Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc 2018

In just a few weeks time, Chamonix will be filled to the brim with ultra-runners and spectators for the biggest event of the year, the UTMB or Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.

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For those of you not familiar with this event, it’s actually made up of not one, but seven trail running events of varying length and difficulty. Each race has a set number of participants that are allowed to enter, and for the big races, the runners will have had to score points from completing other qualifying races to allow them to enter.

This year’s UTMB takes place from 27th August – 2nd September 2018

The Mont Blanc Massif is the central point around which the races take place and its steep valleys and mountains are incredibly challenging, which is what brings the world’s best ultra runners back here year after year. Never mind taking a week to walk the Tour du Mont Blanc, these races circumnavigate Europe’s highest mountain in the fastest times humanly possible.

PTL


The Races

UTMB®: The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc – This is the big daddy of all the races which sees crowds of people lining the streets of Chamonix to see the runners set off. A lot of this race takes place overnight, spanning three countries, with the winner crossing the line in around 19 hours. The remainder have up to 46 hours to get their tired legs over the finish line, which is where the cheering fans really help to keep them going to the end.

171 km & 10,000 m of vertical gain – 2300 runners – Starts on Friday at 18:00 in Chamonix – 46:30 hours max Video


TDS®: Sur Les Traces des Ducs de Savoie – This race starts in Italy just on the other side of Mont Blanc and takes in the Beaufort, Tarentaise and Aosta valleys, which once upon a time formed the Savoie state (hence the name). Setting off from Courmayeur they head south and over the border into France before turning north towards Les Contamines and back to Chamonix. Expect to see the winners arrive back in Chamonix around 14.5 hours after setting off.

122 km & 7300 m of vertical gain – 1600 runners – Starts on Wednesday at 06:00 in Courmayeur – 33 hours max Video

TDS


CCC®: Courmayeur Champex Chamonix – The CCC follows a lot of the same route as the UTMB race, but starts in Italy before crossing into Switzerland and back to Chamonix. Even though it’s 70km shorter than the UTMB, it’s still a huge challenge with a lot of vertical. The winner will cross the finish line in around 10 hours.

101 km & 6100 m of vertical gain – 1900 runners – Starts on Friday at 09:00 in Courmayeur – 26:30 hours max Video


OCCOrsières Champex Chamonix – Middle of the road in terms of length and vertical this race sets off from Orsières in Switzerland and passes through Trient before heading back into the Chamonix valley. The winner will take just 5 hours to cross the finish line in this ‘medium’ sized ultra race.

56 km & 3500 m of vertical gain – 1200 runners – Starts on Thursday at 08:15 in Orsières – 14:30 hours max Videoocc.jpg


MCC*New for 2018* Martigny-Combe Chamonix – This race is a new addition for 2018 and has been set up to allow volunteers on some of the other races the chance to take part in a race, then carry on to support their team/race later in the week. The winner is expected to take around 3 hours to finish.

40km & 2300 m of vertical gain – 1000 runners – Starts on Monday at 10:00 in Martigny-Combe – 10 hours max


PTL®: Petite Trotte à Léon This is a unique adventure race which stands apart from the other UTMB races in that it’s the biggest in length, there are no way-markers on the route and it can be run as a pair or three runners together. Teams navigate their way through some really challenging mountain paths and scrambles and it literally takes days to finish. In 2017 the winners completed the whopping 300km course in 117 hours, so they definitely earn a big cheer when they cross the finish line!

Approximately 300 km & 25000 m of vertical gain – A non-stop effort for 300 runners – Starts on Monday at 08:00 in Chamonix – 151:30 hours max Video


YCCYouth Chamonix Courmayeur – As the name suggests, this race is for budding young athletes aged from 16-22 to get a taster of big trail running competitions.

15km & 1200 m of vertical gain – 300 runners – Starts on Wednesday at 10:00 in Courmayeur – 4 hours max


UTMB-finisher

Where to watch?

