Martin Nytra: Chamonix 2020
07. 10. 2020
UTMB or Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc is simply a concept!
However, due to this years situation regarding Covid-19, this holiday of trail running did not take place, and so thousands of people lost this incredible experience. For those who don't happen to know what I'm writing about, this is a run around Mont Blanc on a 170 km long route with 10,000 meters climbed, crossing the territory of 3 countries (France, Italy, Switzerland). Probably one of the most beautiful routes for me. Simply perfection itself BUT….This season was like a house of cards, the Coronavirus came and everything fell apart. However, this was no reason for us not to invent an alternative to the canceled races and to go to Chamonix anyway. The plan was clear, we will divide the route into 3 days of about 60 km and we will sleep in mountain huts. Simple what could go wrong...
At first, the plan was slightly complicated by the transition from one country to another. As it was not allowed from France to Italy without a test, from Italy to Switzerland without quarantine. In the end, we managed to agree with the mountain huts that in our case it is actually just a transit and everything should be fine. The weather forecast reported rapid cooling and 3 days of heavy snowfall, which in the mountains means the end and closure of mountain huts. Also, one cottage the night before the start wrote to us that they are under the snow and not to come. Another complication, but definitely no reason not to make small adjustments in the route and set off.
Our group numbered 7 people (5 boys and 2 girls), definitely, a nice bunch, and whoever planned something, knows very well that the more people, the more problems. But that was not our case. No one once complained about the bad weather, the complications with the accommodation, just about nothing. Great bunch of people I wanted to spend 3 days in the mountains with!
We started the route at 7 a.m from the center of Chamonix. I don't understand, but no one cheered or photographed us there…. Well, we‘re doing it for ourselves. For the first 15 km, one moves more or less along the plain on a forest path and then the first hill awaits you. From 1,300 meters above sea level, we started wading through the snow and everyone slowly began to realize that it would not be a walk in the rose garden. We survived the first smaller hill with snow only halfway through our legs. About 35 km behind the town of Saint Gervais, the first test in the form of a saddle at an altitude of 2500 m above sea level was to await us.
Everything was decided here, 500 meters below the saddle, we struggled through the snow, with visibility only a few meters and moving purely according to the GPS route in the watch. This was the end, it was clear that we did not have a chance to get on the saddle and complete the planned track.
Well, the holiday doesn't end there! When we run this far, we can run back. And getting stuck in Chamonix for 4 days is a dream come true. We ran a decent 74 km on the first day and I must admit that we all had enough. For the next few days, we decided not to experiment and make the most of the beauty of the adjacent mountains. In fact, in the end, we didn't even mind that we didn't succeed in what we came here for. Maybe, on the contrary, all the stress fell from us and we were able to enjoy another 3 days after the ears in the powder like small children. We didn't forget the proper bowling alley.
But it's all captured on video, so sit back and enjoy it nicely.
T-shirt - NINJA -U
Jacket - HURRICANE-M
Compression leggings - GEAR-M
Waterproof pants - ALPIN-U