Sunday, October 23, 2011

Tour du Mont Blanc, Autumn 2011

Autumn is one of my favorite times of the year to do the Tour du Mont Blanc, after the madness of August the Chamonix Valley all of a sudden quietens down and becomes a slightly different place. On the tour the trails are also quieter and the accommodation less crowded which all adds to a much more pleasantexperience. Oh yes and there's the weather, oftenSeptember is settled & sunny without the surging heat and the treat of late afternoon storms of late July& August.

We were not disappointed... the weather was perfect as we started the Tour du Mont Blanc on 13th September from Chamonix. We took the telepherique up to Plan Praz at 2000 m from here we headed to Les Houches via the TMB route passing through the Col du Bevant, Brevant & Bel Lachat before descending to Les Houches via the animal Parc Merlot.

Day 2 of the Mont Blanc circuit saw more good weather as we RDVat the hotel in Les Houches and made our wayto the Bellevue telepherique.

From Bellevue at 1800m we headed to Contamines via the Col du Tricot, we tend to use this TMB variant because the vies are more spectacular & the Chalets des Miage make for a really nice coffee stop taking in the views of the Miage Glacier & the Domes des Miages. Another ascent over to Chalets du Truc before making our descent to Les Contamines.

After a short minibus ride to the Gorge de la Notre Dame, day 3 took the truly fabulous Tour du Mont Blanc route up over the Col du Bonhomme & the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme with stunning views back down into Contamines valley & in the opposite direction over the Beaufortain region of the Savoie.

After a refreshment stop at the refuge du Bonhomme we made our descent to Chapieux & to our accommodation at the Refuge de la Nova.

I think day 4 is one of my favorite days of the Tour du Mont Blanc and because of the continued stunning weather we were treated to the most amazing views as we headed up to the Col du Seigne and once at the col the breathtaking Italian side of the Mont Blanc massif, the Val Veny, Val Ferret and the Swiss Valasian alps in the distance. After we descent into the Val Veny we climb up once more to the Vielle d'Arp wich is a bit of a killer and makes for a long day but it is worth it for the stay at the Maison Vielle and its fabulous food and warm welcome.

Day 5 we made our descent to Courmayeur & onward to the Refugio Bonatti, with the weather set to chance for a couple of days it was amazing to see how things changed so rapidly, a true reminder of how you can take nothing for granted in the mountains.

Starting the day in shorts and t-shirts and arriving at the Bonatti with full wet weather gear in the pouring rain we were glad of the excellent facilities the Bonatti has to offer.

Tour du Mont Blanc 2nd half Bonatti to Chamonix through snow & sunshine, to be continued...

1 comment:

  1. It's really great to spend holiday vacation with this such kind of accommodation.

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