Tag: Tour du Mont Blanc

TMB, Day 10: A Challenging Return to Champex Lac

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We wake up this morning in the quaint, Swiss hamlet of Le Peuty in a tiny refuge with only one other occupant, David from Australia. There is a certain amount of excitement as today is the 10th and final day of the TMB for us, a worthy achievement in its own right. This is tempered by the fact that this is also simultaneously Day 3 of the Walker’s Haute Route for us. The Haute Route goes from Chamonix to Zermatt for 112 miles so, when we arrive back in Champex Lac, we’ll just continue walking for another ten days on to Zermatt! (more…)

TMB, Day 9: A Big Decision

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Breakfast is served at 6:30 this morning, so we wake up at 6 and pack up before heading down to the dining room for our breakfast of toast and jam. It’s already our 9th day on the TMB, but we are still surprised every morning by how unsubstantial the breakfasts are each day. We are facing a 4000 foot climb today, and we will be tackling it with nothing more than a few carbs and some sugar in our bellies. It makes us all the more grateful for the delicious, multi-course dinner we had last night. (more…)

TMB, Day 8: Hello, Mont Blanc!

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It pays off to have only two other roommates, particularly if they happen to be exhausted from trail running some 40 kilometers yesterday. Our French roomies don’t make a peep all night, and we have a blissful night of sleep before my alarm rudely goes off at 6 am and wakes the entire room. We enjoy a quick breakfast (the usual, but with Nutella!) and hit the trail by 8. We make it all of 25 paces before I detour to the local boulangerie to nab two fresh croissants. Vive la France!  (more…)

TMB, Day 7: Alpine Bliss

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It rains heavily overnight, and the sound of the rain beating against the roof produces a very satisfying night of sleep for us both. I love it when that happens. We shower and head down to breakfast where we are greeted by our kind French hosts, who have prepared a wonderful continental breakfast spread, including fresh, hot croissants. Matt is in heaven. (more…)

TMB, Day 6: Cozy and Dry in Les Contamines

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We wake up with the alarm, and, unlike some of our other dorm experiences so far on the TMB, we both claim a good night of sleep. There were only two other couples sharing the room last night, so it was relatively quiet. We feel rested and ready to hike. The refuge breakfast is typical of what we have seen on the trail so far: bread, jam, and coffee. There’s just enough food to fill the belly, but not so much that you feel like sticking around. Guess we’ll need to hit the trail and start walking to find some protein! (more…)

TMB, Day 5: Crossing the Col des Fours

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We heard that there are thunderstorms in the forecast, and we have two options to get from Elisabetta to our next rifugio today. The first is the traditional TMB, which involves a long road walk that we hear is easy but a little boring. The other option is the high route. It is supposed to be beautiful but is only recommended in good weather. We are really hoping to do the high route, so we set the alarm early in hopes that we may be able to beat the storm. (more…)

TMB, Day 4: A Curious Welcome

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Today turns out to be an unintentionally short day in terms of distance. In the planning stages of the TMB, many months ago, we decided to not stay in Courmayeur (either due to cost or availability or both—we can’t remember!). Instead, we chose Rifugio Randonneur which was another 1.5-2 hours beyond and uphill from the town.

By a stroke of good fortune, we were given a lift yesterday by the owner, Annalisa, skipping a tiring downhill and uphill trudge at the end of the day, thus saving our legs and making for a more pleasant stay last night. We would certainly have missed dinner by a long shot. Plus it gave us time to do some laundry and get it out to dry while the sun was still up! (more…)

TMB, Day 3: A Miscalculation and a Lucky Break

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Last night, we slept in a dorm room with about 18 people. There was one snorer in the room, and just guess where he was. That’s right, in the bed right next to Matt. Arrgh! It was a rough night of sleep for both of us, and, since breakfast is served beginning at 6:15, we decide to cut our losses and get up. We throw on our clothes and head downstairs to grab a bite to eat—that is, after we take some photos of the glacier wall right outside our door. What a view! (more…)

TMB, Day 1: Off We Go!

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The alarm goes off this morning, and, even though we would love to snooze just one time, we are mindful that we are sharing our dorm room with three other people. Breakfast is at 7, so it seems that the whole pension is rising at the same time to make sure that they are ready to rush the buffet when the dining room doors open. It’s our first morning on the TMB, and we are still trying to sort out what we can leave behind on this trek to make our loads lighter. We finally get it all figured out and then head down to breakfast where we are seated with the same two pairs of hikers from last night. (more…)