Swiss glaciers are melting at an unprecedented rate, some losing six per cent of their remaining volume in one year and far exceeding previous records. As a heatwave hits the Alps we look at the water shortage that is now affecting mountain huts.

Water is not a never ending resource and in the mountains the effect of a changing climate is being felt. We know that the rising temperatures are showing their effects in many parts of the world, but first and foremost in the glaciated mountain regions of the world. The glaciers are melting, the winters are warmer and bringing less snow every year and, as a consequence, the water supplies run low. Mountain huts rely on snow for their water, so if there’s not enough snow in the winter then running the huts in the summer is difficult. How are they going to cope with this situation? Will they be able to survive?

What is trail running? 

According to Wikipedia, 'Trail Running' is a sport-activity which combines running, and, where there are steep gradients, hiking, that is run "on any unpaved surface".  Anyone can trail run, whether this be competitively or just getting out and enjoying the nature.  Here we highlight the key kit you need to get started.

Trail running is great because you don’t need very much to start, a lot of us think we need more than we do. The key is to make sure your gear is safe, useful and light weight.

Ideally you want the minimum gear to travel quickly and as comfortably as possible. But things can change quickly on the trail, such as weather and injury, so you might find yourself taking more than you use. If you’re unsure, try checking local races for mandatory kit checklists and you can often base what you pack accordingly.

Continue reading to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything for your next run.

Great to see Tracks and Trails featured in the Times Travel section. Journalist Richard Mellor picked our Chamonix Classic Trails running trip as an ideal activity break in the Alps. Enjoy a week of running with views of glaciers, and snowy peaks on trails that are an absolute joy!

The dates for all our 2024 and 2025 trail running holidays are live on the website.

For runners ready to move off-road and onto the trails, we recommend our Chamonix Trail Running Camp. This June trip accesses the mountain trails that Chamonix is legendary for at a time of year when the meadows are at their finest and filled with flowers. Tracks and Trails ill arm you with the tools to tackle the terrain change confidently.

More experienced trail runners will appreciate the opportunity to journey around Mont Blanc. So if you need a quick trail fix, there is our five-day Chamonix to Courmayeur long weekend in July or September.

Other options include the Tracks and Trails eight-day guided runs: Mont Blanc Ultra Trail, Trans Verdon in Haute Provence or the Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites.

Our Bespoke Running Holiday options is always available too. Guests can share their running goals and Tracks and Trails will create the trip of a lifetime!

Chamonix. This mythical Alpine town is home to Mont Blanc, Europe's highest mountain, which has captured the hearts of mountain lovers for generations. Located on the Eastern border of France, right in heart of the French Alps, Chamonix marks the border with both Italy and Switzerland. Steeped in Alpine history and home to some of the world's best hiking and running trails, skiing tracks and climbing routes, Chamonix is an adventure lover's perfect playground.  

At Tracks and Trails , Chamonix is our home-away-from-home and we run several hiking, trail runningsnowshoeing and family adventure holidays based from this wonderful and historic mountain town. Read on to find out more about Chamonix Mont Blanc and why the magic never dies. 


Summer at Tracks and Trails is all about exploring the mountains under our own steam; our trail running holidays are open to runners of all abilities. Scroll down for our definitive guide to trail running in the Alps and beyond.

A guide to choosing a suitable headtorch for running or hiking, to help light up those dark nights and see you safely through from dusk until dawn.

Whether you’re heading out for an evening run, got caught out as the sun set on a hike, or just finding your way to the campsite facilities, a decent headtorch will make all the difference. Advances in lighting capacity and battery technology now offer us a dazzling range to choose from, depending on our budget and needs. Simple models with minimal adjustment sit alongside more advanced models, offering programmable lighting modes, multiple beams, and even intelligent reactive lighting that economises battery power.

Remember the good old days of fumbling with an OS map in a howling wind, then trying to locate the compass in one of your jacket’s many pockets (only to realise it's embedded firmly at the bottom of your rucksack…)? Remember too the early heart rate monitors that ate batteries, were clunky and didn’t seem to work reliably for more than a few weeks before they’d start to provide inaccurate readings that were off the charts?