The Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, more commonly known as UTMB, is a trail race that takes place every year in Chamonix Mont-Blanc. Considered one of the most complicated races in its field, it is a must for trail runners from all over the world.
The UTMB, the meeting place for the trail elite
In the world of trail running, the UTMB is the ultimate competition, the one that all trail runners dream of taking part in one day. Created in 2003, it offers participants the chance to complete the tour of Mont Blanc as quickly as possible. This world-renowned event crosses three countries: France, Italy and Switzerland.
Each year, solidarity race numbers are available. They are intended for runners wishing to support one of the partner associations with a minimum donation of €2,000. Trailers choosing this option do not need to go through the draw to start the UTMB.
Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc – UTMB
1 event, 8 races
A not-to-be-missed event, the UTMB brings together 8 races:
The UTMB – 100M category is the most mythical race of the event and in the world. 171 km for 9,963 metres of positive altitude difference, the start is in Chamonix.
The CCC – Category 100K, this is the little sister of the UTMB. 100 km for 6,156 metres of positive altitude difference and starts in Courmayeur.
The OCC – Category 50K, this is a reworked course. 55 km for 3,425 metres of positive altitude difference. The start is in Orsières, Switzerland.
The PTL – The PTL, also known as the Petite Trotte à Léon, is a team race around Mont-Blanc. 300 km and 25,000 metres of ascent, starting in Chamonix.
The TDS – The TDS allows you to enjoy unique landscapes in a friendly atmosphere. 145 km for 9,176 metres of positive altitude difference, starting in Courmayeur.
The MCC – This is the race reserved for volunteers, locals and partners. 40 km, 2,300 metres of positive elevation gain and a start in Martigny-Combe, Switzerland.
The ETC – The ETC is the latest addition to the UTMB. 15 km and 1,300 metres of positive elevation gain. The start is in Courmayeur.
The YCC – The Youth Chamonix Courmayeur is reserved for young people born between 2001 and 2009. 15 km, 1,300 metres of positive altitude difference and starts from Courmayeur.
Accommodation for the UTMB
If you are planning to take part in the UTMB, to volunteer or simply to attend the race, we suggest that you discover a number of tourist accommodations.
Refuge des Aiglons
Le Refuge des Aiglons is a 4-star hotel located at 270 Avenue Courmayeur, a 10-minute walk from the centre of Chamonix. An outdoor heated swimming pool is available to guests. You can quickly reach the start of the UTMB.
From €88 per night.
At 118 place de l’Église, you will find the hotel Le Faucigny. This charming establishment will allow you to quickly reach the hiking trails. The rooms are accessible only by stairs.
From 76€ per night.
L’Heliopic Hotel & Spa
The Heliopic Hotel & Spa is a 4-star hotel located at 610 Route Blanche, Chamonix. A 500 m² spa is available to guests. You will be located in the centre of the village.
From 115€ per night.
La Folie Douce Hotels Chamonix
La Folie Douce Hotel is located in the very heart of Chamonix. The rooms and dormitories offer full views of the surrounding mountains, from Mont Blanc to the Aiguilles Rouges. You can enjoy the heated swimming pool even in winter.
From 92€ per night.
Practical information about the event
Before setting off on the UTMB or even registering for it, there are some practical information you should know. Indeed, these races should not be taken lightly and require a very good physical condition.
The necessary equipment
As we know, the weather can be capricious in the mountains. It can be even more so in the Mont Blanc massif, where it can be over 30°C but also -10°C at an altitude of over 2,000 metres. In order to guarantee the safety of the runners, specific equipment is mandatory. You will find in particular in the basic kit :
- A bag to carry the equipment during the race
- A mobile phone with the Liverun application
- An ecocup of 15 cl at least
- At least 1L of water in reserve
- 2 working lamps, with batteries or spare battery
- A survival blanket
- A whistle
- An adhesive elastic band
- A food reserve
- A jacket with a hood
- Sticky trousers
- Bandana, Buff or cap
- A second layer of clothing
- A hat
- Waterproof overtrousers
- An identity card
Vaseline, a GPS watch, a sewing kit and some cash are also recommended to cover any unforeseen circumstances. Depending on the weather conditions, trailers may be asked to bring a heat wave kit or a bad weather kit.
Safety on the race
Before starting the race and in order to validate his registration, a runner must submit a medical certificate. During the races, participants are responsible for their own safety. It is up to them to know how to assess themselves and to take care of their health. Of course, solidarity also has its place in the competition.
Note also that the organisation does everything possible to ensure the safety and medical care of the runners. Since 2007, a medical commission meets at the end of the UTMB to review the medical activity during the race.
The 2023 edition
The 20th edition of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc will take place from 28 August to 3 September. A great celebration is in prospect for this internationally renowned event. For the first time this year, the finals of the UTMB World Series will be held in Chamonix, on the occasion of the UTMB, the OCC and the CCC, the flagship events.
But in order to start, runners will have to participate in at least one UTMB World Series or UTMB World Series Majors. They will also be able to collect Running Stones for the lottery. Some will gain direct access to their race number as a reward for their performance.