Gran Trail Courmayeur

It’s been a while since we went on adventure. After few weeks trying to figure out logistics (not to mention the 60k race that was waiting for Jana week after) we opted out for a single day trip. Obviously we were hungry for an adventure so we wondered to the other side of Mont Blanc and chose route of Gran Trail Courmayeur 55.

With the race happening only one week before, we were excited to go and see on our own. On our own – literally. We only met 2 runners during the whole day and it was so beautifully remote and peaceful that we felt like running on some other planet. Just us, mountains, alpine pastures, marmots, ibexes, ridges, snow, glaciers, skies and clouds.

The weather on the French side was far from perfect, but the Italian side treated us well and the weather stayed clear and almost totally dry during the whole day. We’ve stayed overnight in lovely small house just outside Courmayeur and bright and early…. we decided to have an extra hour of sleep and left just after 7am instead!

We’ve started in Verrand and our Peak 20 backpacks felt really heavy. We’ve packed light but it always take time for your body to adjust to the extra weight you’re carrying.

It was uphill. All the way uphill. And then you got to the top until to realise that around the corner – it is more uphill. But running through meadow full of playful marmots whistling defintely made up for all the effort.

The route and views from Youlaz to Mont Fortin – they were just unreal. Sharp ridge lines, mountains all colours and shapes, lake, snow, rocks, scree.. everything you ever wanted, it was there. After reaching the top of Mont Fortin we decided to cut the route a little bit and instead of continuing through the beautiful Alpine pastures we turned down and soon we were scrambling through some rocks. As we stopped at a hut, we finally met first runners of the day! Rest of the route was very runnable until we reached Maison Vielle. The route took us up and up and up through rocks only to then send us back down through identical rocks. Not sure if the climb was added to make the route harder or just add more altitude gain – but we haven’t enjoyed it at all.

Last downhill led us on a path underneath a cable car and after never ending zigzags we were suddenly back in town!

Until next time Italy, you’ve been beautiful!

Kit:

Salomon S/lab ShortsS/lab Exo Tee, Sunglasses, S/lab Ultra, Backpack Outpeak 20

 

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