What’s a Run the Alps guided trip like?
Check out our Tour Stories!
After each trip, the guide shares stories and photos via our Run the Alps Tour Stories series. Enjoy reading about our trail running adventures through the Alps, and drop us a note if you have any questions!
(Photo: Sam Hill)
Mirna Valerio, “the Mirnavator,” brought together a group of twelve wonderful women who are not often seen as typical trail runners due to their speed, body size, or ethnicity. And we all had a blast running trails in France, Italy, and Switzerland.
(Photo: Kim Strom)
The inaugural Grand Bernese Oberland Traverse was a great success! Crossing this section of the Swiss Alps we saw the region’s most famous peaks, bluest lakes, and deepest valleys, plus plenty of cows, sheep, and goats grazing the hillside pastures.
(Photo: Kim Strom)
With a mix of world class trails, dramatic scenery, great company, and delicious trailside snacks, our Bernese Oberland tour kept us adding extra helpings of each of the above. This was Run the Alps’ second Bernese Oberland tour of the 2023 season.
(Photo: Kim Strom)
Our group set out from the beautiful mountain chalet at Schwarzwaldalp where we’d spent a peaceful first night with the sounds of bells from cows lazily grazing in the pastures. We had the next week to explore the best trails around Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland region.
(Photo: Kim Strom)
After a week of running, bonding, and storm dodging, race day dawned with perfectly clear skies and hot weather for the races at Eiger Ultra Trail by UTMB.®
(Photo: Aleksandra Janiak)
Accompanied by professional trail runner Meg Mackenzie, we shared a wonderful week with a group of amazing ladies!
Tour du Mont-Blanc (Photo: Sam Hill)
Food as always plays such an important part of any Run the Alps Tour du Mont-Blanc trip. There are so many cafes, buvettes, and refuges to stop at en route, and the fruit tarts, cakes, cookies, crepes, and hot meals make this a culinary tour as much as a running tour.
Running super smooth trail in the Val Ferret. (Photo: Toni Spasenoski)
With an intimate group of just two guests, we started out the trail running season on part of the iconic Tour du Mont-Blanc or UTMB® race course. Our favorite climb was up to Grand Col Ferret from Arnouva.
Petting the friendly blacknose sheep above Zermatt. Photo: Steph Lefferts.
The Via Valais tour was, simply put, fantastic. The route can’t be compared. We saw ibex up close, and picked wild blueberries all week. The weather was perfect and had the smells of the season changing to autumn.
Looking back to the Matterhorn from Stellisee lake on the way up to Fluealp from Sunnegga. (Photo: Becki Penrose)
Our group of six spent two days in Leukerbad, Switzerland ascending the cliffs of the Gemmi-pass. Then we headed across the Rhône valley to Zermatt to continue our tour. At the end of the week of trail running, we supported the Matterhorn Ultraks racers in our group.
Brew with a view. (Photo: Ellen Bradley)
The TMB is unfailingly a memorable loop. One thing that made this TMB stand out was that the UTMB races were also happening, and so the trails were stacked with running stars.
Pause to enjoy the view above Chamonix. (Photo: Sam Hill)
The Tour du Mont Blanc, “TMB,” is a classic, and it always catches people unaware of how much up and down there really is along the route. Cake, coffee, and crêpes were the center point of each day and they helped fuel us for the climbs.
Our group of six runners and two guides explored some classic Swiss trails around Wengen, Lauterbrunnen, Gimmelwald, Murren, and Grindelwald. New trails and views each day!
Eiger Trail Tour, Grindelwald. Ready for the Ultra Trail
For the days leading up to the Eiger Ultra Trail race events, we ran around the high village of Murren, visited a Swiss “candlelight” hotel, and Lobhornhütte, a classic Swiss Alpine Club hut. Our runs also took us to Grosse Scheidegg, a high pass above Grindelwald.
Run the Alps was pleased to offer a special trail running camp this summer – just for women! Based in Chamonix, France and Courmayeur, Italy, the week of running trails was hosted by The North Face athlete and Run the Alps ambassador, Meg Mackenzie.
Running along Seceda. Photo: Bruno Yates
This year’s June Dolomites trip was led by the talented Bruno Yates and Cam Bevan. The group consisted of these two guides and five motivated and interesting guests: Andrei, Anna, Christina, Linsey and Jay. The tour took in the sights, sounds and strudels of the spellbinding Val Gardena.
Cole and John, taking a break along the Italian Val Ferret.
A diehard father and son team were our first guests back to the Alps in over a year. Their persistence paid off, with a quiet trip trail running around the northern half of the Tour du Mont-Blanc– and a chance to trail race in Chamonix, France!
Trail running towards Mont Blanc – high above Le Tour. (Photo: Grant Fulton.)
After 16 months of a global pandemic, the first Run the Alps group returns to trail run the iconic route around the Mont Blanc massif. It was a special moment for all involved!
Running down from the Col de Coux, the Dents du Midi visible in the distance. (Photo: Emily Geldard)
We were blessed with perfect weather to experience the best of Chamonix, France and Champéry, Switzerland. Our trip ended with the historic Dents du Midi trail race– including a few well-earned podium positions!
Running down from Gornergrat, the Matterhorn high in the distance (Photo: Mark Brightwell).
This year, Run the Alps offered a September guided trail run over the Via Valais, a route designed by our friends at ALPSinsight. Wandering through Switzerland’s Valais Alps, the route is high, wild, and challenging.
