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The start of the TDS from Courmayeur Mont Blanc

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 / Courmayeur Mont Blanc

The start of the TDS

At 6 o'clock the TDS "Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie" the race starts from square Brocherel, Courmayeur.

TDS® (Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie)

A race in open country along the ‘Grande Randonnée’ paths crossing though the Mont-Blanc, Beaufort, Tarentaise and Aosta valley countryside. 
A mountainous event, including numerous sections at altitude (>2,500m), in weather conditions which can be very difficult (night, wind, cold, rain or snow), requiring a very good level of fitness, the appropriate equipment and a real capacity for personal autonomy. 

The two Savoie and the Aosta valleys are some of the provinces that once made up the Savoie State. Line up to discover these 3 regions which are united around Mont-Blanc, and borrow the paths where history and the mountains meet.

First of all you will experience the very special ambiance of the start of the race from the centre of Courmayeur. Passing by "Maison Vieille" at the col Checrouit (1st refreshment point), you will go up along the UTMB® path to the refuge Elisabetta. Then you turn upwards towards the Col Chavannes (2603m) which is next to the col de la Seigne. Even if you are a regular runner of the UTMB®, this long ascent of the Valley Veny in the early morning light will certainly help you discover a new perspective of it, in all its magnificence. Open you eyes wide because it is a view of rare beauty! Then you will experience, throughout the long descent on gentle slopes, the splendid wilderness of the Vallon de Chavannes’ pastures before joining the Vallon de la Doire de Verney which you will go up to reach the Lac de Verney before reaching the Col du petit Saint-Bernard (2188m, refreshment post). You then leave the Aosta valley and will begin your trip in the Haute Tarentaise with a long descent along the Roman way which, since the year 2 AD, has linked Rome to Lyon by passing through the Alps. Profit from the party which will be awaiting you when you cross through Séez and then Bourg Saint-Maurice (refreshment point), because it is followed by a serious ascent of almost 2000m! You will pass the forts of Truc and la Patte which were built at the end of the XIX° century, when Franco/Italian relations were turning sour, to protect the valley from eventual attack by Italian troops. You then reach the wonderful area of the 5 lakes. Just after the Col de la Forclaz (2354m), you pass along the lac Esola, and then you climb up over the Passeur de Pralognan (2567m). A descent, very steep at first, then gentler, leads you to the volunteers from Beaufort at the Cormet de Roselend (refreshment post). You then have to go up to the Col de la Sauce, then by taking the amazing passage du Curéto the hamlet of la Gitte (have a quick look, just next to the security point, at the chapelle de Notre-Dame des Neiges, dating from 1639) then go up towards the  Col de Gitte to 2322m from where one can see the extraordinary view of the Mont-Blanc,  Aiguilles Rouges,  Fiz and Aravis chains of mountains... before taking, a little known path, across the "Grande Pierrière" to the Col du Joly where you will experience the welcome from the team from Hauteluce (refreshment point). This wild walk along the most beautiful paths of the Tarentaise, Beaufort and Mont-Blanc country continues with a descent into Les Contamines (refreshment point), before going up to the col du Tricot passing the chalets du Truc and Miage. You cross the nose of the Bionnassay glacier by footbridge and go up to Bellevue before plunging down into Les Houches (refreshment point). All that remains is to reach the centre of Chamonix for a triumphal and well deserved finish!

Distance : around 119 km
Positive height gain : around 7,250m
Time limit : 33:00

Refreshments : the principal of the event is to be semi-self-sufficient. Seven posts will be supplied with drinks and/or food to be consumed in situ. 

Main difficulties : Arête du Mont-Favre (2435m), Col Chavannes (2603m), Col du Petit Saint-Bernard (2,188m), Passeur de Pralognan (2,567m), Col de la Gitte (2,322m), Col du Tricot  (2,120m)

The start will take place at the centre of Courmayeur, on the Brocherel Place, Wednesday 29th August 2018 at 6am.
This race will be limited to 1,600 competitors.


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