PTL® (La Petite Trotte à Léon)
The PTL® (Petite Trotte à Léon) is one of the 5 events on offer within the framework of the UTMB®.
It opens the event. Its conception is original and its unusual specificities distinguish it from other races. The spirit of the PTL® depends upon mental engagement, an adventurous team spirit as well as sporting values and also those of the mountains.
This ultra-endurance pedestrian event leads participants on a large tour of Mont-Blanc (290km and 26500m of ascent),taking high routes, without way-markers on the ground, which necessitates the sense of orientation on and off paths. Each year the route is different to allow for the discovery of the richness and diversity of paths in France, Italy and Switzerland within the Mont-Blanc massif.
The PTL® is realised in teams of 2 or 3 inseparable and loyally supportive people, without final ranking. The teams move through a rough, technically exacting and mentally and physically demanding mountain environment.
With regard to the difficulties inherent to this event, applications are selected from a file of experiences submitted by each established team (see paragraph 2016 Registration).
For its 9th year the start of the PTL® is fixed for Monday August 22nd 2016 at 9am, from the Place du Triangle de l'Amitié in Chamonix. The finishers will be judged in the same place, until Sunday August 28th at 17:00, so a maximum time of 152 hours.
The proposed course around Mont-Blanc, omnipresent, and its prestigious satellites, is this year still innovative and outstanding. You will cross little known areas, often difficult to access and with the most breath-taking views.
From the start, after having followed the right bank of the Bossons glacier you will join the steep slopes of the Chamonix needles. You will discover a view point spread with strange cairns, plunging on the Drus, the Mer de Glace and the prestigious north face of the Grandes Jorasses. Then from there you will join the Aiguilles rouges, via the pale rocks, the wild valley of the Diosaz before crossing the different steep faces and ridges of Mont Buet. From there (the high point of the circuit at 3086m) discover the 360° panoramic view of the Mont-Blanc massif, the Chablais, the Valais Alps with in the background the Matterhorn and Monta Rosa and the Bernese Alps. After having tackled the Autannes ridge, frontier with Switzerland, you will leave behind you the tumultuous cascade of seracs which is the Trient glacier to reach the life base at Champex, well known to the runners of the OCC, CCC® or UTMB®. Then, temporarily you will leave Mont-Blanc, to make a spectacular trip in the Grand Combin between Mont Rogneux and the Fenêtre Durand. Your attention will be taken by the immense Corbassière glacier where you plunge down to the long lake behind the Mauvoisin dam.
The passage in Italy then follows in the Aosta valley which will let you appreciate the great views from the Grand Paradis to the Ruitor, by taking the ridges between Mont Fallère and the Col Sérena to reach the Morgex life-base. You will have the opportunity, after Mont Chétif overhanging Courmayeur, to approach the heart of the spectacular and legendary cliffs of the south face of Mont-Blanc: the ridges of the Peuterey and the Innominata, and verging on the magnificent Freney, Brouillard and Miage glaciers, before returning to France via the col de la Seigne The return to France will be made by first following the Aiguille des Glaciers to reach the col d’Enclave, which dominates the Montjoie valley which you will follow to the Col Tricot. Finally, before time runs out at the finish, you can discover the north side of the Mont-Blanc massif by crossing the Bionnassay valley to the Nid d'Aigle, then the scree slope which marks the beginning of the normal route to climb Mont-Blanc. From the col des Rognes, by crossing les Arandellys and the small valley of Chavanne Vieille, you at last descend to Chamonix.
You will be welcomed under the finishing arch, in particular, by the PTL® volunteers who will give you your finisher's jacket. Lastly, on Sunday afternoon, during the closing ceremony, you will receive the traditional small cow-bell.