If you want to see runners at the start line, the PTL and the UTMB are the only two races that start in Chamonix centre (you can find the other start points in the list above). The main hub of all the action is around the inflatable arch near the Mairie and tourist office in the centre of Chamonix, which acts as the start line for these two races and the finish line for all of them.

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After the runners have set off there are plenty of opportunities to see them on the mountain. Flégère, Le Tour, Les Houches or Vallorcine are good places to go to see them running past. Take a look at the 3D route videos to see where each of the races go to help choose your position to watch.

Probably the best place to enjoy the whole atmosphere of the event, is in the centre of Chamonix as the runners head back towards the finish line. Since the various races all culminate with the runners crossing the finish line under the inflatable arch, this is the most popular place for everyone to head to. Find a bar or restaurant along the final few hundred metres and you’re sure to be right in the middle of all the action. There will be runners crossing the line pretty much all week long, so you’ve plenty of time to come and cheer some of them on.

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UTMB 2019 Dates & registrations

Next year’s edition of the UTMB will take place from 26th August to 1st September 2019. Registration opens from 18th December 2018 and can only be done online via the UTMB website. This is where you’ll also find all the criteria for taking part and how much it costs to enter each race.

We’ve already got prices for chalets and apartments for next year live on our website, so you can book your accommodation for UTMB 2019 now! Get in touch with us via the usual channels, via the new live chat feature on our website, or send us an enquiry for any additional information.

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Climbing World Cup – Chamonix – 11th to 13th July 2018

One of our favourite events of the summer in Chamonix is the Climbing World Cup, which takes place from 11th-13th July this year.

CWC

Last year we missed out on half the event, as the speed climbing was cancelled, but thankfully this year it makes a welcome return!

This major international sporting event brings the best technical climbers in the world together to battle, side by side, on the difficult lead climbing route and the speed climbing wall.

cwc speed

Over 20,000 people come to take part and watch in total over the course of the three days. Not only is there an incredible atmosphere, it’s also free to attend!

The Programme: 

Wednesday 11th July :

  • Official Presentation of the athletes
  • 15:00 Speed qualifications

Thursday 12th July : 

  • 09:30-17:00 Lead Qualification
  • 20:30-21:30 Speed Finals

Friday 13th July : 

  • 10:30-12:30 Lead Semi-Finals
  • 20:30-22:30 Lead Finals
  • After Awarding Ceremony

Where?

The event takes place at Place Mont Blanc where the Saturday market is held. Bring something to sit on (cushion / rug / chair). You can buy drinks and snacks on site, or pack a picnic (that’s what us locals do!)

Watch Live Streaming

If you can’t be here in person and want to check out all the action, you can tune-in to the IFSC homepage on July 12th and 13th for the LIVE semi-finals and finals of each discipline.

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Take a look at the highlights from one of the previous events:

 


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30+ Things for non-skiers to do in Chamonix Mont Blanc

Chamonix is known as the extreme sports capital of the world, with a seemingly endless list of high-octane, high adrenaline sports and backcountry skiing itineraries. But what if you aren’t that extreme, don’t ski, want to enjoy some more relaxing activities or simply take in the views?

From a calming yoga session on the mountain top to racing through the night to get to an Italian mountain restaurant on the back of a skidoo, there’s something to suit every taste and budget, both here in Chamonix and in neighbouring Italy and Switzerland.

Here’s our pick of the best activities and things to do in the area if you don’t ski.


HuskiesHusky Rides

This is hands down the most popular winter activity for non-skiers in the Chamonix valley. Head out into the mountains on your own husky sleigh, either as the driver of your own sledge or travel as a passenger with a musher. Enjoy the breathtaking mountain scenery as you speed along specially marked out paths in the forest. Contact us to book.


