The Tour du Mont Blanc is the most beautiful trail I have ever run…or so people tell me. Most of this rugged ribbon of singletrack I have only seen at night, while deep in a gel fueled haze while racing the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc. I’ve seen hallucinations on the trail and seen others vomit, I’ve felt the intense spirit of sport, but I’ve never seen much of the grander this place has to offer. I dream of someday doing the TMB the slow down and sip the espresso way. I’d love to soak in the afternoon sun at Refuge Bonatti, or grab a Coke at Champex-Lac, I’d love to chat with the caretakers at the refuges, or take time to just sit quietly and breathe in the alpine inspiration of the high country.
Photos by Patitucci Photo
In the words of Amelia Earhart, “Adventure is worthwhile in itself.” While we can’t all be the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic, we can give ourselves opportunities to see the world and be inspired by its natural beauty. A few days after the 2017 UTMB I was lucky enough to join the Run the Alps season end party. Run the Alps organizes and guides running adventures in The Alps. That evening as I listened to runners tell about their ten day loop of Mont Blanc, I realized I had missed so much of the trail and the inspiration this place has to offer. I heard about sunset vertical kilometers, naps taken in the alpine sun, villages explored, the incredible guides, and the friends made. The stories made me realize I had only scratched the surface of this mountain and had not even touched the full experience of the alps. As I fell asleep in Chamonix that night I wondered where the 100’s of trails that split off from the TMB go. This year, I’m going to find out. The TMB is just mile one. Go explore the Alps.
If you want a guided tour, some help with a self guided tour or just a bit more information check out Runthealps.com