Tag: trekking

Haute Route, Day 9: Holy Cows and a Hut with a View

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After a pleasant and restful sleep, we hop out of bed at 5:15 and begin the usual tasks to get ready for the day. Our intent is to get going early, for three reasons. First, rain is expected by late morning, and we are hoping to miss some of it. Second, we begin today with an enormous 4700′ climb up to Col du Tsaté, and we want to give ourselves plenty of time to get up to the pass. Third, the Cabane de Moiry is supposed to be quite a swanky hut set in an unbelievable location, and we want as much time as possible to enjoy it! (more…)

Haute Route, Day 8: A Lazy Stroll to La Sage

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We have a short day today, and nobody else in our dorm room, so we decide to sleep in until 7:30. It’s the latest wake up we’ve had so far this summer, and it feels good after our hard day yesterday. We pack up and head to the grocery store to pick up a few supplies for lunch for the next few days and then go to the hotel restaurant for breakfast. Tony and Jenny are there, so we join them and partake of the excellent buffet, with local cheeses, fruits, yogurt, granola and breads. We eat as much as possible and settle the bill (71 Swiss francs for half-pension/person) before packing up. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 7: Hiking on Thick Ice

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After scrutinizing the itinerary for tomorrow and opting for the alternate Stage 7 of the Haute Route, we agreed to get going early. The alarm goes off at 5:15, and we start moving right away. I had a solid night of sleep even though the room was a bit on the warm side. All of these bodies packed into a tiny space are bound to raise the room temperature, I guess.  (more…)

Haute Route, Day 6: The Trail of the Mountain Sheep

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Our guidebook describes this as the toughest day of the Haute Route so far, so we are up at 5:30 to have an early breakfast and get on the trail as early as possible. By the time all is said and done, it’s 7:00 by the time we leave the refuge, and we walk out the door just as Tony and Jenny are leaving, too. We have found the most difficult of the route-finding experience is figuring out where to go right out of the gate, so we are grateful to have two extra minds working on which way to head. (more…)

Haute Route, Day 4: In Search of the Matterhorn

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Sleep is tough to come by in our dorm room overnight. A trio of snorers makes it nearly impossible to drift back to sleep after my 2 am trip to the bathroom. Oh well. Sleep is overrated. Who needs it? I try to convince myself. By the time the alarm goes off at 6:15, I am relieved that the night is over. At least we can get up and start packing for our next classic hike: the Walker’s Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt. (more…)

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 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…)