The Ultra Thai Chiang Mai (UTCM) is the quest for this “GRANDEUR” (DOI LUANG CHIANG DAO) summit. It leaves from Chiang Mai and crosses mountains, hills and valleys, to the village of Chiang Dao. It is a colossal journey, covering a distance of 150 kms, with a total gain in elevation of 8’800 metres. It will be the toughest Ultra Trail in South-East Asia.
The mountains of the North, the first foothills of the Himalayas, are where the heart of Thailand beats. Here, the spirit of Thailand in all its intensity and originality is present everywhere: on the steep mountain tops, on the sheer slopes, beneath the mantle of the jungle and in the valleys carpeted with rice fields, in the dampness of the air and the freshness of waterfalls and streams. It is in this wild and isolated area, far from trekking trails and tourist routes, that the course has been created.
Ultra Trail – 150 kms of hill tribe tracks
In the dense jungle, where nature has the air of a lost world, there is a whole network of isolated tracks. These ancient beaten-earth paths, marked out by the hill tribes to link their villages, have been used less and less – some of them completely abandoned – but it has been possible to bring them back to life to create UTCM course.
The route will be used for two separate runs: one Ultra Trail race with a 45-hour time limit and one 3-day stage race. As the benchmark Ultra Trail it will be semi-self-sufficient, with stations and stops in the mountain villages.
- 150kms, 8’800m+, 8’500m-
- 5 peaks over 1’500m
- 10 villages and 3 valleys crossed
- 12 refreshment stations
- Time limit: 45 hours
- Start: 4th December 2015
- Race limited to 300 runners (Note: registration is closed)
UTCM, is an exceptional challenge for devotees of major trail running. It will be a true adventure and a magic moment to share, on the steep slopes of Doi Chiang Dao, in the jungle’s green tunnels, along the edge of rice fields or around the fires of our hosts for the night.
Doi Chiang Dao
An alpine peak in Thailand. Seen from the valley the silhouette of Doi Chiang Dao, the only alpine peak in Thailand, stands out against the sky, mysterious and fascinating. Of all the high mountains in the North it is the most imposing and the most inaccessible. With a summit 2,250 metres high and a profusion of lesser peaks and ridges, sheer cliffs and spectacular rock walls, this iconic Asian mountain, where rock and jungle meet and blend, is still barely known.
It is the Holy Grail of trail running.
November marks the end of the rainy season in Thailand.
Before the dry period sets in, a perfect window for running opens up. Paths become navigable again, yet nature, still imbued with humidity, reveals itself in all its incredible exuberance. The 150-kilometre course gives access to the remotest of areas, in a succession of magnificent landscapes and contrasting surroundings.
For more info, visit Ultra Thai Chiang Mai’s website. Photos from Ultra Thai Chiang Mai.