Countdown to UTMB

It’s now only 10 days until the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, the 165km trail race around Mont Blanc, with 9500m vertical ascent! I’m starting to get a bit nervous, but really looking forward to it. The trekking guiding has been keeping my mind off things, but now I’m sorting out what kit to take. One of my favourite quotes about mountaineering is “the more you know, the less you need” by Yvon Chouinard. It contrasts quite strongly with the UTMB compulsory kit list…

– mobile phone

– cup (15cl minimum)

– water (minimum 1 litre)

– two torches & batteries

– whistle

– food reserve

– survival blanket 1.40m x 2m minimum

– adhesive elastic band (mini 100cm x 6 cm)

– waterproof jacket with hood

– long running trousers or leggings

– warm long sleeved clothing (180g minimum)

– cap or bandana

– warm hat

– warm and waterproof gloves

– waterproof over-trousers

– passport

Also they strongly recommended; walking poles, change of warm clothes, money, etc. It’s quite an effort to ensure I’m carrying all the obligatory kit without turning it into an expedition, not a trail race! Still, after the ‘apocalyptic weather’ of last year (see my finish photo of the CCC), the organisation has made sensible suggestions to ensure that all competitors are safely kitted for all types of mountain weather.

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