If you are thinking of coming to Chamonix Mont-Blanc this summer then the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is an event not to be missed. Taking place on August 23rd to August 29th 2021 the UTMB is ‘THE’ prestigious blue ribbon event in the ultra running community. Each year 10,000 professional and dedicated amateur trail runners descend on Chamonix to take their place on the start line and push their mental and physical limits in one of several races featured in this week-long running festival. And when we say festival we really mean it, a non-stop week celebrating all things trail and mountain related. With a variety of activities and parties taking place in various alpine villages at the foot of the Mont blanc massif even just witnessing this spectacle is exhilarating in itself, Chamonix is the place to be! To find out more about other events taking place and things to do in Chamonix check out our Chamonix Destination page.
Book yourself a spot on the UTMB startline this summer with airport transfers from Geneva to Chamonix from just €40 per person.
If you would like to get involved in the action or take in the electrifying atmosphere of the UTMB this August then Mountain Drop-offs are offering door-to-door shared and private transfers from, Geneva Airport throughout the Chamonix Valley including Les Houches, Les Praz, Argentiere and Le Tour) from as little as €40 per person.
Mountain drop-offs preventing the spread of COVID-19
As we are all aware Covid-19 is still impacting every aspect of daily life and Chamonix is no exception. The health and safety of our customers has always been our top priority. As the world opens up, to ensure the safeguarding of all our staff, clients and competitors Mountain drop-offs have gone the extra mile (pardon the pun) to take all necessary steps and sanitary measures for even greater peace of mind. This includes but not limited to reduced passenger numbers in vehicles respecting appropriate social distancing protocols, thorough vehicle sanitation and disinfection between evey transfer and compulsory mask wearing for all staff and passengers. To find out more about our Covid-19 sanitary protocols please refer to our Covid-19 information page.
Want to know more about the UTMB?
The Ultra Trail event consists of 7 ultra trail races over the course of a week. Here is a breakdown of all the races each with its own twist of adventure:
A classic bucket list race for trail runners around the world the UTMB is a 170km tour de force that encircles the entire Mont Blanc massif taking you through 3 countries (France, Italy and Switzerland) with over 10,000 vertical meters of technical mountain climbs , it is not a feat for the faint hearted. 2,300 brave (some would say not completely sane) competitors take on Mont Blanc’s challenging alpine trails by day and night often in extreme and changeable weather conditions. Whether that be scorching sun, a typical alpine thunderstorm and occasionally even snow, the participants will embark on an adventure beneath glistening glaciers, traversing torrents and stunning cascades, conquering multiple alpine passes as they go.
Do not underestimate UTMB’s ‘little sister’. The CCC is a challenging and unrelenting 100km feat overcoming 6,100m of vertical ascent over high mountain passes, through 3 countries, testing all participants mental and physical strength.
Starting in Courmayeur, Italy, the atmosphere at the start line is just as electric as at the finish in Chamonix, no one throws a party better than the Italians right? Courmayeur known for its nightlife, coffee, pizza and shopping is well worth a visit in any case. Why not take a look at our guide for the best activities to do in Courmayeur this summer.
Taking on the Grande Randonnée du Tour du Mont-Blanc in their stride with the Mont-Blanc and Grandes Jorasses as their backdrop participants will pass through the Grand col Ferret (2537m) into stunning swiss alpine pastures of La Fouly, Champex and Trient. Having taken in the swiss alpine air it’s time to dig deep for the last few climbs into the french alpine resorts high in the Chamonix valley before the last long descent to the finish line in Chamonix itself.
The TDS would be a stand alone event in its own right, but the fact it is part of the UTMB family makes it all the better. Resilient runners will tackle 9,100m vertical meters over 145km through Italy and France. Starting in the cultural italien village of Courmayeur the locals are not short on enthusiasm to kick start trail runners on this gruelling test of endurance. The TDS follows a different itinerary from the other races that keep to the Mont Blanc massif itself. Seeking more wild and remote pastures through the Beaufortain, Hauteluce regions of France. After the quiet of the mountain peaks runners descend into Les Contamines where there is a constant upbeat atmosphere and plenty of entertainment and activities to keep you busy. Les Contamines is a family friendly resort and firm favorite destination for french holiday makers has a lot to offer considering its small alpine village setting. To find out more things to do in Les Contamines take a look at our Les Contamines destination page.
From here it is just one more ‘albeit rather big’ climb to the top of the Les Houches resort before descending into Chamonix for the finish line. Not to be upstaged Les Houches also plays a big part in the UTMB, not only is it normally the starting point of the original walk Tour du Mont Blanc on which the UTMB is based, it is also the classic start point to summit Mont Blanc (4810m) itself! Les Houches is a mountain lovers paradise also known for its family friendly atmosphere, beautiful trails, stunning scenery and adrenaline inducing mountain bike itineraries.
And do not forget the next generation of endurance athletes! With the YCC, budding young trail runners have the possibility to show what they are capable of over various age-categorised events taking place in Chamonix throughout the week!
There is nothing more exhilarating than immersing yourself in the goosebump-inducing inspirational atmosphere of the UTMB, especially sharing that special moment with each runner having realised their long term dream of crossing that Chamonix finish line. Whether you want to spectate, volunteer, or support a competitor, the most popular trail event in the world, the UTMB is not an event to be missed by anyone!
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We look forward to sharing the mountains with you this summer!