Tracks and Trails / Booking & Info / Blog and Chat

We are delighted to be collaborating with Chloë Lanthier on our 2018 Chamonix trail running camp. Chloë, founder of the Chamonix based x-training school, is an extremely gifted and accomplished athlete with over two decades of experience competing across the globe.

Originally from Canada and bilingual in English and French, Chloë is based in the Chamonix valley and brings a wealth of practical knowledge and trail running acumen gained from many years of competition, coaching and educating at the highest international level. For many years Chloë has also been an extremely active advocate promoting the sport in her role as a Patagonia Trail Running Ambassador.

In addition to her being an accomplished athlete (including having placed first amongst the women competing in Alaska’s gruelling Iditarod Trail Invitation, a 560km unsupported winter bike event, and winning the title of World Champion at the 24 hours of Solo Mountain Biking in Canada), Chloë also has an impressive record in sports rehabilitation and performance training, founded on her BA in Exercise Physiology and her Masters in Science in Biomechanics and Human Performance.

Complementing her passion for trail running, Chloë is also an avid backcountry skier, mountain biker and enjoys sharing her insight and knowledge of a diverse range of subjects relating to the outdoors through her writing. Chloë has authored many engaging pieces for her readers on topics such as developing a balanced and healthy lifestyle in the mountains, sports nutrition and performance training. Her bi-weekly blog can be read here.

Chloë will share her extensive knowledge on one exclusive trail camp this summer 1st-8th July 2018 whilst working along side french qualified International Mountain Leader Sebastien Gros. Chamonix born and bred Sebastien has only ever known a life living and working in the mountains. Sebastien has a Masters in Sport, Tourism and Local Development and is qualified as both an 'Accompagnateur en Moyenne Montagne' (International Mountain Leader for hiking and trail running) and an Alpine Ski Instructor. He's passionate about trail running as it allows him to explore new places. Seb has already guided many of our trips be it through the Gorge du Verdon, around Mont Blanc or along Mallorca's GR221. We feel that together this collaboration of skills and experience will offer any avid runner the opportunity to enhance their skills and experience on any mountain trails. Runners will be in very safe & accomplished hands!

NEW EXCLUSIVE: Chamonix Trail Running Camp

We have chosen the newly renovated 3* Hotel Aiguille du Midi as our base for this week of trail running activities. A traditional French mountain hotel perfectly situated at the foot of the famous Glacier des Bossons. The hotel offers a spacious living area, free wi-fi, spa facilities, massage room and garden with a gorgeous pool that boasts splendid views of Mont Blanc and the surrounding peaks. The dining facilities at the Hotel Aiguille du Midi are also excellent. Each evening you’ll enjoy healthy, local cuisine with a 3-course dinner; whilst breakfast and lunch each day will feature wholesome and nutritious foods to keep your energy levels sustained so as to ensure you’ll get the most enjoyment from your time running the trails. We can cater for vegetarian and other dietary needs — just get in touch and we’ll be happy to make the necessary arrangements. To find out more about the itinerary and a detailed list of activities for the Chamonix trail camp, visit the dedicated webpage. It’s also possible to take part in our trail running week on a guiding-only basis without accommodation: to check availability visit the booking page here.

To find out more about all our trail running trips to the Dolomites, the Jura, Verdon Gorge and other destinations this coming summer visit the main page for our info page on trail running holidays. If you’ve any questions or need help with selecting a trip to best suit your ambitions and experience level, please get in touch — we’re happy to help!

We are pleased to announce that Tracks and Trails Director and co-owner Julia Tregaskis-Allen has been awarded the position of Ambassador for the British-owned outdoor clothing and equipment company Montane. As a member of the BAIML (British Association of Mountain Leaders), and one of four International Mountain Leaders chosen to represent the brand, Julia is very proud to have been selected and is looking forward to taking up the role:

"As a mountain professional quality equipment and clothing is an essential part of the job. Montane products are highly regarded in terms of design and performance across a broad range of mountain activities. I’m delighted to be working with Montane as an Ambassador and to be involved with the development of their brand."

Julia will be engaged in testing, improving and developing new products, as well as promoting the Montane brand to outdoor enthusiasts.
Find out more about Julia in her recent interview with Montane here.

