Run the Alps Trip Rating System

A guide to finding the trip that's right for you.

The trip

Most days have about 3,000 feet of climbing and descending, and are 5 – 10 miles long. The terrain is not highly technical. You can shorten every day, or take one or more days off when you like. There is little exposure to an extreme fall.

Is it for you?

You’re a beginner trail runner interested in learning new skills, or are looking for a gentler trail running vacation. Having options each day is important to you. You can hike at two miles per hour up a steep hill, for an hour. You can run up to eight miles at a slow but steady pace. You enjoy trail running, but you’re not “hardcore” about it – or, at least not yet. You might or might not have done a trail race, or a full day in the mountains of 10 or more hours, including rest breaks.

The guided trip for you

The self-guided regions for you

The trip

Most days have 3,000 – 5,000 feet of climbing and descending, and are 7-12 miles long. The terrain may include some technical challenges, such as a half-mile or less of rocky trails. Options exist to shorten the day or take days off. There may be short sections that are exposed.

Is it for you?

You’ve been trail running for a few years, and are looking to build your skills. Having options each day is important to you. You can hike for up to two hours up a steep grade, sometimes twice in a day. You can run up to twelve miles at a slow but steady pace.

The trip

Many days have 4,000 feet  – 6,000 feet of climbing and descending, and 12 to 15  miles of trail running. Few options exist to shorten the day. You may experience “big mountain” weather, requiring you to keep moving in rain, wind, and even some snow. There may be some moments of exposure, and you may commonly find chains to hold on to at the more exposed sections of trail, for short distances. Taking a day off is possible, but not easily accomplished.

Is it for you?

You’re an experienced trail runner with at least three years of committed trail running under your belt. You can run and fast hike for most of a day, allowing time for breaks. You don’t mind several big climbs and descents of at least 3,000 feet each. You might have successfully tackled a trail marathon. You love a good adventure!

The trip

Our most demanding trips, the days will be challenging and long – often over 6,000 feet of climbing and more than 15 miles. You may be fast-packing, carrying a heavier load in a larger “Fast Pack” vest or pack. There are no options for bailing out. Some days can be skipped, though generally only in the event of an injury, medical condition, or serious fatigue.

Is it for you?

You’re confident in the mountains and want a challenge you’ll remember. You like getting into remote places and big, alpine scenery. You’ve run a 50 km or longer trail race or have had a long day in the mountains that ended with headlamps coming out – and you like it. You don’t have orthopedic or medical issues that you are concerned will slow you.

The guided trip for you

The self-guided regions for you

Please note: Distances and vertical are estimations, shared with the goal of assisting in picking the best trip for you. Don?t hesitate to contact us if you have questions!