Wednesday, 19 June 2013


Well the past week or so has consisted of lots of running. I have been getting out on the trails nearly everyday. On work days I am doing around 10-15km on lunch then on days off I am managing to fit in one mountain day at altitude climbing and the other days running more trails.

Lunchtime Trail
One of the best runs so far was a 35km loop I ran over to Les Houches (an area I haven’t really ever explored in summer) I ran from Chamonix by the river to Les Houches then found a very steep trail up to the Bellevue cable car station , dropped down to Col de Voza then up to Prarion lift station then it was up and along a brilliant ridge line and down to the Col Forclaz , from there it was back to Les Houches and retrace my run back to Chamonix. The ridge line run was great and I will be going back soon to run it on a clear day as this time it was wet , windy and no visibility at all.

Great ridge run at Les Houches
All the lifts are open now so it is great on lunch to get up to 1900m and do my usual traverse to Flegere then down onto the balcon sud and back to my house. Dependent on some different variations on the route it can be anything from 11-15km so great training.

Planpraz - Flegere

The skis still haven’t gone away either! On Monday , myself , Dorian and Ally went up the Midi and managed to do the Traverse of Point Lachanel then climbed up Contamine Grisolle which had some awesome little mixed sections and a cool little ice runnel. From the top of the climb we stuck on the skis and skied the face of Mont Blanc du Tacul and back to the midi. An awesome training day at altitude as I was always above 3600m and got to a maximum of 4100m. Was great to get the axes out again. Myself and Dorian were roped but no belaying needed as we just moved together on all of it placing the odd bit of gear here and there. Ally soloed up ahead being cameraman for the day. It was smiles all around as the ski off of Tacul was great spring snow. I hate the Tacul face and generally avoid it in summer as accidents always occur on it from avalanches and serac collapses but being on skis makes it so much faster to descend and a lot safer. I have still never ever gone up the face. Only descended it due to descending being faster , especially on skis. We got down to Chamonix around 2pm and I got home had lunch then managed to get out for a 15k. The thighs were a little sore that evening.
Red Climb - Blue Ski
High Point on Lachanel
Fun on Tacul

Great shot from Ally. Me in front of Dorian as we finish the climb

Ski Time on June 17th!
The next day was a running day and although it wasn’t very long it was worth it. Again blue skies but a sweltering 35 degrees in Chamonix. Again I got the Planpraz lift up to 1900m and ran for 15km along the Aiguille Rouge over Tete Aux Vents and down to the village of Montroc and got a bus home. A great great run but my legs were not as fresh as I would have liked. The temperature up high was hot but not scorching until I got down nearer Montroc at the end. There was still a lot of snow on this trail especially past Tete Aux Vents and some sections I had to be very careful not to fall through the softer stuff and get a pretty nasty injury. All in all a great afternoon to be running at 2000m and in pretty hot conditions.

Tete Aux Vents - Roasting
Tricky Traversing
News of the new Mont Blanc 80km route will be posted tomorrow. Due to all the snow the route will definitely be changed at some stages. Only 9 days until this race and I am still not sure if I am properly ready for it. I raced 57km in May and my longest run here this summer so far is only 35km. I have been up high a lot recently though which I think will help but I am well aware there could be some pain to come on this course and I hope it is not going to be as hot as the past week has been.

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