171 km long, 10,000 metres high, up to 2,300 participants and a limit of 46.5 hours - these are the basic stats of what might be the world’s toughest trail event ever: the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail, presented by Columbia. The event has been running since 2003 and, every year, trail runners from all over the world set off from Chamonix to race around the highest mountain in Europe, the Mont Blanc (4,810m). For three years now, this prestigious competition has also been part of the Ultra Trail World Tour. The next race begins again on 1st September.

The race begins in Chamonix, passing over Les Houches and Les Contamines-Montjoie. From there, participants climb 2,479 m to get to Croix du Bonhomme. After heading up a mountain pass, there’s another climb of 2,537 m up to Col de la Seigne, towards Italy. The route then takes runners downhill and uphill again up Mont Favre (2,435 m) and then back down again. Participants enter Switzerland by passing Gran Col Ferret (2,537 m). The route runs downhill and uphill again, climbing 2,130 metres up to the Tête aux Vents, back towards France and the starting point in Chamonix. In short, it’s a counterclockwise course around the Mont Blanc.

Yosuke-Kashiwakura

We have the greatest respect for those brave enough to take on this challenge. Our partner Columbia is the official sponsor of this incredible event. If you want to give trail running a try, or you’re already proficient in the sport and want to get kitted out with the best equipment, check out our products here.