Back in the Chamonix Valley, running through Tré-le-champ (Photo: Jo Sims).
Our last tour of the season featured the self-appointed “UTMB® Babes,” with Senior Guide Simon – or is it Simone? – leading the charge. The UTMB® race vibe filled the air in Chamonix and Courmayeur. We ran through Switzerland, then finished in Chamonix with cold beers and a memorable farewell dinner
YMCA on TMB
Our band of merry trail runners coalesced nicely in Chamonix, and from there on it was all trail running, cafes, and – yes – even some Sound of Music. Here’s our story!
Immaculate trails, towering peaks, quaint villages and glorious wildflowers. Plus cake. Lots and lots of cake.
Opposite the mighty Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau (left to right) (Photo: Giles Ruck).
Running through Switzerland’s Jungfrau region, we encountered stunning views of the Eiger, flower-filled meadows, gorgeous flowing trails, glacial lakes in which to cool off… and even a life-size cut-out of James Bond!
Running on the Italian side of ‘Monte Bianco’ (Photo: Mark Brightwell).
“And is seeing and hearing not part of the reason we came?”
Trip over, Guide Mark Brightwell ponders the experience of his “tribe” of trail runners, contemplating what has changed– and what hasn’t– over the course of a trail run around Mont Blanc.
Under the Eiger
The trails are world class in Switzerland’s Berner Oberland, but it’s the people that make a tour really enjoyable.
Trail running on a Run the Alps trip with the Glacier du Tour in the background (Photo: Run the Alps).
Running the classic Tour du Mont Blanc circuit out of Chamonix was a wonderful experience – for all the senses. Varied trails, incredible views, fresh tarts and coffee – and even singing – made for an incredibly fun tour and a group of very contented runners.
Grand Col Ferret TMB
Running through Italy, Switzerland and France around the northern side of Mont Blanc we encountered a heatwave, snow and river crossings, as well as bright flowers and incredible views. After our journey, we enjoyed taking part in the Mont Blanc Marathon series of races.
Sunshine and a cool breeze gave us ideal conditions to explore the French and Swiss Alps. Our team of seven took in the best of Chamonix before hopping a train over to Champéry, Switzerland, where several of us ran the historic Trail des Dent-du-Midi trail race, the oldest race in the Alps.
Run the Alps’ first trip of the season ventured into Italy’s Dolomites – and found sweet single-track, stupendous views, and great food. In other words, we found the Dolomites in the Dolomites. (And we became experts in dumplings, too!)
WARNING: The following account contains an obscene number of superlatives, ridiculous strings of adjectives and a recurring theme of trails, mountains and great food!
We ran up to 33,500 feet (Well, sort of.) We ate cheese (All of us.) We crossed high passes (Lots of them.) And then we ate yet more cheese (Some of us.)
We ran trails up to 7600 feet, through talus and over the moraines of the Wildstrubel glacier on a crisp clear morning. We ran under the iconic Matterhorn past centuries old chalets above Zermatt – and then several of us raced in one of the Alps’ best known trail races, Matterhorn Ultraks.
We ran across Alpine meadows, high mountain passes and cool gorges next to the Eiger, plus embraced the traditional festivities of Swiss National day – with plenty of local food and wine.
Tour de Mont Blanc Trail Run Odyssey (Or, how we traced a 100-mile line of sunshine through three countries)
Blue skies, swift ascents and gorgeous trails – with plenty of pie, coffee and outstanding panoramas to fuel our journey and keep spirits high. Ours was a fabulous trip with memories to last a lifetime.
As the snow melted from the high passes on the Tour du Mont-Blanc, our crew tackled the run from Courmayeur, Italy to Chamonix, France – then took part in some of the world’s most famous trail races.
The Run the Alps Tour du Mont-Blanc trip takes in the trails joining together the alps of France, Italy and Switzerland. Over 7 days of running we cover over 90 miles and climb 7,000 meters. Our trip was in Courmayeur, Italy, as the famous UTMB trail race passed through town.
This year’s Matterhorn Ultraks trip had a larger-than-life quality to it– both the trail running and the guests! We ran across glaciers, travelled to Zermatt to run under the Matterhorn— and then ticked off a famous Alps trail race series. Here’s how it went.
The trip that had it all and more with thunder, lightning, snow, ice, sunshine, mobile cow milking… and the surliest waiter in all of Italy!
Taking a break, high above Grindelwald, Switzerland.
It was a spectacular week of trail running through Switzerland’s Bernese Oberland. The highlight came during Day 3, when we ran under the immense Eiger North Wall. Here’s my story of how that day unfolded, with a little trip summary below. It was a pleasure to join this great crew!
Run the Alps Announces Salomon Limited Edition Collaboration!
Run the Alps is pleased to share the very first news of a special Alps trail running collaboration with Salomon– and the first chance to order your limited edition Run the Alps gear!
Tour du Mont-Blanc
The Tour du Mont-Blanc is the most famous trail running route in the world, and for good reason. Wandering over mountain trails from France, to Italy, to Switzerland and back into France, the “TMB” footpath includes some of the most iconic mountain terrain anywhere. We’ll kick off the trip with a day of running one of Chamonix’s
Reusable Euro Market Bag
Thanks to our crew and friends here in Chamonix, it's not unusual to spot our reusable bag at the Saturday morning market. Now, you can use it at your local farmer's market, too!