The Vertical KM

Vertical KM Chamonix

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Vertical KM Chamonix

If you’ve read Sophie’s blog in the past, you’ll probably have heard her mention the vertical KM. It’s a 3.8km run from Chamonix town to the top Brevant cable car, with 1000m elevation. After a 3.15am wake up call, 6 hours of travelling to Chamonix from London, the thought of stretching my legs and testing my lungs on this challenging trail was thrilling. After last weekend’s hilly half, I knew I wasn’t going to be quick, but the views (and beer) would be worth it!

We set off from the Church in town with multiple layers in Sophie’s backpack incase we were cold, but quickly started shedding those that we were already wearing. It was so sunny and warm that we were both sweating within metres of starting the trail, the temperature explains the startling lack of snow in the lower regions.

Vertical KM Chamonix

The path zig zags up the side of the mountain, meaning you can’t see the top once you get started. Although a little disheartening, it does at least mean you can’t tell how far you still have left to run, and instead can look down to survey your hard work.

Vertical KM Chamonix

My tactic was to keep asking Sophie questions so that she would do most of the talking, while I was breathing loudly just behind her. Living in London, and running mostly on the Thames tow path, hill running is not my forte, so we mostly took it at a fast paced walk. Most of the trail was clear, with small patches of snow- my Brooks trail shoes did a brilliant job although I think you would want more suitable spike style shoes if it was snowier/icier.

Vertical KM Chamonix

Vertical KM Chamonix

Vertical KM Chamonix

Once you get to the top section, the gradient increases and there are areas which are slightly more technical, involving handles, footholds and a lot of scrambling on your hands (if you’re me!). I actually loved this bit, and although looking down was a little daunting, it was so much fun to challenge myself with something new.

Vertical KM chamonix

Vertical KM Chamonix

This was the perfect way to catch up with Sophie, as well as tackling one of the challenges that I’ve heard her talking about so much. We completed the trail in under 2 hours, the mini goal we’d set for ourselves, although I’d love to come back and do it faster. Sophie’s best time is 1hr 10 however she’s hoping to complete the official Vertical KM race in June within an hour! Think I’ve got a lot more trail and hill running practise to do before I’m anywhere near that speedy.

Of course, the best way to celebrate is with beers at the top of the mountain!

Vertical KM Chamonix

Vertical KM Chamonix

22 Comments

  1. March 22, 2015 / 4:55 pm

    Well done! Im planning to do the vertical km in Italy this summer; should be a great time. Is it scary? Do you ever feel you could fall?

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:25 am

      NO I didn’t although I didn’t look down on some occasions. It all felt pretty safe with ropes and foot holds when necessary!

  2. March 22, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    Ah you did it, awesome! I kept checking it out last week every time I was going up the bubble…but then skiing got in the way. (Also the Powerade bean bags at the bar at the top are the comfiest thing in the world…a lot of end-of-ski snoozing took place)

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:24 am

      Hahah brilliant, you’ll have to give it a try next time!

  3. Chiswickmum
    March 22, 2015 / 6:10 pm

    Wow! Amazing. I’m getting vertigo just looking at it. And palpitations thinking about you being there. Another escapade I’m glad I didn’t know about until afterwards! x

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:24 am

      Sorry Mum! Come and do it with us next time, you’d love it!

  4. March 22, 2015 / 6:50 pm

    That’s awesome! It’s a goal of mine to get out and hike/trail run more this summer. I love getting your posts in my inbox each day. I just started a blog mimiruns.wordpress.com Hope you will take a look.

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:24 am

      Thanks Mimi, will check it out!

  5. Stuart
    March 22, 2015 / 9:19 pm

    Looks great, and super pics – and I just missed you! Blimey – you did it in 2 hours, and I’m aimimg for 1hr 30m. Looks like I have my work cut out!!

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:23 am

      Oh no! You’ll be fine doing it in 1 and a half hours as long as you don’t stop to natter like Sophie and I did!

  6. tessietickle
    March 23, 2015 / 7:18 am

    Wow what a beautiful challenge!!

  7. March 23, 2015 / 7:44 am

    Wow this looks amazing, the views are incredible! You’ve got some lovely pictures there.

    I’d love to do something like this one day 🙂 and you’re right! The best reward for hard work is definitely a beer.

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:22 am

      A beer with friends in the sunshine after a workout= best thing ever!

  8. March 23, 2015 / 8:10 am

    Gorgeous challenge and well done ladies! I definitely did the beer at the top, and took the gondola…

    There is SO little snow compared to just 4 weeks ago, gosh.

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:20 am

      Thanks Bibi! Beer at the top is a must, however you got there!

  9. March 25, 2015 / 6:28 am

    What an amazing experience! It must have been so much fun taking on the challenge and trying something new! x

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:20 am

      It really was and I fell in love with trail running (not the hills though!)

  10. March 27, 2015 / 7:30 am

    Looks amazing!!! I can’t believe how little snow there is either– thank god you like running (and beer ) xxx

    • charlotte
      March 31, 2015 / 10:20 am

      Haha I know, some of my favourite things! Not a bad way to spend a weekend with friends 🙂

  11. April 3, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    This looks so amazing! Wow!

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