Aiguille du Midi

Chamonix’s number 1 tourist attraction is the Aiguille du Midi, which you can visit on a two-stage cable car. You’ll be whisked up to 3842 metres above sea level, where you can get panoramic views of Mont Blanc from the terraces and look back on the Chamonix Valley, way down below. From here you can watch skiers and mountaineers descending the arete onto the infamous Valley Blanche or heading up to climb to the summit of Mont Blanc. At the mid-way change over for the cable cars, you can go parapenting (more on this below).

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Step into the Void

Also at the Aiguille du Midi is a thrilling experience “Step into the Void” where you can step into a glass box, suspended 1000 metres above a drop over the rock faces below. You can access this via the summit elevator at the very top of the Midi for some truly unforgettable views (if you’re brave enough!)


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Mer de Glace

Experience the best views of France’s longest glacier at the Montenvers – Mer de Glace site. Take the iconic rack and pinion train from Chamonix centre all the way to the top at 1913m, from where you can descend by cable car and around 400 steps to visit the ice cave within the glacier. There are a couple of restaurants, a mountain refuge and a gift shop up here as well as a glacier exhibit and crystal gallery.


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Tramway du Mont Blanc

Chamonix has another famous rack and pinion train line, this time down in Les Houches, connecting the town of St Gervais with this part of the Chamonix Valley. The Tramway du Mont Blanc normally opens for winter in mid December and it’s more popular for non-mountaineering visitors to take a ride to enjoy the fantastic views, or to access some of the snowshoeing routes in this area. It stays open until the beginning of April – weather permitting of course.


Paret GMParet descents

A great activity for groups of friends, where you take the last lift of the day up to Grands Montets ski area mid station, and slide all the way down the home run on traditional wooden ‘paret’ sledges. Great fun for anyone over 12 years old and for groups.  Contact us to book.


Italian snowmobilesItalian snowmobile adventure

Head over to Italy for this adventure. Put your head torch on and jump on the back of a snowmobile, and get ready to race up the mountain to 2000 metres, where a cosy restaurant and sparkling champagne awaits you. Contact us to book.


Paragliging 2Paragliding

See the Chamonix valley from a totally different perspective, 1000 metres above the ground on a tandem paragliding flight. After a short running take off, the wing lifts you and your pilot from the ground and you fly across the valley to enjoy some truly spectacular views. There are various take off points around the valley and different prices may apply for each location. If you’re lucky you may be allowed to take the controls.. Contact us to book.


Helicopter flightsHelicopter flights

Soar over Chamonix’s glaciers and see the impressive mountains of the Mont Blanc Massif from the comfort of a 6-seater helicopter. Flights of 4 different durations are available, each one taking slightly different routes around the mountains. It really is an unforgettable experience. You’ll find the CMBH helicopter base at the foot of the Grands Montets ski area where there’s also a lovely restaurant in the woods (La Cremerie du Glacier) to grab a bite to eat and a drink.  Contact us to book.


Snowshoe Chamonix TOSnowshoeing

Discover some of the quieter parts of the Chamonix valley, where frozen waterfalls, secluded trails and mountain views await you. Join a half day, full day or a week long excursion with a local mountain guide. Contact us to book.


ice-climbing-chamonixIce climbing

Discover some of the best ice climbing in Chamonix or neighbouring Italy, either for beginners looking to experience it for the first time, or more experienced climbers looking to hone their skills. Take part in a 1 day outing, or join a course for up to 5 days.  Contact us to book.


snow yoga 2Snow Yoga

Join a yoga class with a difference, on the snow, with incredible views of Mont Blanc as you hold your positions. Individual classes are available, as well as longer retreats and private instruction.  Contact us to book.


Ice Hockey 2Ice Hockey matches

Watch Chamonix’s local hockey team Les Pionniers compete in an evening hockey match at the ice rink in Chamonix centre (dates in red are played in Chamonix). Tickets can be bought on the door and it makes for an alternative and fun night of entertainment. Or head out onto the ice yourselves for a skate; you can hire skates on site for a small fee and little children can borrow the balance penguins for stability. Discounts are available with your carte d’hôte travel cards.


