Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc was a great adventure! Not only for the beautiful alpine views but for the great people I met along the way. With a total of 170 km and about 10 kilometres of ascent/descent, it is better to be correctly prepared and equipped. This tour is usually done in 8 to 12 days between June and September.
Preparation & equipment
- Buy a guide book with the minimum info to understand the tour and its signage. Most people on the tour had this one for French speakers: TopoGuides – Tour du Mont Blanc – FFRandonnée and this one for English speakers Tour of mont Blanc – Kev Reynolds
- Buy a map, IGN maps are not needed if you have a guide book and a GPS you can trust in term of accuracy and battery in the mountains
- Make a list of the required gear and pack your bag with the minimum. Remember that you will have water and food in addition. This list was the best I found.
- Prepare and decide your route in advance, make sure you have the alternative routes available if you decide to take any variant from the official TMB trail or if the weather doesn’t allow you to take the variant for example.
- I traced my route on View Ranger using the web version, exported it in gpx file and imported it into Gaia GPS which has one of the clearest design on mobile and was very easy to follow in the fog! All my gpx files are available here: [Download GPX TMB routes]
- Forget about weather apps on your phone, only this website is used by locals and proved to have accurate weather reports: http://chamonix-meteo.com/
- Planning should be done carefully based on the physical challenge you want to experience:
- Less than 10 days will be a though challenge, but you can take the bus or use chair lifts to shorten the trek, it can be a good option if you are limited on time
- 10 days should be good and let time for variants as I did
- More than 10 days will be comfortable and let time to do extra trails
|Departure||Home ➤ Les Houches||Chalet Les Méandres (ex Tupilak)|
|Day 1||Les Houches ➤ Les Contamines (Variant Tricot)||Gîte le Pontet||VR|
|Day 2||Les Contamines ➤ Refuge Croix du Bonhomme||Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme||VR|
|Day 3||Refuge Croix du Bonhomme ➤ Rifugio Elisabetta (Variant Col des Fours)||Rifugio Elisabetta||VR|
|Day 4||Rifugio Elisabetta ➤ Rifugio Bertone||Rifugio Bertone||VR|
|Day 5||Rifugio Bertone ➤ Rifugio Elena (Variant Bernada)||Rifugio Elena||VR|
|Day 6||Rifugio Elena ➤ La Fouly||Maya Joie||VR|
|Day 7||La Fouly ➤ Champex||Auberge Gîte Bon Abri||VR|
|Day 8||Champex ➤ Trient (Variant Arpette)||Auberge Mont blanc||VR|
|Day 9||Trient ➤ Tre le Champ||Gite le moulin||VR|
|Day 10||Tre le Champ ➤ Chamonix (Variant Lac Blanc)||Hotel||VR|
|Return||Chamonix ➤ Les Houches ➤ Home||All GPX files|
Booking if sleeping in refuges
Booking can be easy if you go through an agency, many people get the best rooms in refuges by using an agency. It is also possible online thought http://www.montourdumontblanc.com/. And finally it can be done by phone but make sure you confirm a second time the reservation a week before with the refuge.