Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep
Arrive in Chamonix. Our trip begins in the famous mountain town of Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc. We meet the group at 6 pm for a trip briefing followed by our evening meal.
Accommodation in a 3-star hotel, dinner included (Luggage access).
We start in Les Houches (after being transferred to there) with a cable car ride on the Bellevue lift. We then cross the spectacular suspension bridge at the foot of the Bionnassay glacier, and we have several route choices to take us to Les Contamines. We usually cross the Col de Tricot, with a coffee stop at the Chalet de Miages at the foot of the mighty Dome de Miages. But if the weather is bad we can take a lower level route.
Accommodation in a lovely 3* hotel in Les Contamines.
Today we trek up the old Roman road to the chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge. From here it’s uphill, past the Chalet de Barme (if we’re doing well for time, it’s a perfect coffee stop!) and up to the Col de Bonhomme (2328m) for a well-earned lunch stop. We then have a gentle climb to the Col de la Croix de Bonhomme (2478m), from where we have a great view towards the Vanoise National Park. After that, we have a 2-hour walk down to Les Chapieux, and stay in a lovely chambre d’hôte, a guest house with dinner included.
Firstly we take a minibus to avoid walking the tarmac section up to the Ville des Glaciers. From here we cross the river and head to the Refuge des Mottets, from where we start the climb up to the Col de la Seigne (2516m). Once in there, the scenery changes again – you’ve reached Italy! We have fantastic views down into the Val Veny and over to the Val Ferret, and you start to see the Italian side of Mont Blanc and the other Chamonix giants. A descent past the Elisabetta hut takes us to La Visaille, where we take a bus down to the traditional Italian town of Courmayeur, where we spend the night.
Accommodation in a hotel with dinner included.
We start a steep walk up to the Bertone hut and the Mont de la Saxe ridge. If the weather is good and there is not too much snow, we can take the lesser-traveled variant to the Mont de la Saxe ridge, up the Tête de la Tronche, and then down steeply to the Col Sapin. We then have a descent, followed by another climb to the Col Entre Deux Sauts: it’s a fairly long, but really stunning day – not many people, plus breathtaking scenery. We overnight at the delightful Rifugio Bonatti, from where you can watch the beautiful sunset behind Mont Blanc. Tonight is the only night of the trip with no luggage access.
Today we trek over the Grand Col Ferret (one of the highest cols on the trip at 2537m). We are rewarded with stunning views of the Grandes Jorasses, the Grand Combin and Mont Dolent (the summit of which is on the border of France, Switzerland and Italy). At the top of the col we cross over into Switzerland, where the scenery changes yet again. If we’re doing well for time we might stop for a coffee at La Peule. Here we leave the signposted TMB and head to La Fouly via a higher balcony path. La Fouly is an alpine village with traditional Swiss “chocolate box” chalets, and we stay in a hotel (dinner included).
A much shorter day today has us winding through beautiful Swiss alpine meadows, tiny rural villages and finally up to the beautiful alpine resort of Champex, nestled alongside the lake that gives it its name. Here we stay in a traditional 3-star hotel, with simple rooms but wonderful food.
There are 2 options for today. If we’re feeling fit and the weather is good, we can take the Fenêtre d’Arpette, the highest col on the TMB at 2665m. It’s a fantastic route with stunning views of the Trient glacier. If we want to be a little more relaxed, we can take the normal route via Bovine to the Col de la Forclaz – I or a guide in charge will make the decision according to the weather conditions and fitness of the group. We then continue down to the valley of Trient, our Swiss base for the night.
Accommodation in a hotel with dinner included and luggage access.
Today our plan is to take another variant from the official TMB – a lesser-traveled route via Les Grands. There are much better views from this route, and there are usually not many people, so it’s worth the extra time and effort. If the weather is bad then we might just take the normal TMB. Either route takes us to the Col de Balme, where we are back in France at the head of the Chamonix valley. From here we have a short climb to the Aiguillette des Posettes, and we descend to Argentière via the hamlet of Tré-le-Champ.
Accommodation in a hotel (dinner included).
We make the short walk back to Tré-le-Champ and hike up to the beautiful Lacs des Chéserys, with simply the best views of Mont Blanc. This is one of the best walks in the Chamonix valley, and we use a series of ladders and chains to skirt the cliffs – this is nothing to worry about and is not difficult! We then traverse to the Flégère and finish the day with the Grand Balcon Sud – a wonderful balcony walk with endless Mont Blanc views. We take the Planpraz cable car down to Chamonix and our comfortable hotel.
Today we take the cable car back up to Planpraz to resume walking at the same point we finished at yesterday. We climb up to the Col du Brévent and then up to the Brévent summit with excellent views of Mont Blanc. To complete our Tour du Mont Blanc, we descend via Merlet to reach Les Houches, and take a transfer back to our hotel in Chamonix.
Our trip finishes after breakfast.
|27/06/2020 to 08/07/2020|
|04/07/2020 to 15/07/2020|
2 more to guarantee
|22/07/2020 to 02/08/2020|
|25/07/2020 to 05/08/2020|
|12/08/2020 to 23/08/2020|
|29/08/2020 to 09/09/2020|
2 more to guarantee
|05/09/2020 to 16/09/2020|
3 more to guarantee
|26/06/2021 to 07/07/2021|
|03/07/2021 to 14/07/2021|
|21/07/2021 to 01/08/2021|
|24/07/2021 to 04/08/2021|
|11/08/2021 to 22/08/2021|
|28/08/2021 to 08/09/2021|
|04/09/2021 to 15/09/2021|
8 nights in hotels
1 night in a guest house
1 night in an auberge
1 night in a refuge
Group size: 4-10
Price: £1945 per person
All breakfasts & evening meals included
I'm a qualified International Mountain Leader (IML) and I have been leading expeditions for the last 15 years. I have led the Tour du Mont Blanc over 40 times, the Everest Base Camp trek 27 times, Kilimanjaro 10 times, and I have also led trips in Nepal, Peru, Cuba, India, Bhutan, Cambodia, Thailand, the Alps, the Pyrenees, Russia, Uzbekistan and Madagascar, amongst others.
I'm a passionate skier, in 2009 I made the first ski descent of Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world (8156m).
Fluent in French, Russian and Spanish, I also work as an interpreter and love to chat.
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