Tour of Mont Blanc france - italy - switzerland

This is most definitely a walk that should be on everyone's bucket list. The Tour of Mont Blanc or TMB as it is commonly referred to. This amazing walk takes us through three countries, starting in France, into Italy and finally by way of Switzerland. 
Equally amazing are the different yet slightly similar cultures found around the valleys that surround Mont Blanc. Together we will discover and explore them and perhaps share a lunch with a shepard, a glass of wine with a hut keeper or dance in a pasture with a local child. These are some of the reasons why you should come experience this walk for yourself.

 

Course Highlights:

  • 3 country adventure
  • sample a variety of alpine food
  • learn about the amazing history of the Mont Blanc massif and the centuries of culture
  • witness stunning scenery from dawn to dusk
  • we have a designated shuttle for your extra bags that will meet you part way through the trip
Included

Cost Includes:

  • Guide fees
  • huts and half board when in the huts with breakfast and dinner
  • local transportation included during the entire course
  • hut reservations
  • designated shuttle service for your bags
  • group equipment
  • assistance for travel logistics and planning


Cost Exclusions:

  • Lodging when in town
  • drinks and lift fees for you and the guide
  • lunches
  • personal equipment
  • travel to or from the course departure point of Chamonix
  • rescue insurance
Program

Tour of Mont Blanc Course Details

This is most definitely a walk that should be on everyone's bucket list. The Tour of Mont Blanc or TMB as it is commonly referred to. This amazing walk takes us through three countries, starting in France, into Italy and finally by way of Switzerland. 
Equally amazing are the different yet slightly similar cultures found around the valleys that surround Mont Blanc. Together we will discover and explore them and perhaps share a lunch with a shepard, a glass of wine with a hut keeper or dance in a pasture with a local child. These are some of the reasons why you should come experience this walk for yourself.

 

Day 0 - EVENING WELCOME

First evening welcome drink and itinerary briefing.

Day 1 : VAL MONTJOIE
Our TMB starts from the top of Bellevue cable car, where the panoramic views of the Mont-Blanc massif, the Aiguilles Rouges, the Fiz and Aravis mountain ranges are simply stunning.  We cross the suspended bridge over the Bionnassay torrent and leave the Chamonix valley in the direction of the Val Montjoie in order to reach our mountain hut for the night.
Up : 700m/  Down : 800m/  Hiking Time : 6 H 00

Day 2 : VALLÉE DES GLACIERS
We head off in the direction of the Col du Bonhomme where we leave Val Montjoie behind us, and head to Beaufortain and the southernmost tip of the Mont-Blanc massif. We keep on the ascent until Col des Fours, the highest elevation of the trip. Pleasant downhill amongst alpine pastures and waterfalls to Vallée des Glaciers. We finally reach the hidden mountain hut of les Mottets.
Up : 1290m/  Down : 880m/  Hiking Time : 7 H 30

Day 3 : VAL VENY
We head northeast and cross the French/Italian border at Col de la Seigne. From here, one can admire the breathtaking rock faces and the ice-covered summits of the south side of the Mont-Blanc mountain range. After a pleasant hike down to Combal Lake, the trail heads up again to finally traverse above the Val Veny. Night at Maison Vieille mountain hut.
Up : 1110m/  Down : 1020m/  Hiking Time : 7 H 00

Day 4 : ITALIAN VAL FERRET
Descent to the fancy Italian resort of Courmayeur. After reaching Bertone mountain hut, the Italian fairy-tale continues on a high trail facing some of the most famous peaks in the massif : la Noire de Peuterey, the Dent du Géant, les Arêtes de Rochefort and the Grandes Jorasses. We'll enjoy this fabulous panorama until dusk from Bonatti hut.
Up : 1050m/  Down : 960m/  Hiking Time : 6 H 30

Day 5 : VAL DE CHAMPEX
Todays hike starts with a balcony trail overlooking the Italian Val Ferret. From Arnuva, the trail gives access to the Grand Col Ferret, the border between Italy and Switzerland. Hikers can enjoy welcoming alpine meadows, and in the distance, snow-covered summits of the Dolent or l’A Neuve.  Descent to the Swiss Val Ferret, and transfer to the charming village of Champex and its lake. Night at the Relais d’Arpette, a mountain chalet nested in the perched valley of Arpette.
Up : 910m/  Down : 1100m/  Hiking Time : 7 H 00

Day 6 : VAL DE TRIENT
We hike from the Champex valley to the Trient valley.  It will take us to the alpine pastures of Bovine. A balcony trail above the Rhone valley and its vineyards, allows us to admire the peaks of the Bernese Oberland and the steep summits of the Combin massif. After descending in the shade of the larches, We arrive at the Col de la Forclaz, a key passage between the Rhone and Trient valleys.  Night in the village ofTrient.
Up : 700m/  Down : 920m/  Hiking Time : 5 H 30
 

Day 7 : CHAMONIX VALLEY
A final hike up will take us to the Swiss/French frontier. From there, one can enjoy the Mont-Blanc and its magnificent glacier covered north faces.  This fantastic background escorts our afternoon hike as we make our way down to the hamlet of le Tour. End of the trek. Transfer back to Chamonix.
Up : 910m/  Down : 800m/  Hiking Time : 5 H 30

Other locations and destinations are available - please inquire.