Wilderness eveningsWilderness evenings

Descend the home run piste at Grands Montets after the lifts have shut for the day on a traditional wooden ‘paret’ sledge. You’ll be met at the bottom by a roaring campfire, followed by dinner in a Mongolian Yourt, tucked away in the forest. Contact us to book.


dr zhivagoDr Zhivago horse & carriage

Take a trip around the centre of Chamonix, or further into Les Praz on ‘Dr Zhivago’s’ horse drawn carriage. This charmingly decorated carriage has become a much loved attraction in the centre of Chamonix and offers a relaxing way to explore the local area.


Mont Blanc Escalade indoor climbingIndoor climbing

Les Houches has an indoor climbing wall that you can access on weekdays all winter long. There are in the region of 100 routes ranging up to 22 metres in height and from 4 to 8c in grade. Courses are available on request.


Fat Biking 2Fat biking

Hire a fat bike from one of the local bike shops and head out onto the specially groomed trails that run alongside most of Chamonix’s cross country ski trails. The wide, low pressure tyres help you get good grip on the snow & you can explore for hours.


Spa St GervaisMassage, Spas & Wellbeing

Enjoy some pampering treatments, a restorative massage or a spa day at one of Chamonix’ many hotel spas like the Aiglons, the Heliopic or the Park Hotel Suisse. Nearby you can also enjoy thermal springs and thermal baths in St Gervais and across the border in Italy, at the Pre St Didier resort.


Alpine Coaster 2Alpine Coaster

Take a thrilling descent on the Alpine coaster in Chamonix’s leisure park, next to Planards beginner ski slopes. At over 1300 metres long, you can go as fast as you dare on the sleds as it’s up to you when to use the brakes. Go solo or share a sled with a friend.


Indoor swimmingIndoor swimming pool & leisure centre

Chamonix has a 25 metre indoor swimming pool, with a separate children’s pool for children of 6 months to 3 years old, water slides and massage water jets. Join a water aerobics class or just come for a swim or to use the gym.


Photo walksPhotography & discovery walks

Discover hidden areas in the Chamonix valley and learn about its history with photographer and guide Teresa Kaufman. Learn some top photography tips along the way as you take interesting photos of the locals, flora and fauna.


St Bernard kennelsSt Bernard breeding kennels 

Learn about this iconic breed of mountain dogs at their breeding kennels in Servoz, not far from the centre of Chamonix. A typical visit last an hour and there’s a souvenir shop on site so you can take home your very own furry friend.


bowling

Bowling, pool hall & crazy golf

This ten pin bowling alley can be found in Chamonix Sud and also houses arcade games, pool tables (American & English tables) and crazy golf. It makes a good place to head to on bad weather days or with larger groups and families. There’s a bar on site too.


cinema

Cinema

Chamonix’s cinema shows most of the latest film releases in VOST (English with French subtitles) or French only. They’re also partial to showing locally made climbing and ski films. Screenings take place throughout the week.


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Hair & beauty treatments

There are a good selection of hairdressers for men and women in the Chamonix valley, most of which also offer manicures and some of them also offer massages too. There are plenty dotted around the main shopping areas in the centre of Chamonix as well as in Les Houches & Argentiere.


casino winter

Casino

Chamonix has its own casino where you can enjoy a mixture of traditional table games as well as electronic roulette and around 70 slot machines. It’s open all year round and contains a bar and restaurant.


