Category Archives: History

In the High Alps, Where Tough Dogs Guard Sheep

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One of the more unusual aspects of the Alps comes when one enters the high pastures. There, where shepherds have tended flocks for centuries, it’s not uncommon to see dogs guarding the animals. In particular, they are entrusted with protecting the young from predators such as wolves, lynx, foxes and bears. With their beautiful cream-colored coats, these “guardian” dogs often look   Continue Reading →

Could this have been Chamonix’s First Trail Race?

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On the morning of August 8th, 1897, ten guides from Chamonix’s Compagnie des Guides gathered next to the Saint Michel church. Their objective? A mountain race up and down the Brévent. It was, as far as historians can tell, Chamonix’s first trail race. The route, according to Chamonix’s Blog de Christine, went via Les Moussoux,   Continue Reading →

Trail Running Holiday Gifts from the Alps

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Got someone with a little Alps trail running problem on your holiday list? Or, maybe you just want to bring a little bit of the Alps trail running scene home for the holidays? We’ve polled Run the Alps staff and friends for their favorite Alps trail running gift suggestions. Some of these items can be   Continue Reading →

Chamonix’s Vertical Kilometer: A Brief History

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One of the more popular trail runs in Chamonix is also one of its more unusual ones –  the “Kilométre Vertical” or “KV” – “VK” in English. The 3.8 km-long route, an attraction for both local trail runners and those visiting from afar, has also been a race as part of the Mont Blanc Marathon   Continue Reading →

Race news: Trail des Dents du Midi

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Trail des Dents du Midi’s full loop is now sold out for 2019– the earliest ever for the race. However, Run the Alps has access to entries as part of our September Chamonix-Champéry guided trip. You can read more about the trip, and race options, here. (And some spaces still remain for the Dents du   Continue Reading →

At 75, Sierre-Zinal’s Jean-Claude Pont is Still Running Strong

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On the eve of the 43rd annual race, Run the Alps’ Doug Mayer visited with Sierre-Zinal founder and Race Director for 40 years, Jean-Claude Pont. At age 75, he’ll be toeing the start line tomorrow morning at 5:00 am. “Last year, I had a little accident and fell, but finished around 6:40. This year, I’m   Continue Reading →

Mont-Blanc Marathon: Chamonix’s Other Trail Racing Weekend

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Indisputably, Chamonix’s best-known trail running weekend comes at the close of August, with the start of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. But, earlier in the summer, there’s a lesser-known event that bring tens of thousands of runners, friends, and family to town: The Chamonix Mount-Blanc Marathon races. Together with UTMB, the events form bookends for summer   Continue Reading →

Follow Your Own Path

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Postcard spotted in a Champéry shop:   Il n’y a qu’un seul bon chemin, et c’est le tien! Translation: There’s only good path, and it’s yours. It’s a syrupy cliché, for sure, and any other time, I would have dismissed it out of hand. But, like a lot of cliches, there’s truth underneath the worn   Continue Reading →

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