FATMAP difficulty grade
Are you considering signing up for one of the area's many ultras, but not sure you're up to the challenge? Follow this course to get a better idea of what to expect from 3 major local races, each with its own unique characteristics.
This route is long, but thankfully offers a number of opportunities to bail out if you need to cut the day short. The route starts off easy on a large road along the classic Tour du Mont Blanc trail.
It features a typical UTMB climb: long but not too steep, at least until the last bit where a narrow, technical trail will lead you to Col du Bonhomme.
There, the UTMB trail keeps climbing to the left, but you'll take the right trail for a short, technical descent to connect with what used to be (until 2018) the TDS trail at La Sausse.
From there, keep going down towards La Gittaz via the iconic "chemin du Curé", a path carved in the rocky mountain on the orders of a local Canon, and a mainstay of TDS' highlight reels.
Be careful: although the trail is not that difficult, the rocks are frequently wet and treacherous! At La Gittaz, a long climb in the meadows awaits you.
It's not too difficult, but watch out for the cows.
In this area, you should have a better taste for the feeling of remoteness experienced during the TDS.
At the top, an easy descent will bring you to la Grande Pierrière where the trail will become much more technical; you should also be able to see the Col du Joly ahead.
I guarantee you that it will take you more time than you think to reach it. At Col du Joly, you'll be done with the TDS and ready to get a taste of the Montagn'hard on one the race's most highly-rated parts.
First, you'll start with a steep climb towards Aiguille Croche, then run on the ridgeline for a while with unobstructed views of the mountains.
Take the downhill trail just before reaching Mont Joly for a quad-busting descent.
Finally, the last climb of the day takes you to Les Tappes, before the final descent to the car park.