Indoor tennisIndoor tennis & squash

There are two covered tennis courts at the sports centre in the centre of Chamonix and 2 squash courts. In Argentiere there’s a dedicated, covered tennis centre where you can play with a reservation.


snow tubing

Snow tubing

Slide down a specially designated piste on a large inflatable ring and yes, although it takes place in some of the beginner ski areas in Chamonix, it’s not just for the children! You can find snow tubing in Les Houches, at Brevent , La Poya (near Les Buets) and at Les Chosalets at the foot of Grands Montets.


gallery

Art Galleries

Chamonix has lots of art galleries and workshops, from traditional landscape painters and photographers, to retro decorations to more modern and pop-art style work, sculptures, postcards and prints. A few of the hotels and restaurants also feature art works that you can take home as a momento of your time here. There are also occasional art classes that take place throughout the year.


xmas market

Markets

In the centre of Chamonix at Place Mont Blanc, there’s a regular Saturday market that takes place year round, from 07:30 to 12:30. Markets also take place in Argentiere every Sunday and every Wednesday in Les Houches. There is also a Christmas market which runs from mid December to the end of the month, where you’ll regularly find street entertainers and parades entertaining the crowds.


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Wine tasting / Cocktail tasting / Whisky tasting

Cha Cha Cha” has in the region of 800 wines plus a great election of whiskey, rums and other spirits which you can buy to take home, or try before you buy on one of their popular tasting evenings. Or just pop in to enjoy a glass of wine in a relaxed atmosphere.


high street

Shopping

Chamonix has a great selection of outdoor clothing and gear specialists, as well as high-end clothing retailers, shoe shops, supermarkets, souvenirs and homeware. We’re not going to list them all here, but take a stroll down Chamonix’s pedestrinaised shopping area and you’re sure to find something to tempt you into a purchase or two.


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Day Trips – to other parts of France / Italy / Switzerland – Take a day trip from Chamonix to explore some of the best of the surrounding area;

France – AnnecyYvoire

Italy – CourmayeurAosta

Switzerland – MartignyMontreuxLarge Hadron Collider (CERN)


 

Hopefully this has convinced the non-skiers in your family or group, that coming to Chamonix in winter is a good idea! Take a look at our great choice of chalets and apartments, which you can book directly online for week-long stays. For short breaks and longer duration holidays, please contact us for a quote

Mountain Base Locations, Chamonix

 


 

Photo Credits: Chamonix Tourist Office, The Family Freestylers, Teresa Kaufman, Huskydalen, Evolution 2, Chamonix Experience, CMBH, Chamonix Parc Loisirs, Pre St Didier Spa, Escalade Mont Blanc, Justacoté, Je Papote

Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc | Chamonix’s Biggest Trail Running Event

Chamonix is about to be invaded by a peculiar type of species… the ultra runner. Yes, it’s that time of year again – UTMB week. The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc attracts more than 7000 people to take part in the biggest trail running event of the year.

7500 runners from over 80 different countries will push themselves to the limits of their endurance as they take part in 6 races, covering a distance of 758 kilometres (470 miles) and a positive height gain of 53650 metres (176000 feet) – phew!

The races that make up the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc are:


PTL, Petite Trot a Leon

The Petite Trotte à Léon is misleadingly named, being anything but “petite” at a distance of 300km with a massive 26000m of positive altitude change! This event is a team challenge in which runners must stay with their team mates for the entirety of the course to be classed as finishers and the extreme nature of the course makes this one of the toughest trail events around. The PTL is the first event of the week, starting at 17:30 on Monday 22nd August in the centre of Chamonix and can take up to 6 days to complete.

PTL Petite Trot a Leon
© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® – FlashSport

TDS, Sur Les Traces des Ducs de Savoie

Runners in the TDS will find themselves treading historical paths in provinces on the French/Italian border that once made up the Savoie State. We’re guessing though that with 120km of distance and over 7250m of ascent to contend with, the runners will have more to focus on than political history! The race starts in Courmayeur at 6am on 24th August and climbs many mountain passes to finish between 14 and 33 hours later in Chamonix.

