In the last century, thousands of athletes - from all over the world - challenged Mont Blanc in many disciplines, including mountain race.

It would not be enough a library to collect the books that tell the stories of these athletes, their passion and the intense emotions they have lived.

For this reason we just remind you only the most recent mountain running challenges. 

Those of athletes that you may still meet in the center of Courmayeur!


In the 1920s, at the dawn of the discipline of mountain running, only a few Nations organized competitions in this discipline: USA, United Kingdom, USSR, France, Spain, Japan and Italy. 

The first Italian athletes started to train on the Mont Blanc and the local Alps in preparation for the legendary Ivrea-Mombarone competition still held today. 

In 1985 in Italy was organized the first internationally important competition such as the Mountain World Championship and few years later in 1991 was held the the first official Mont Blanc challenge.

If today we run and climb on the Mont Blanc without fear but with great reverence we also owe it to athletes, professionals and entrepreneurs who are dreamers and visionaries such as Marino Giacometti, Giulio Sergio Roi and Enrico Frachey. In three different ways they conytributed to the development of the discipline. Giacometti is a top athlete and founder of the FSA and later the International Sky-Running Federation; Roi is a sports doctor famous for his studies on performance at high altitude and the Fracey is the Managing Director of the Sports Company FILA, in fact one of the first sponsors of these sporting events. 

All three were convinced that Mont Blanc was the perfect theater to challenge one's limits…. 

The same conviction that we have! ... Do you?


The 28th of July 1991, just twenty years ago, four athletes Adriano Greco, Marino Giacometti, Angelo Todisco and Sergio Rozzi decided to challenge themselves on the Mont Blanc running up and down for 52km starting from Courmayeur. The hard and unforgettable race was won by Adriano Greco with a time of 8h 48’25 ''. 

Since then, year after year, Mont Blanc, but also Monte Rosa and Adamello, have been the scene of impossible challenges, above 1,000m 2,000m and 4,000m of positive altitude gained in a few kilometers or tens of kilometers. 

In the following years, the Mont Blanc attracted athletes from all over the world who competed in Sky Running, Sky Alp, Sky Bike races, up to the current Vertical and Trail Running competitions. 

Without disrespecting any athlete, it is necessary to remember that the most daring and determined athletes to challenge the White Giant Mont Blanc were the aforementioned Giacometti and the indefatigable Bruno Brunod from the Aosta Valley.

Gradually the Sky Running challenges have given way to less technical disciplines such as trail running which Courmayeur has promoted also in collaboration with organisations from the other side of the Alps such as the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc in Chamonix.

Tratto  da Skyalper n.129/25 giugno 2020  © Claudio Primavesi


Thanks to the geographical position, the history, the athletes and the incessant desire of the local organisers to invent increasingly challenging race courses, Courmayeur has become, with good reason, the Capital of Trail Running in Italy with many unmissable races taking place each year.

Many of these races are still organised today, but only one of these guarantees to leave its indelible mark on the slopes of the Mont Blanc: the Vertical Trail Courmayeur Mont Blanc!




There are 10 trail running races that still start, pass or arrive in Courmayeur today.

Let's remember them in the chronological order of birth:

  • Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB®)
  • Chamonix - Courmayeur - Champex (CCC®)
  • Gran Trail Valdigne
  • Sur les Traces des Ducs de Savoie (TDS®)
  • Arrancabirra
  • Tor Des Géants®
  • Gran Trail Courmayeur®
  • Winter Trail
  • Tor Dret and other races
  • Vertical Courmayeur, today transformed into Vertical Trail Courmayeur Mont Blanc (VTMB).


The news was confirmed to the five Municipalities of the Mont Blanc Valley - Courmayeur, La Salle, La Thuile, Morgex and Pré-Saint-Didier – by Aces Europe (Federation of European Capitals and Cities of Sport).

Stefano Miserocchi - the Mayor of Courmayeur, commented: "it is the result of the synergy and collaboration between the five administrations that worked for a common goal, but above all recognition of the value and good management of our territory from the point of view of sport, well-being and health promotion. Sport once again binds a community. In this way we become part of a European network, which will give visibility to our territories. The work will now focus on the planning of events and appointments that in 2021 involve the entire territory".

Skyway Monte Bianco, cuore del Vertical Trail Mont Blanc

The Skyway Monte Bianco is a super innovative and futuristic mountain cable car opened in 2015. 

The journey to discover the wonders of Mont Blanc is divided into two parts.

At the first intermediate station of the Pavillon du Mont Frétyy located at 2173mt, in the Hangar 2173 exhibition you find the story of this cable car conceived by Eng. Dino Lora Totino.

In a few minutes, continuing with the cable, you reach Punta Helbronner at 3,466mt, in the heart of the largest massif of the Alps.

From the panoramic terrace you can closely admire the top of Mont Blanc, the Giant's Tooth, the Peuterey ridge and the Brenva Himalayan glacial cirque: an unforgettable experience.

Come and enjoy these unique and great natural sceneries!



There are unique experiences to live at the different levels of the Skyway, such as: enjoying a high altitude lunch at the Sky Way Restaurant, visit the Alpine garden in summer, admire the interesting Crystal Exhibition.

From Punta Helbronner you can comfortably descend by lift to the historic Turin Refuge, recently renewed. The view over the Val Veny valley and the Miage Glacier is also fantastic. 

From the Skyway you can admire the Mont Maudit, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Aigullle du Midi, Aiguilles of Chamonix, Drus, Aiguille Verte, Les Grandes Jorasses, and up to the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the French Alps of Savoy and Dauphiné.

What else would you wish?


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