for 7+ people
Accommodation: 2 nights on route, with 2 nights in Chamonix (1 at either end)
Route: run from Courmayeur, via Bonatti, Grand Col Ferret, La Fouly, Champex, Bovine, Trient, Tseppes, Vallorcine, Tete aux Vents, Flegere, and Chamonix.
  OCC: Orsierres, Champex, Chamonix
Duration: 4 days, with 2 days running
Price: £149 for 1-3 people, £199 for 4-6 people, £249 for 7+ people
Accommodation: 1 night on route, with 2 nights in Chamonix (1 at either end)
Route: run from Orsierres, via
Champex, Bovine, Trient, Tseppes, Vallorcine, Tete aux Vents, Flegere, and Chamonix.
  80km du Mont Blanc, Chamonix
Duration: 4 days, with 2 days running
Price: £149 for 1-3 people, £199 for 4-6 people, £249 for 7+ people
Accommodation: 1 night on route, with 2 nights in Chamonix (1 at either end)
Route:
run from Chamonix, vie Le Brevent, Flegere, Col des Montets, Le Buet, Tre les Eaux, Emosson, Loriaz, Vallorcine, Posettes, Argentiere, Montenvers, and Chamonix.
  Marathon du Mont Blanc, Chamonix
Duration: 4 days, with 2 days running
Price: £149 for 1-3 people, £199 for 4-6 people, £249 for 7+ people
Accommodation: 1 night on route, with 2 nights in Chamonix (1 at either end)
Route:
run from Chamonix, via Argentiere, Montroc, Col des Montets, Vallorcine, Posettes, Le Tour, Tre le Champ, Flegere, Planpraz, and Chamonix.
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.
Inclusions. Please print out this whole page for reference on your trip.
Booking of the mountain hut and valley accommodation in your name. Local information sheets, with details about the region and key sights.
A new map of the region, for you to keep even after your trek is finished. Briefing on arrival about the route and kit to take, from a UIMLA guide.
The detailed Icicle route information cards, so you know where to go. Free baggage storage in Chamonix, for the days you are out trekking.
Language cards with key phrases, so you can communicate confidently. 24 hour in-resort emergency contact and queries support throughout.
Emergency procedure and mountain rescue card, in case of an incident. Discount voucher for use in our Windermere store / online purchases.
Exclusions. Travel to Chamonix, all accommodation / food / lodging costs (i.e. price of the half board stay in mountain hut or accommodation), activities & travel insurance, equipment hire, all other costs as required.
Cost notes. The accommodation in Chamonix at either end of the trek can be in accommodation of any style to suit your budget, from youth hostel / gite to a four star hotel. The cheapest accommodation is c.£40 pppn for B&B, and the more expensive hotels are c.£100 pppn. On the nights in mountain huts you should budget for c.£40 pppn for half board (evening meal and breakfast). Packed lunches can be ordered in huts for c.£5 per day. Cable cars, buses and taxis are not required for these itineraries, but if you choose to use them, then you need to budget accordingly.
Current course availability

This trip is operated on
demand, & the price is
a total (not per person)
for groups of 1 up to 4.
Contact us to upload a
bespoke trip for you to
book securely online.
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Preparatory trips
Intro Fell Run weekend

Personal trainer session

Alternatives
1st time Ultra weekend
Chamonix trail running

Gran Canaria trail run

Next trips
Alps winter trail running
Alpine Skyrunning
Running trips in the press
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Genuine feedback
Hi Emma,

I wanted to say a big THANK YOU to the Icicle team for helping me with the UTMB recce. run last week.

The alps are really hilly! The weather was fantastic and the organisation was great. Special thanks for the help in resort and advice on the route - you had me going for just the right distances each day and chose some great huts. (although Bonhomme was bl**dy freezing!) - the shorter day on thursday was a nice and gave me time for apple pie on route.

I am inspired to go back and run the route again - although I am not sure how anyone runs up some of those climbs.

Best Wishes,

Darren.
Location data for this trip
The meeting point for this trip is in the Chamonix valley in the French Alps.
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
UTMB Col du Bonhomme in snow
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.
UTMB running to the finish line
 
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
 

 
 
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