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“Imagination allows us to invent the impossible. Then, one day, the impossible becomes possible” – J. GABIOUD


His nearly 20-year running career has earned him the nickname “Lord of the Ice,” as he became the first to win both the TOR 330 – Tor des Géants and the TOR 450 – Tor des Glaciers. He’s easy to recognize, with his customary visor cap and the spontaneous smile of someone who at 36 continues to have fun and achieve amazing results. 

We’re talking about Jules Henry Gabioud, the Swiss ultrarunner born in Orsières on June 27, 1987. Over the years, his all-encompassing passion for the natural world has led him to a variety of different jobs: in the summer as a mountain guide and author of hiking guides, and in the winter as a winter sports instructor, with a focus on ski mountaineering. 

The athlete’s strong connection to mountain sports has its roots in the Mont Blanc massif and began in 2003, when a young Jules watched the passage of the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc with his brother on the hills near their home. Fascination with the “king of the Alps” led him to abandon road cycling and enter the world of ultra-trail running, first as a volunteer and then, once he turned 18, as a participant. And it was on Mont Blanc that Jules achieved some of his most important victories: in addition to the most challenging endurance trail races in the world, the Trail Verbier St. Bernard in 2014 and 2016 and the Petite Trotte à Léon in 2021 and 2022 with his brother Candide. 

But Jules is also an insatiable explorer, looking for new terrain to push himself out of his comfort zone and demonstrate to himself how far he’s capable of going. He’s motivated by the challenges offered by races on other continents, such as the Ultra Trail Atlas Toubkal in Morocco, which he won in 2014, and the Annapurna Mandala Trail in Nepal, where he triumphed in both 2018 and 2019. The successes he’s achieved in recent years prove it: Jules is a dreamer who works hard, always seeking the best version of himself.



You’re in the mountains 365 days a year. What’s your favorite season, and why?
It’s hard to choose because the mountains are my mantra and I love them whatever the conditions. But fall is a magical season for me, with the colors of nature and the tranquility before winter.
During your career you’ve participated in more than 100 races. Tell us about an incident that’s stuck in your mind.
I have many memories, but one of the most indelible was during my second UTMB, in 2009. I was one of the youngest participants in the race. I found myself alone in the last 10 kilometers of the race, in the company of ibexes and a beautiful sunset on Mont Blanc. An unforgettable experience. In the end, I finished with a time of 27h06 (my birthday is 27.06). As you can see, I believe in coincidences. It was a very important day for me.
Jules, you’re fast on your bike, running, on skis. Is there something you’re not good at?
Swimming! It’s too bad, because my lack of skills meant that I never got to try triathlon. But for a guy from the mountains, water means snow, and I’m better on skis.
What’s your favorite Karpos product?
The Lavaredo Ultra Jersey — no question. Lightweight and breathable, it’s the best T-shirt I’ve ever worn.


2011 1st, TOR 330 – Tor des Géants
2013 2nd, Ultra Tour Monte Rosa
2014 1st, Ultra Trail Atlas Toubkal (Marocco) 
2014 1st, X-Alpine Trail Verbier St. Bernard 
2021 1st, TOR 450 – Tor des Glaciers with Luca Papi 
2022 1st, Petite Trotte à Léon with Candide Gabioud


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