* Actual course details may vary due to safety reasons and the guide may modify the trek itinerary due to terrain, weather or other conditions

    Dates

    Length:
    7 days, 6 nights

    2018 COURSE DATES
    June 30-6 July
    July 7-13
    July 21-27
    Aug 4-10
    Aug 18-24
    Sep 1-7
    Sep 15-21

    This course is also available on a custom basis from the beginning of June through the end of September. You can custom choose your dates. Please inquire for availability.

    *Please note that I do not add an extra "fluff" days before or after. I  consider that to be false advertising. My program is 7 actual days of activity.

    Skills

    Required Level:
    Good base fitness – prior hill walking experience is greatly appreciated but not absolutely necessary.
    Average length of the day is 6h of moving time and expect and average of day to include 800m vertical gain and loss.

    Group Size:
    Maximum group size is 8 : 1

    Technical Level:
    1 out of 5

    Fitness Level:
    3 out of 5

    Price

    995 € /pp based on a minimum group of 4
    1,695 € /pp for a private group of 2 (such a couple) 

    Group Size:
    Maximum group size is 8 : 1

    Local links

    Course Base:
    Chamonix, France

    Local Airport:
    Geneva Intl Airport, Switzerland - GVA

    Courmayer - Val Ferret

    Here's a useful website with loads of info on the TMB

    Useful links and info
    Tour du Mont-Blanc is a 250 km trek, on alpine meadow trails, covering a part of the French, Italian and Swiss territory. It is adapted to any well-trained hiker, used to hiking on mountain trails and familiar with carrying a backpack.

    This well- maintained and well-marked route, can be tricky if hiked before the end of June/ early July, when mountain passes may still be covered in snow (light crampons, trekking poles, an ice axe may come handy).

    This tour takes normally 8 to 10 days. On average it requires 6 hours of hiking daily. Everyone can choose his/her own pace according to physical abilities, training, weight of backpack (campers) and weather conditions.

    We strongly advise hikers without much trekking experience to contact an outdoor activity outfitter and use the professional services of a mountain leader.

    • Accommodation
    Along the tour you will find huts, mountain inns (gites) and hotels where you will be served dinner and breakfast. Dormitories are equipped with blankets; users should however bring a sleeping bag or liner.

    We strongly recommend you book ahead of time (in some places bookings are mandatory !) Outside summer opening periods (mid-June to mid-September), you can contact hut keepers directly.

    Accommodation listing for Tour du Mont Blanc

    • Camping
    Some of the huts or mountain inns have proper campsites: please contact accommodation management for more information.

    • Documentation

    • The “Tour of Mont-Blanc” guidebook by Kev Reynolds – Cicerone Press (written in English)

    • The topographic pocket map 1/50 000 called “Massif et Tour du Mont-Blanc” edited by Rando editions.

    • Two IGN 1/25 000 TOP 25 topographic maps: 3630 OT and 3531 ET

    • Equipment
    You will need a pair of good hiking boots, a comfortable rucksack, some warm clothes, rain gear and a change of clothes, a small first aid kit, some food (shopping places available along the tour)…

    • Usefuls contacts

    • Les Houches tourist office : +33(0)4.50.55.50.62

    • Contamines tourist office : +33(0)4.50.47.01.58

    • Courmayeur tourist office : +39.0165.842.060

    • Champex tourist office : +41(0)27.775.23.83

    • Vallorcine tourist office : +33(0)4.50.54.60.71

    • Bus transportation Chamonix – Courmayeur : +33(0)4.50.53.01.15 / +39.0165.84.13.97

    • Bus transportation Val Vény et Val Ferret – Italie : +39.0165.84.13.05 / +39.0165.84.20.31

    • Bus transportation Val Ferret – Switzerland : +41(0)27.783.31.61

    • Luggage portage Taxi Besson : +33(0)4.50.93.62.07 – info@taxi-montblanc.com / Taxi Miage : +33(0)4.50.47.74.89 – +33(0)6.08.63.65.34

     

    Map
     
    Equipment List

    Here is what you will typically have in your pack when going to a hut and or climbing

    CLOTHING

    • Gore-Tex (or similar breathable hardshell clothing) Jacket and pants
    • Gaiters
    • Lightweight softshell climbing pants
    • Lightweight thermal top (polypro, smartwool or capilene)
    • Fleece or synthetic insulation jacket
    • Warm ski gloves w/ leather palms if possible and a shell over-mitt
    • Spare pair of lightweight spring gloves or wool liners
    • Warm hat or balaclava
    • Baseball cap (for the sun)
    • 2 pairs of socks
    • Glacier glasses or Cat 4 sunglasses

    GEAR

    • Harness * w/ 2 locking carabiners and a belaying device
    • 2 prussik loops
    • 1 long sling
    • ice axe *  typically anything over 60cm is too long
    • Crampons * w/ anti- balling plates
    • Mountaineering boots *. Leather is the preferred choice. Make certain your crampons work on them !
    • helmet
    • Rock shoes *
    • A small rucksack 30-35l (2000c.i.) is plenty big enough
    • Headlamp with new batteries
    • Telescopic poles - help take a load off you legs and back
    • Small compact camera, GoPro or just simply your camera phone (avoid bringing along a heavy DSLR)
    • Personal first aid kit (second skin, aspirin, toilet articles)
    • Sun block and lip cream
    • Water bottle 1 liter minimum - I prefer metallic bottles
    • sleeping bag liner for the huts

    (items with * can be rented in most alpine areas such as Chamonix or Zermatt)

    Reserve

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