TDS Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® – Franck Oddoux

OCC, Orsieres Champex Chamonix

The shortest of the races, the Orsières – Champex – Chamonix may only be 55km long but it manages to squeeze in 3500m of positive height gain, making it a pretty steep and technical course. Starting in Switzerland at 08:15 on 25th August the route has three challenging climbs and takes in hanging glaciers, roaring torrents and alpine forests along the way. The first runners are expected back in Chamonix around 5-6 hours later with the maximum time barrier being set at 14 hours.

OCC Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® – Franck Oddoux

CCC, Courmayeur Champex Chamonix

Often seen as the “little sister” of the UTMB, the Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix follows a similar route through France, Italy and Switzerland but over a shorter course of 100km with around 6000m of positive altitude change – still a massive distance by most people’s standards! The race starts in Courmayeur, Italy at 9am on 26th August and finishes in Chamonix centre with an average finishing time of around 20 hours.

CCC Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® – Michel Cottin

UTMB, Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc

The legendary Ultra Trail du Mont is the highlight of the week. Crowds of people will be lining the streets at 6pm on Friday 26th August in the centre of Chamonix to cheer for the 2300 runners as they set off on the run of their lives. Now in it’s 14th year, the UTMB is an iconic trail race that draws people from all over the world to circumnavigate Mont Blanc; running 170km through three countries, much of it during the night, and climbing 10000m to return to Chamonix as heroes. The winner often finishes in about 20 hours with the cut-off being 46 hours, meaning that finishers are coming in all weekend. The atmosphere is incredible; runners and spectators alike get swept up in the strong emotions as exhausted legs stumble over the finish line!

UTMB Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc
© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® – Alexandre Girbal

YCC, Youth Chamonix Courmayeur

The newest race of the lot, the YCC is a 15km challenge with 1100m of ascent for young trail runners aged from 16 to 19 years old. All participants will also have the chance to take part in a video competition, with all entries to be shared on social networks. The YCC takes place on Wednesday 24th August at 10am in Courmayeur, Italy.

YCC youth race at UTMB in Chamonix
© Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc® – Foto Lanzeni

The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc is a fantastic spectator event and there are lots of things going on throughout the week;  you can access some of the race routes using the Chamonix lift system but don’t rely on buying your lift pass on the day as the desks are bound to be busy.

Order your lift pass in advance through Mountain Lifestyle and we’ll have it ready and waiting for you on your arrival, at no extra charge for the service. Order it more than 3 days in advance and you’ll also benefit from a special offer of 6 days for the price of 5.

The Mont Blanc Multipass gives you access to a multitude of exciting activities in the valley, visit our website to discover all summer activities in Chamonix.

You can find further details of all the races on the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc website.


Chamonix Events | Fete des Guides

This weekend marks a special tradition in Chamonix – La Fête des Guides. This annual event honours the men and women who have made the mountains their life and their livelihood; the mountain guides who keep thousands of people safe every year, whether they’re climbing Mont Blanc in summer or skiing the Vallee Blanche in winter.

Rock climbing in Chamonix


Friday 12th August, Le Lavancher

The festivities begin today in the little village of Le Lavancher with a traditional bread baking session in the old wood oven. You can buy a freshly baked loaf from midday to 4:30pm, while the children take part in climbing demos and various entertainments. A special dinner will be held at 7pm, followed by music and dancing; tickets cost 15€ not including drinks.

Fetes des Guides in Chamonix


Saturday 13th August, Les Houches

Fun and games at Les Chavants near to the Prarion lift station in Les Houches from 2pm to 7pm. The lake and climbing wall will be the venue for various activities hosted by the Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix such as hiking, climbing, orientation, rope work, etc. At 6:30pm there will be a short speech by the mayor of Les Houches, followed by a sing-song with the mountain guide choir accompanied by alpine horns.

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Sunday 14th August, Argentiere

Argentiere hosts its own Fête des Guides today with entertainments and activities in the town from 9am to 12:30pm for children and adults. There will be a display of the beautiful crystals that have been found in the mountains and make sure you don’t miss the traditional ceremony at 5:30pm when all the guides turn out in their official uniforms. From 8pm there will be a party with live music, bar and snack stalls.

