A great week had in the French and Swiss Alps with two newcomers to snowshoeing Aline and Jose from Mexico City. Thanks guys for a fab week I really enjoyed spending time with you. Lindsay

Our 2009 Alpine Trail Running camp took place in Chamonix last week. This annual event ties in with the Mont Blanc 10k, half and full marathon events – so if at the end of the week if you’d like a challenge it’s there with all the support you could ever imagine! Our runners all had different running backgrounds and ambitions which meant there was a lot of experience and stories to share.

Based in a luxury Yeti Lodge chalet our runners were able to enjoy a daily run along mountain trails, amongst pine trees and meadows, visit high villages with inspiring views around every corner – not to mention benefitting from fresh mountain air in their lungs! On our return we’d enjoy lunch, sunshine and hot tub all under the eyes of Mont Blanc!

One of the weeks highlights were the excellent tips and advice from World Champion runner, Lizzy Hawker who also gave a very inspiring talk of her worldwide running tales.

To round the week off several of our runners took part in the various races in Chamonix at the weekend with podium results! Sue Smith got 3rd in her category at her first ever mountain half marathon, Mara Larson scooped up two prizes with 3rd overall female and also 1st in her age category, and Janet Lefton completed the full marathon in an excellent time of 7h30 giving her the points required for the full Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in 2010.

So what will your 2010 challenge be? To find out more about our running week check out the feature by journalist and runner Antonia Kanczula who joined us last week in the September issue of Health & Fitness Magazine.

Last week saw the successful completion of the 3rd ever Mont Blanc Snowshoe week, led by Tracks and Trails in association with KE Adventure Travel. So what makes a trip a success? Well, for me, it's a combination of several factors. For this week, in particular, the group dynamics has to rate highly on the list - a group of 5, 2 guys/3 girls - all with different and interesting careers, lifestyles, interests and different walking CV's and Rob Wymer, an Aspirant International Mountain Leader, out gaining snowshoe experience with groups in preparation for his leader assessment. Our common denominator - walking in the mountains in winter!

Secondly, as mentioned so many times on our blog to date, the SNOW! Snowshoeing does happen to work very well in snow, not to mention fresh powder and boy did we get our fare share. After our first day up at Chalet Loriaz we had continuous snow for 3 days - which was a perfect opportunity for everyone to have the chance to break trail, learn about essential avalanche safety, route choices and staying safe by reading and assessing the terrain on route. Then following the snowy days we had some blue sky days....all in a weeks work - it's a hard job to beat!

I would also like to mention, which was voted by our team as the best day of the week, our summit of Mont Arpille at 2085m which is actually on Swiss turf. And if that wasn't enough for one day it was followed by a (voluntary....) night-snowshoe to the rustic Savoyard restaurant and Auberge of La Boerne at the hamlet of Tre le Champs where we refueled with 'tarteflette', a local dish made with creamy Reblochon cheese! So if this type of week appeals to you we still have places on our March - Mont Blanc Snowshoe Week.

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