 

Julia's been an International Mountain Leader and BASI ISIA Nordic Ski Teacher for over 10 years. During this time she's specialised in guiding and organising adventure holidays in the Alps and Scandinavia and led treks and expeditions in Africa, South America and the Himalayas. The 10 years prior to this she combined working as a sports coach / personal trainer with outdoor education.

Be it on foot, skis, by bike or on rock she's never happier than when on a journey through the mountains.

Thank you Lizzie for sending us your wonderful cross country skiing story.......(to date!)

Mention cross-country to skiing to most of my friends and colleagues and I am usually met with a response along the lines of ‘that looks a bit too much like hard work’..... well, it can be hard work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding, and for those people who enjoy trail running, long hikes or just some fresh air in the great outdoors away from the crowds, then it might just be worthwhile giving cross-country skiing a try.

I’ve long been a fan of the outdoors, fresh air and travel. I have also always enjoyed alpine skiing, so when I discovered Tracks and Trails ‘Introduction to cross-country skiing’ long weekend in Italy, I thought I’d give it a go. Right for the off-set something clicked....although unfortunately it probably wasn’t the technique! The stunning scenery at Val Ferret was the perfect setting, and within a few short hours of basic instruction, we were heading off on an adventure (or at least to the far end of the valley to the restaurant). There is something really satisfying about tucking into a hearty meal in a location you can only reach under your own steam. And no guilty conscience about having cake, because there was always going to be a couple of hours skiing to get back to the start of the trail! The introductory weekend did everything it said on the tin. It gave you a real taste for what you could achieve with cross-country skiing. I was hooked!

I was soon booking myself onto a week in Norway, at the Venabu Fjellhotell. Norway - the home of skiing, for good reason. There are seemingly endless trails across fells and through woodlands. Filling a week and never repeating a route, with expert instruction, my skiing came on leaps and bounds. Whilst the accommodation at Venabu is marvellous, as someone who loves long distance treks and journeys of discovery, my aspiration was to become competent enough to do a multi-day journey. Tracks and Trails offer a number of these and my sights were set on their ‘Trolls Trail Tour’ - 175km from the Rondane to Lillehammer their hardest tour no less (I’m never one to like an easy option!).

Just one more trip before feeling confident enough to tackle the Trolls Trail, I booked onto a Traverse of the Black Forest in Germany. Cuckoo clocks and Black Forest gateau in abundance, the trail proved to be a great journey too. 100km from Schonach to Belchen, the trail winds through forest, before heading over Feldberg Mountain and starting the descent to the finish. Some of the best scenery in Germany, and again great organisation from Tracks and Trails. Our bags were moved on each day, so you could enjoy the fresh air and exercise, safe in the knowledge that there was always going to be a hot shower and comfortable bed at the end of it.

Almost 2 years to the day after I first put the skinny skis on in Val Ferret, I arrived back in Norway to do the Trolls Trail. The journey didn’t disappoint. Over the course of a week, our adventure took us across the Rondane to Lillehammer. There were days when we didn’t see another skier from one stage to the next. A real highlight for me was a night in a traditional Norwegian hut. A big effort during the day ensured we were there early enough to bagsy a bed, but it was great meeting other skiers passing through on their own journeys and sharing tales over huge pans of steaming pasta by a fire.

I’m completely caught the cross-country bug. I can’t wait to plan my next trip, which I would really like to be another multi-day journey. However, another challenge awaits slightly more imminently. A group of colleagues asked me if I would consider joining them to do the Birkebeiner. It’s a 54km race finishing in Lillehammer, and this year is the 80th Anniversary. It is legendary in Norway. I couldn’t say no! I am now wondering what on earth I have done, but it has given me something new to focus on, and on the basis that I love a challenge, what could possibly go wrong?

So there you go, complete novice to aspirant Birkebeiner competitor in 3 short years. And the best thing about it all are the marvellous people that I’ve met and the adventures I've had along the way. What am I up to right now? Spending New Year 2018 with a great bunch of people, enjoying the fabulous hospitality at Venabu again! I have a race to prepare for and what better way to do it then with Tracks and Trails!

So, is cross-country skiing hard work? Well it is more demanding than sitting on a ski lift.....but also so much more rewarding. Now when I mention cross-country skiing to my Norwegian colleagues and friends, they say ‘ but you’re a Brit!’.....yes I am. But one that loves the loipe and I can’t wait to tell them that I’ve done the Birkebeiner!

Lizzie Norton

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