Fete des Guides in Chamonix


Sunday 14th August, Chamonix

The main celebrations take place on Sunday at Les Gaillands in Chamonix, starting at 5pm with activities such as climbing and slacklining to try your hand at. The PGHM will be doing a helicopter rescue demo at 5:30pm and you can learn all about the stars in the planetarium. Tombolas, live music, beer tents, snack stalls and plenty of entertainment make this a great afternoon for everyone of all ages. The grande finale is the sound and light show; a fascinating and usually quite surreal spectacle enacted by the guides themselves on the sheer stage of the climbing crag, followed by a firework display over the lake.

Fete des Guides in Chamonix


Monday 15th August, Chamonix

The official ceremony takes place this morning in the centre of Chamonix from 10am to 2pm. All the members of the Compagnie des Guides will gather in the Place du Triangle de l’amitié, dressed in their traditional uniforms for the blessing of their ropes and axes. New guides will be welcomed to the company and everyone will pay their respects to former guides, with a homage to those who have lost their lives in the mountains and a medal presentation for long-serving guides. The square will be lined with stalls, displays and refreshments.

Fete des Guides Chamonix


All profits from the Fete des Guides are donated to the Caisse de Secours, which supports guides who have been injured in the mountains and the families of deceased guides. Many of the events are free to enter, with the option to buy food and drinks. Entry to the festival at Les Gaillands on Sunday evening is 15€ per adult, and 5€ per child under the age of 12, entry is free for children under 5 years old. Please note that the programme may change according to the weather forecast.

Chamonix Bureau des Guides Mural


Chamonix Mountain Guides

The mountain guides of Chamonix enable us to explore the massive playground that is on our doorstep. Chamonix and the Mont Blanc massif is an amazing place to hike, climb, ski, run, ride and fly but the risks should never be underestimated. The beautiful wilderness of the mountains and particularly the glaciers are best discovered with a qualified mountain guide who will not only keep you safe but will also share their wealth of knowledge and experience with you. Contact us directly or visit our website if you would like to find out more about mountain guides in Chamonix.

Cosmojazz | Chamonix Jazz Festival

Summer is here and the mountains are calling… and singing! This week the Cosmojazz Music Festival brings music to the mountains from all over the world. Concerts take place in such spectacular locations as the sunny meadows of Le Tour and the natural rocky amphitheatre of Brevent. Jazz singers and musicians will be performing amongst the peaks, glaciers and forests of the Chamonix valley from 23rd to 31st July.

cosmojazz-chamonix-01
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

All of the concerts are completely free of charge, all you need to access them is a lift pass. The Mont Blanc Multipass covers all the lifts in the Chamonix valley, as well as the Mont Blanc Tramway from Saint-Gervais up to Les Houches, and the Montenvers train from Chamonix up to the glacier at Mer de Glace.

Cosmojazz music festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

The Mont Blanc Multipass is great value for anyone wanting to experience everything that the Chamonix valley has to offer. It opens up a multitude of hiking paths, mountain bike trails, climbing routes and sightseeing opportunities. There are special offers for families and if you book more than 3 days in advance, you can benefit from an extra day for free.

Cosmojazz music festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

The Cosmojazz Festival is a non-stop celebration of music with concerts taking place not only in the mountains but also in Chamonix town centre, in the bars and hotels, and in the gardens of Parc Couttet and the Maison des Artistes jazz club. Musicians and singers gather in Chamonix from all over the world bringing influences from such diverse places as Morocco, Albania and Japan.

Cosmojazz music festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

In between concerts, there are endless opportunities for adventure and excitement in Chamonix from paragliding over the peaks, to rafting the rapids. Find your inspiration for summer activities in Chamonix for all ages.

Cosmojazz Music Festival in Chamonix
Photo Credit Cosmojazzfestival.com

Marathon du Mont Blanc – Chamonix Trail Running

The sun is shining again, just in time for one of the biggest events of summer – the Marathon du Mont Blanc.

