After a couple of years of thinking about it (and probably boring everyone within earshot), last week I finally went running in the Alps. And it was bloody great.
Armed with a few maps and this book, we rented a small “hut thing” (technical term) just outside Chamonix to use as our base for the week. We were blessed with totally great weather and inadvertently arrived just as the summer tourist season in Chamonix ended so everywhere was pretty quiet which added to the general sense of relaxation.
A few observations:
- Running up mountains involves almost as much walking as it does running, and that’s ok (everything is, inevitably, quite steep).
- Running in the alps involves continuous uphill stretches longer than anything you can find in the UK (again, not a surprise but worth noting…living in London means it was almost impossible to do any really appropriate training ahead of the trip)
- I noticed this last time I was in that part of the world but…all the food involves cheese and potatoes.
- If you go just outside the summer season that means all of the lifts will be closed which will probably ruin some of your plans and make everything a little bit inconvenient.
- The book I linked to above is mostly great however one of the routes in particular involved some fairly ridiculous scrambling (that the book made no mention of). It was all fine (/fun) in the end but worth bearing in mind.