How do you find accommodation for the UTMB (Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc)?
With thousands of trail runners and supporters coming to Chamonix in August 2021, it makes sense to book your accommodation well in advance.
With 30 years of experience, Ski Weekend is a Chamonix specialist and can arrange chalet, apartment or hotel accommodation for you, including transfers from Geneva if required.
Accommodation for the UTMB
We are Chamonix specialists and can arrange accommodation for any size of group, from just you to a group of 20 or more.
Most properties require a minimum stay of 2 or 3 nights, with packages available from £399pp.
Choices range from our flagship Chalet Les Jumelles (suitable for groups of up to 12 people) to the super-stylish Folie Douce hotel (options range from ‘hostel’ style rooms to share to 4* premium rooms).
What is the UTMB?
The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB) is widely regarded as the world’s most famous trail running race.
Starting in Chamonix, competitors travel by foot on a route that takes them across three countries and seven valleys. The demanding course covers 170km and almost 10,000m of positive height gain.
When you consider that the normal ‘Tour de Mont Blanc’ walking route usually takes 7-10 days of hiking, it’s quite outstanding that most runners will complete the course in 30-45 hours (and the winners in an astonishing 20 hours).
Six Races in UTMB Week
As interest in trail running has grown over the years since the first UTMB took place in 2003, the organisers have created additional races ranging in distance from 40km to 119km.
In 2021, there will be six races taking place during the week of the UTMB, all using different sections and variations of the main course:
UTMB Chamonix®: Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, 168km/+9600 m
CCC®: Courmayeur – Champex – Chamonix, 101km/+6100 m
TDS®: Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie, 119km/+7250 m
OCC: Orsières – Champex – Chamonix, 53 km/+3300 m
PTL®: La Petite Trotte à Léon (team event), ~300 km/+28,000m
MCC: Martigny – Combe – Chamonix, 40km/+2300 m
Can anyone enter the UTMB races?
In the early days of the race, all you needed to do was enter and that was your place confirmed.
However, the trails and mountains can only cope with a certain number of runners at a time. So now, even to get a place in the draw, it’s necessary to gain qualifying points from other ultramarathons.
As time has passed, the threshold has increased, making it even harder to get a place. Currently the entry level is equivalent to completing a couple of significant (~100 mile) ultras in the two years leading up to the race.
Even if you have enough points to get into the ballot for the main UTMB race, your chances of being drawn are only about 1 in 4 (improving for the shorter races).
Families and Supporters
If you do have a place in one of the races, then it’s worth planning in advance, as UTMB week is the busiest week of the year in Chamonix.
Most runners bring family and/or supporters with them and with over 8000 competitors that’s a lot of people in the town.
There’s plenty to entertain everyone while in Chamonix. In addition to all the great activities always on offer in this great resort in the summer, the UTMB put on mini trail running events for children.
There’s also a big event village that guarantees a great atmosphere, covering all the races non-stop on a big screen.
Pre-UTMB Training and Course Recce
If you have a place in one of the UTMB races, then one of the best forms of preparation is to come out to the Alps and train here.
You can get used to the trails, the altitude and recce your course. We can arrange your transfers, accommodation and book refuges for you, if necessary.
The trails are open all year round (subject to snow levels) and Chamonix has a website dedicated to all the routes and options available.
Simply contact us on 01392 878 353 for more advice on the best options for you.