- Complete all 11 stages of the full TdMB trek
- Rest day in Courmayeur to relax, enjoy the culture, visit a spa
- All baggage transfers between hotels in villages to access fresh clothes/toiletries
- All female leadership
- Memories to last a lifetime!Accommodations:
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a quintessential bucket list trip! This trek circumnavigates the entire Mont Blanc Massif covering a distance of roughly 110 miles with 33,000ft of elevation loss and passes through Switzerland, Italy and France. It is a challenging trek over dramatic mountainous terrain - a once in a lifetime experience.
We will stay in a combination of rustic mountain huts, hotels, and auberges. We will complete all the stages of the trek (many other treks skip stages to complete the trek in 7 days) including a rest day in Courmayeur, Italy to indulge in a spa day mid-trip. Your bags will be transfered between hotels so that you have a chance to freshen up between the mountain stages. Space is limited to 6 on this trip so don't delay! :-)
Minimum 4, maximum 6 clients; balance of $3,495 due 90 days in advance on 4/3/16.
Once you register for your trip, you will be sent an invitation to the trip on PathWrangler, the site we use to share the detailed itinerary, directions, gear list, as well as a forum for communicating with other clients and your guides. It is very important that you accept this invitation.
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Day 1, July 3 - Arrive at Geneva, Switzerland (GVA) for transport to Chamonix
Day 2, July 4 - Les Houches to Les Contamines via the Col de Tricot 2120m and the chalets des trucs.
A relaxed day to warm up, a short bus ride takes us to Les Houches. We take the Bellevue cable car onto the ridge above Les Houches. From here are great views of the Chamonix Valley and its peaks. We ascend the Col de Tricot (6,965 ft) then down to the Chalets de Miage with its cafe and possibly the finest blueberry tart in the Alps. We traverse a short elevation to the Chalets de Truc before a steady decline into Les Contamines. Elevation gain: 2,729 ft, loss: 4,324 ft, 8 miles
Day 3, July 5 - Les Contamines to the Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme
From Les Contamines we walk to the end of the valley and climb first through alpine meadows and reach towards richer mountainous terrain to the Col du Bonhomme 7,641 ft. A rocky traverse takes us around to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme. A warm welcome at the Refuge du Col de la Croix de Bonhomme, our overnight stop, is a few yards away.
Day 4, July 6 - Refuge du Col de la Croix de Bonhomme to Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini
There are two options depending on weather:
Day 5, July 7 - Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini to Courmayeur
Today provides a superb panorama of the Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif. From the Elisabetta hut we follow the old military road for few miles past the Lac du Combal 6,479 ft before climbing and then traversing to the Col de Checrouit. We now make our descent to the attractive old village of Dolonne and into Courmayeur. Elevation 2050 ft, loss 5,118 ft, 10 miles.
Day 6, July 8 - Rest day Courmayeur!!
Day 7, July 9 - Courmayeur to the Rifugio Walter Bonatti
Here is another choice of two beautiful routes to the Rifugio Bonatti. Each route have some of the most dramatic views on the whole of the Tour du Mont Blanc. We walk out of Courmayeur and climb to the Rifugio Bertonne 6,225 ft where the route splits:
Day 8, July 10 - Rifugio Bonatti to La Fouly
From the Bonatti the path traverses and climbs, continuing the dramatic views before descending to Arnuva. We continue on to the Refuge Elena opposite the snout of the Pre de Barre glacier. The path then climbs steeply to reach the Swiss frontier at the Grand Col Ferret 8,323 ft. We descend into Swiss Val Ferret and to La Fouly. Elevation 3,116 ft, loss, 4,593 ft, 12 miles.
Day 9, July 11 - La Fouly to Champex Lac
Today is a completely new in contrast to the previous landscape as the route takes us through farmland and old hamlets with typical Valaisanne houses and barns some dating from the 1700’s. The final ascent is through woodland to the pleasant little resort of Champex Lac. Elevation 1,410 ft, loss 1,870 ft, 9 miles.
Day 10, July 12 - Champex Lac to Trient
On the main TMB route we climb to the Alpage de Bovine 6,223 ft. The path takes us through alpine meadows to a charming farm serving lunches, drinks (and cake!) Their garden is a lovely place to sit and enjoy the majestic views into the Rhone valley and the Roman town of Martigny. From the high point 6,772 ft the path lowers through forest to the Col de Forclaz and on down into Trient. Elevation gain 2,427 ft, loss 3,052 ft, 11 miles.
Day 11, July 13 - Trient to Argentière via the Col de Balme and Aiguillette de Posette
Our path makes a steady elevation increase up zig zags through trees towards the Col de Balme 7,188 ft. At the Col de Balme we re-enter France and are rewarded with fabulous views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix peaks once more. From the Col we stay high, crossing the ski area of le Tour and onto the Aiguillette des Posettes hiking down its broad ridge to Tre le Champs and on to Argentiere. Elevation 3648 ft, descent 4593 ft, 8 miles
Day 12, July 14 - Argentière to the Refuge de la Flégère via the Lac Blanc
From Argentière we walk up to the high altitude lake the Lac Blanc 7,719 ft and then down to the refuge at La Flégère. The refuge at the Lac Blanc, which features in many postcards, sits among smooth slabs of rock worn by the ancient glaciers with magnificent views of the Mer de Glace and Chamonix Aiguilles. We are quite likely to encounter bouqetin, or ibex, today and this stage includes some short ladder sections. Elevation 3,658 ft, loss 1,574 ft, 6 miles.
Day 13, July 15 - Refuge de la Flégère to les Houches
Stepping out of the refuge in the morning you are greeted through the day among the many peaks by superb views of Mont Blanc and the Grands Jorasses. Our route traverses before climbing to the Col de Brevent. The path navigates a wild-feeling rocky valley before the final climb, using some sections of ladder and metal rungs, to the Brevent summit 8,287 ft.
The route continues its wild feel as we lower past the Bel Achat refuge then into the forest and down to Les Houches again with some more ironwork to aid our passage. A short journey on public transport takes us back to Chamonix. Elevation gain 2,559 ft, loss 5058 ft, 10 miles.
Day 14, July 16 - Depart Chamonix for Geneva, Switzerland (GVA)