Clearly when the Dead wrote that there’s nowhere else they’d rather be than in Tennessee, they had never been to Chamonix. When Mom began planning this trip, I asked her to go to Chamonix which is the home of the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc . . . so obviously I was DYING to go run there. As soon as we got off the train, I was in love with this place.
The first day, Mom and I rode the cable car up to Aguille du Midi to take in the breathtaking views of Mont Blanc. From there, I began my first run in the Alps. The terrain was a little more technical than I expected, but it was still pretty runnable. I kept turning around though to take in the jaw-dropping views.
Most people were hiking except for two other girls, but all were super friendly and encouraging. I even had an elderly dude yell “you’re already late for the beer!” The entire time I was hiking or jumping from rock to rock, I kept thinking “this is the coolest thing I’ve ever done” . . . and it was. Some things are great to experience with others; however, running in the Alps and doing it solo was perfection. And it was just what my body and spirit needed. It was absolutely surreal, and I have never had a better time in my life than when I was bounding along pretending to be Emelie or Kilian. I ran the path from Aguille du Midi to Mer de Glace which is home to an actual real life glacier (Which is NOT the same thing as an iceberg. Deep down I knew this, but my 18 year long obsession with Titanic kept trying to convince me otherwise).
After reaching Mer de Glace and exploring the glacier with Mom, I ran from Mer de Glace back down to Chamonix.
The first part of this trail was basically all rock and all downhill. It was the first trail in the forest though, and it was spectacular.
Eventually, I popped out on a giant rock and into the great wide open. I also happened upon a little bar set out in the middle of BFE with people just drinking, hanging, and cheering on runners/hikers.
I picked up the double track trail and ran the next 3 miles or so down into Chamonix. My first run in the Alps was all that I wanted it to be — Just an all together glorious, unforgettable, I never wanted to stop run.