Trail des Dents-du-Midi
Trail des Dents-du-Midi, also called “DDM Trail,” is the oldest trail race in the Alps. In 2021, it celebrated its 50th anniversary! The race, a favorite among Run the Alps staff, has a long and rich history.
Not far from the French border, Switzerland’s Dents-du-Midi range towers over the mountain villages of Troistorrents, Val D’Illiez and Champéry. For years, the circumnavigation of this range in a day was a test piece for regional Swiss police. Very nearly entirely on paths, this is definitely an alpine race, with remote sections on the far side of the range. Starting and finishing in the beautiful village of Champéry, the classic 57 km course passes by several huts, climbs over two cols high above treeline, and runs through the tiny, picturesque hamlet of Mex. Be ready for stiff climbs, with a total elevation gain of 3,700 meters!
It is possible to do the 57 km in a relay, or over two days as a hike– what the race calls the “Trail Découverte”– or one can run the 32km race with 1800m of uphill, which takes place on the second half of the course.
Finally, there is a 13km race for both adults and juniors that takes runners up 700m to below the steep slopes of the Dents-du-Midi range. There is an impressive new suspension bridge that crosses a huge waterfall at the far end of the loop, before runners head towards a refreshment break at the pretty Bonavau refuge, before the final descent into Champéry.
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