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Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

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New York City, New...
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Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

So I am considering doing the Tour du Mont Blanc right after the North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc in Aug/Sept 2012. I was planning on arriving in Chamonix on 1 Sept and setting off on the TMB on 3 Sept. I was thinking of arriving early to experience some of the atmosphere surrounding the event... but then only setting off on my trek after the event was over. So (a) is the atmosphere in Chamonix for the event worth the extra time? and (b) is it unrealistic to expect to set off on the TMB the day after the festivities around the event end? Thanks for your help!

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1. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

Hi, I run a trekking business based in Chamonix, live and work there all year round and regularly guide the TMB during the summer & I am also a keen ultra trailer so know a bit about the UTMB.

In answer to both of your questions... a) If you can get out for the start of the race Friday & for the weekend to watch people finishing its a good idea, great atmosphere, lots of things going on... its a must.

b) no problem starting your TMB as the event finishes, its business as usual as the race passes. September is in my view the best times of year to complete the Tour du Mont Blanc, generally settled weather, quieter trails & accommodation.

Enjoy!

Sara Haley, Mont Blanc Treks

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2. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

Thank you so much for your response, Sara -- this is extremely helpful! I will look into your organization and I hope I'll see you guys later on this year!

Chamonix, France
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3. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

It is defiantly worth being here for the Ultra trail or UTMB as it is know. The atmosphere is fantastic and watching the runners come through Les Houches at the start and then across the finish in Chamonix is a great experience.

I live here and go to see these guys and girls every year, it's an incredible achievement to run that sort of distance, as you will find out when you hike it in 7 - 10 days !

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4. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

Hello, I'm also wondering how it would be walking the TMB around the time that the Ultra-Trail is run... We were thinking of starting around August 25th or 26th, so just a few days before the race. Is it still possible to walk the trail on the days that the runners are there? And will there be problems finding accommodation en route, or is it only Chamonix that gets busy? Thanks for your help!

chamonix
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5. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

Hello. The route is not closed while the Utmb is on. I ran it last year and remember seeing many people hiking. However, there are around 2,500 people who run the Utmb and another few thousand who set off from Courmayeur so depending where you are when they go past you could spend all day "letting people by" which wouldn't be much fun.

Jim

Chamonix, France
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6. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

I agree with the first response. We also run hiking holidays in the area and regularly do the TMB and have also raced the race and finished 3 times. That is the best time of year to do the walk with fewer crowds but the weather is normally still good, and the atmosphere of the race during that weekend in Chamonix is great. You can also go to some of the nearby towns on the route while the race is one to catch the atmosphere there. There are athletes everywhere, the races are staggered to start and end on different dates - so you can see parts of several races all day (and night) long. The trek route is not closed before, during or after the race. The racers do not stay in any of the normal huts you would use (they just run straight through without stopping and any rest areas are constructed in tents by the race organisation) so there is no problem with over-bookings etc..

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7. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

Where is the best place to stay in Chamonix if y husband and I will be there if my son runs the 2013 UTMB?

chamonix
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8. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

I think it's best to stay in Chamonix centre. You are able to see the start and finish easily and the transport that is organized specially for the UTMB is all based around Chamonix centre too.

Book as soon as your son finds out if he is running because Chamonix fills up fast for this week!

Jim

Edited: 12 August 2012, 08:03
London
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9. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

Definitely book early! I must say, though, that there are definite minus points to staying right in Chamonix town centre when the UTMB is on, not the least of which is the horrendous music that goes on 24/7 for 3 days over speakers in the whole town. I'd aim to be close by for transport etc as recommended - but not too close as it's nice to be able to get away from the crowds and noise.

10. Re: Chamonix During Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc

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