Women’s Trail Camp with Meg Mackenzie

Guided By

Emily Geldard

Tour dates 2023

Summary

Join The North Face athlete Meg Mackenzie for a special women’s only trail running camp in Chamonix, France and Courmayeur, Italy.

Date

2023 Dates Coming Soon!

Length

5 days, 4 nights

Tour Category

Village based

Tour Challenge

Learn more

Fees

$2,900/per person
$300 single supplement

Whats included

Three nights at the three-star Hotel Oustalet in Chamonix, France and one night at the three-star Hotel Bouton d'Or in Courmayeur, Italy. All breakfasts and dinners, guided runs daily with an International Mountain Leader and Meg Mackenzie, round-trip Geneva-Chamonix transfers, all transfers to and from trailheads, special guests during group dinners, license-free photography from photographer Kim Strom. Run the Alps Guide to Trail Running in the Alps sent prior to the trip. Spa afternoon at QC Terme in Chamonix. Special gift provided at close of trip.

Description

Run the Alps is pleased to offer a special trail running camp just for women, hosted by Run the Alps friend and ambassador, Meg Mackenzie.

Each day of Meg’s camp will start with a trail run, as we explore the hundreds of kilometers of trails in Chamonix, France and Courmayeur, Italy. After a morning run and a break for lunch at a high mountain refuge or in town, we’ll gather to discuss the current challenges that women may face in mountain activities and how society’s expectations may be holding us back. We’ll then consider how to navigate these challenges with both confidence and courage.
The North Face Runner Meg Mackenzie

For those of you who don’t know Meg, she is one of our most energetic, upbeat and fun friends here in Chamonix. Meg has raced competitively around the world, and has had top finishes in races from Chamonix’s Mont Blanc Marathon to South Africa’s Ultra Trail Cape Town. And while Meg excels at trail running, it’s just one part of her life. She’s also a trail running coach, certified master life coach, and partners in the venture Wild Women with Salomon athlete Lucy Bartholomew. Last year, Meg moved fulltime to Chamonix, where she continues to represent her home country of South Africa. You can read more about Meg here.

Meg’s style is inclusive, warm and supportive. “My goal is to get more women involved in trail running and help those already in it to gain more self-confidence on the trails. Too many women think they are somehow inadequate or not strong enough for mountain activities.”

Trail running, Chamonix. Descending from the Aiguillette des Posettes (Photo: Daniel Fitzgerald)

Meg will be joined by notable women athletes from the Chamonix valley and elsewhere in the Alps. Coming from different sports like free skiing and climbing, the unifying theme will be courage, overcoming obstacles and building self-confidence– all, no matter the level at which you run. While the confirmed list will not be announced until late spring 2022, possible guests include Stephanie Case, pro skier Hadley Hammer, internationally-acclaimed trail runner Fernanda Maciel and snowboarder Marion Hearty.

Run the Alps will donate $100 for every guest on the trip to Free to Run, the nonprofit founded by Stephanie Case which uses adventure sports to develop female leaders in areas of conflict around the world.

This camp is specifically open to all levels. Participants need only arrive with enthusiasm for trail running and basic trail running skills. If you have questions, you can email Meg via Run the Alps.

Day-by-day
Day 1

You’ll arrive in Chamonix via a shared Mountain Dropoffs shuttle. In the late afternoon, there’s the option of a casual group run of 6.8 km with 360 meters of vertical, to the colorful Chalet Floria, perched along the Petit Balcon Sud with a view of the Chamonix valley.

  • Hotel Oustalet
  • Dinner
  • 6.8km (4mi), 360m (1180ft) ascending and descending
Day 2

Today we have a run that we think will create some great memories – a day exploring the world of trail running on the strikingly beautiful Posettes mountain above Le Tour, high above Chamonix valley and just a stone’s throw from the Swiss border. Afterwards, we’ll stop at Big Mountain Brewery in Chamonix, where we’ll be joined by a special guest.

Run the Alps staff and friends enjoy beer at Big Mountain

Run the Alps staff and friends enjoy a break at Big Mountain Brewery.

  • Hotel Oustalet
  • Breakfast and Dinner
  • 15.5km (9.6mi) 1,395m (4580ft) ascending, 1407m (4620ft) descending
Day 3

Today we’ll ride together on a shared shuttle through the 11.7 km long Mont Blanc tunnel, to the historic town of Courmayeur, Italy. After settling into the Hotel Bouton d’Or with our friends Patrizia and Andrea, we’ll take a shared shuttle to the end of the strikingly beautiful Val Ferret with the glaciers of Mont Blanc on our left. At Arnuva, not far from the Swiss border, we’ll run a high balcony section of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc course, back to Courmayeur.

  • Hotel Bouton d'Or
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • 18km (11mi), 598m (1960ft) ascending, 1180m (3870ft) descending
Day 4

After a buffet breakfast of the wonderful pastries at the Hotel Bouton d’Or, we’ll shuttle back to Chamonix then hike up to the Montenvers hotel at the side of the famous Mer de Glace glacier. From there, we’ll run the alpine “Balcon Nord” to Refuge Plan de l’Aiguille, perched high above Chamonix. The refuge also has the best tart in the valley, so we’ll take a stop to test the tart, too!

trail runners on a ridge above Le Tour, France.

Trail runners near the Col de Balme, minutes from the course of the UTMB. (Patitucci Photo.)

In the afternoon, we’ll treat ourselves with a trip to QC Therme, the deluxe new spa in Chamonix, where we can soak outside under the glaciers of Mont Blanc. For our final group dinner, we’ll be joined by one of our special guests.

Stephanie Case trail running in the Alps

North Face athlete Stephanie Case on the move through high country in the Alps. (Courtesy photo.)

 

  • Hotel Oustalet
  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • 9.5km (6mi), 760m (2490ft) ascending and descending
Day 5

After breakfast, there’s the option of heading out on Chamonix’s famous Vertical Kilometer course. Round trip time from the hotel with the Planpraz gondola back down to town is about three hours, so plan a later in the day flight from Geneva if you’d like to take part in today’s run. Our final adventure in the books, it will be time to say our farewells.

 

two runners on the Vertical Kilometer route in Chamonix, France

Up, up and away on Chamonix’s famed Vertical Kilometer route!

 

  • Oustalet
  • Breakfast
  • 3.8km (2.4mi), 980m (3215ft) ascending
Arrival

Plan to arrive the day your tour starts, at the latest. Note that flights from the US usually arrive on the following day, so schedule accordingly. The closest airport is Geneva, about one and a half hours away. This tour includes a shared shuttle pickup in Geneva.

Departure

Plan your departure for the day the tour ends at the earliest. The Geneva airport is about one and a half hours from Chamonix by shuttle, so it’s possible to leave the day the tour ends as long as your flight is not too early. This tour includes return transfer to the Geneva airport. Please discuss options with us if you’re unsure about your departure plans.

Additional Information

Follow Meg on Instagram!

Terms and Conditions: Please read Run the Alps’ Terms and Conditions, Covid-19 policy, and travel insurance.

For unique trail running clothing, visit Run the Alps partners, Insane Inside.