france – Beyond the Edge

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Behind the Shot: Alexander Megos, 20, on Climbing World-Famous Biographie in France

See more photos like this in our Extreme Photo of the Week gallery. Twenty-year-old German climber Alexander Megos is quietly making quick work of some of the most famous sport climbing routes in the world. Just earlier this month he ascended Biographie, also known as Realization, one of the most famous sport-climbing routes in the…

Climbing Mont Blanc: The Mountains Make the Rules

As any mountaineer will attest, it’s a tough pill to swallow when you set your sights on a goal and prepare for months, only to be denied. I just returned from an attempt to climb Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe. Bad weather thwarted my ascent, which is a bit of a letdown.…

Climbing Mont Blanc: Setting Sights on the Ceiling of Western Europe

It’s that time of year—the eve of summer, when the earth starts to awaken from her long slumber and I get itchy for adventure. After all, it’s what feeds me. Sure, my weekends are packed with fun outdoor forays all year long. But nothing compares to setting your sights on a somewhat scary goal and…

Ultra Trail Runner Mike Foote on Montana Pride, Yurt Living, and Exploring Open Spaces

“Team Foote” was the slogan on the T-shirts Missoula, Montana ultra trail runner Mike Foote sold to make his way to his first The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB) in 2011. He ended up taking eleventh and was the first American finisher in the 100-mile race looping around Mont Blanc in the French, Swiss,…

Ultra Trail Runner Rory Bosio on Loving the Mountains, Yoga, and Not Taking It All So Seriously

If you get the chance to hang out with a bunch of ultra trail runners, take it. This breed of friendly, supportive, humble endurance athletes pulls off incredible distances in challenging mountainous terrain without uttering a complaint—except maybe that 100 kilometers instead of 100 miles is “a fun run,” as one The North Face Ultra-Trail…

Wintry Conditions Reroute the 10th Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc

Racers will take on 100 kilometers within France instead of 100 miles in France, Switzerland, and Italy. The approximately 2,300 trail runners that were primed for the 10th The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), scheduled to depart Friday evening, were rattled by news that their 100-mile race would be cut short. Weather reports of…

Gear Crush: Layering for Epic Trail Running Weather

Weather forecasts for Friday predict three to five inches of snow during The North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), the 100-mile trail race around 15,771-foot Mont Blanc through France, Switzerland, and Italy. That makes gearing up for the endurance event even more complicated. Breckenridge, Colorado-based ultra trail runner Helen Cosplich, sponsored by The North Face, will…

What to Pack to Run 100 Miles in the Alps

In the 2011 North Face Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), Mike Foote was the first American finisher, 11th place, in the 103-mile trail race through the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. To put it in context, the race course around 15,771-foot Mount-Blanc has a combined ascent greater than Everest. Last year Mike finished in 24 hours, 25…

Runners Prep for Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc – Live Webcast Begins Today

On Friday some of the world’s best ultra trail runners will compete in the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB), the 103-mile trail race though the French, Swiss, and Italian Alps. The runners’ combined ascent will take them higher than Everest. With flash weather changes from rain to snow to hail, hypothermia is a great concern. Oh, and there…

Skiing Chamonix, France: A French Education

Read more about Chamonix, France in our World’s Best Ski Towns story. Chamonix, France is a small alpine world in a big valley. As the home to some of the highest and best concentrations of glacier-ridden steep skiing and alpine ice and rock routes on our planet, it is a hotbed for the elite mountain…