The event comprises 6 races; 23km half-marathon, 42km full marathon, 80km ultra marathon, 10km cross-country run, vertical kilometre, and not forgetting the mini-cross 3km race for the trail runners of the future. Almost 6000 runners will be taking part, with many more people turning up to cheer and offer support.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

The 80km race has already set off and is underway right now, with the front runners having already covered about 40km and are now charging their way over the Swiss border past the Emosson Dam to Catogne.

The schedule for the weekend is as follows:

  • 80km du Mont Blanc – 82km, 6000m vertical
    Starts 4am Friday 24th June
  • Vertical KM – 3.8km, 1000m vertical
    Starts 2pm Friday 24th June
  • Cross du Mont Blanc – 23km, 1665m vertical
    Starts 8am Saturday 25th June
  • Mini Cross du Mont Blanc – up to 3km
    Starts 10am Saturday 25th June
  • 10km du Mont Blanc – 10km, 325m vertical
    Starts 1pm Saturday 25th June
  • Marathon du Mont Blanc – 42km, 2730m vertical
    Starts 7am Sunday 26th June

You can follow the progress of all runners on the Live Trail website.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

The races loop round the Chamonix valley, taking in some of the most beautiful sights and stunning hiking trails in the region. With a Mont Blanc Multipass you can take the Telecabine du Vallorcine and hike across the Col des Posettes to see the marathon runners set off to reach the highest point of the course at the pinnacle of the Aiguillette des Posettes at 2201m; you can take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up to Plan de l’Aiguille to cheer as the 80km runners descend back down to Chamonix via the Alpages des Blaitieres; you can hop on the Flegere cable car to encourage the 23km and 42km runners as they reach the last checkpoint before the finish line.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

All these areas offer spectacular views and are easily accessible from the Chamonix valley lift stations, they are also the starting point for some excellent hiking routes such as Lac Blanc from Flegere, Mer de Glace from Plan de l’Aiguille and Refuge Albert 1er from Vallorcine.

The finish line for the 3 longest races is up at Planpraz du Brevent, yes, that’s right, at over 2000m. Runners have the honour of a free ride back down to Chamonix on the bubble lift but everyone else, spectators included, will need a lift pass to get there and back.

Marathon du Mont Blanc Chamonix

If the races have taken their toll on your legs, you might be glad of a good rub-down to get them back in tip-top shape. We strongly recommend that you book this in advance, as every masseur and physiotherapist in the valley is going be in high demand this week! Whether it’s a soothing relaxation treatment or a thorough pummelling that you’re looking for, contact us now to see what we have available.

Hiking in Chamonix

As well as hiking, there are plenty of other summer activities in Chamonix to sample while you’re out here. Mountain biking trails at Le Tour and Les Houches are suitable for all levels and access is included in your Mont Blanc Multipass. A mountain biking guide will show you the best routes and give you tips on handling the descents, twists and turns with confidence. Warm sunny weather is perfect for rock climbing, there are dozens of crags throughout the valley with hundreds of different routes to explore. To view the valley from above, it doesn’t get better than a parapente flight – you take off from Planpraz du Brevent with a tandem pilot, launch yourself off the side of the mountain and float back down to earth, swirling and swooping on the thermals as you soar amongst the peaks. If the hot weather continues then rafting, hydrospeed and canyoning are all fantastic ways to cool down and so much fun – for the ultimate adrenaline rush you can ride the fierce rapids of the Dora Balthea on a day trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Italy.

Chamonix canyoning

The Marathon du Mont Blanc marks the start of the summer sports season and there are many more events lined up for runners, cyclists and triathletes to get their teeth into – you’ll find the main Chamonix events here.

Best of luck to everyone taking part in the Marathon du Mont Blanc races over the next few days, we’ll be cheering for you!