Ski Vallee Blanche, Chamonix

Dates: January to May

The world famous 18km journey with 2800m of vertical descent through some of the most stunning glaciated alpine scenery rarely disappoints!

  • Start altitude (Aiguille du Midi): 3777m
  • Finish Altitude (Chamonix): 1050m
  • Vertical Descent: 2727m
  • Length: 18Km
  • Season: Usually January to April
  • Time: Varies according to skiers ability and priorities but commonly 4-5 hours

This magnificent ski journey can be done in a short day by confident black slope skiers. Thanks to the height gain (2742m) given by the Aiguille du Midi cable car. The descent of the Vallee Blanche is often the highlight of a ski trip to Chamonix!

We provide fully qualified (IFMGA) Mountain Guides who work hard to ensure, that you have a safe, enjoyable and interesting descent. We are also able to offer interesting variations on the descent. Would you like to choose  steeper lines? Or include a short ski tour across to the Italian side before skiing down the classic route to Chamonix.

Requirements to ski the Valle Blanche:

If you ski confidently on a black slope you will be ready for THE Vallee Blanche with us!

Map:

map of vallee blanche skiing in chamonix

Price: 350.00€* 

(* up to 6 skiers) 

Included in the Price: UIAGM / IFMGA mountain guide – a fully qualified and experienced Patagoniatiptop guide will accompany you, we provide you with an avalanche beacon and harness.

Not included in the price: Cablecar ride up to Aiguille du Midi 

Bad weather option:

If the weather or snow conditions are not suitable to ski the Vallee Blanche, we will not cancel the trip but follow an alternative off-piste skiing program. Chamonix offers perfect terrain for a guided off-piste skiing day.

Lift Pass:

A lift pass to access the Aiguille du Midi cable car and the Montenvers train is needed, the Mont Blanc Unlimited is the best option as it covers both.


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Chamonix freeride skiing week


Patagoniatiptop video


Dates: January to April

Our Chamonix Freeride weeks are a dream come true for everyone interested in backcountry skiing.

What to expect:

During the week you’ll get a chance to experience the scenic backcountry around Mont Blanc in the company of an UIAGM-licensed mountain guide. The Chamonix Mont Blanc area will leave nobody cold.  The most experienced free riders from all corners of the world come to ski this ski areas. A real skier’s paradise!

Our guides know the backcountry terrain and weather conditions extremely well and will make sure you’ll ski the best spots.

 

Tentative plan

Arrival day: 
Meet and greet in Chamonix, Equipment Check

Day 1: Les Grands Montets, Argentière
We will ski at the Grands Montets, Chamonix most famous off-piste ski area.
This ski resort has an immense range of off piste skiing. The snow stays light and fresh, due to the North Face of the Aiguille Verte which shields it from the sun.

Day 2: Vallee Blanche
We’ll ride one of the most legendary Glaciers of all time – the Vallée Blanche route, where you get to see the most amazing views of Mont Blanc.

Day 3: Courmayeur
Courmayeur (ITA) is just a 20 Minutes drive trough the Mont Blanc tunnel away from Chamonix and offers very nice off piste options. A real Italian ski day!

Day 4: Brévent – Flégere
We will check out the snow at Brévent – Flégere ski area accesible form Chamonix town today.

Day 5: Toule Glacier
The brand new Sky way cable car brings us up to Punta Helbronner. We ride the South side of Mont Blanc, on the Toule Glacier down into Courmayeur.

Prices:

2 skiers:  875€ per Skier
3 skiers:  660€ per Skier
4 skiers:  600€ per Skier

Included in the price:
Organization, 5 days UIAGM-mountain guide

Not included in the price:
Lift passes, snow safety equipment, personal insurances, transportation

  • We require all participants to carry full avalanche safety equipment (beacon, probe, shovel) and to obey given instructions to ensure amazing powder days.
Day Guiding:

Do you only have a day or two for skiing in Chamonix? We are happy to offer you a great shorter off-piste experience! Let us know.

Accommodation:

Let us know if we can help you finding your perfect accommodation.


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Chamonix Ski Touring Weekend, France


Patagoniatiptop video


Date: January  – May

Would you like to discover the Chamonix backcountry on skins or explore some new routes with us?

Patagoniatiptop’s UIAGM qualified mountain guides will make sure to find the best snow conditions in the area.
There are plenty of routes to choose from to suit all possibilities! 

Embark on a great adventure in the French Alps. It’s a sporty and original way to explore these snow-covered, wild and wonderful landscapes. These 2-day, weekend programs are designed to make the most of the region and get to know the Alps in depth, while improving your skiing skills.

It’s the perfect opportunity to take a break from your busy daily life and get some fresh air in this natural environment. 
Get lots of advice and tips to improve your ski touring level.
The guide will adapt the tour to your pace and level so you can enjoy and admire the breathtaking landscapes. 
There are many different routes, allowing mountain lovers of any level to participate in this activity. 

A few ski touring examples:

  • Col du Passon
  • Brêche Puiseux
  • Col du Belevdere
  • Col du Tour noir
  • Crochues Bérard
  • Col du Beugeant
Fees for 2 days of Guiding and pick up at your Hotel:

2 Skiers: 350.00€/ Skier
3 Skiers: 250.00€/ Skier
4 Skiers: 200.00€ / Skier

  • Please contact us for groups with more than 4 skiers. Accommodation, ski pass and meals are not included. Let us know if we can organize the perfect accommodation for you. 
Activity requirements

This activity requires a regular physical activity. 
You can be a beginner in ski touring but you must be a good skier, and comfortable on all kind of slopes. 

 


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Ski touring Haute Route Chamonix – Zermatt

Dates: March – May, please choose your date for privat tours

Date for mixed group open to sign in: 20th – 25th of April 2019

From the French to the Swiss historical alpine capital

This six day Ski tour on glaciers for the most part, offers exceptional beauty of the landscapes. It traverses the crest of the Western Alps and passes through some of the most stunning mountain scenery in Europe. We start in Chamonix, at the foot of Mont Blanc and ski across the Wallis glaciers of Switzerland. The tour ends with a unique ski descent on the foot of the Matterhorn down to Zermatt.

  • 6 skitouring days
  • 5 nights in typical mountain huts
Daily itinerary

Day 1: Chamonix – Refuge d’Argentière
Chamonix – Refuge d’Argentière
Elevation gain: 200m
Vertical loss: 800m

Day 2: Refuge de Trient
Ref Argentiere  – Refuge Trient
Elevation gain: 1100m
Vertical loss: 300m

Day 3: Refuge Prafleuri
Refuge Trient – Refuge Prafleuri
Elevation gain: 700m
Vertical loss: 2700m

Day 4: Cabane de Dix
Refuge Prafleuri  – Cabane de Dix
Elevation gain: 800m
Vertical loss: 450m

Day 5: Cabane des Vignettes
Cabane de Dix – Cabane des Vignettes
Elevation gain: 850m

Day 6: Zermatt
Cabane des Vignettes – Zermatt
Elevation gain: 900m
Vertical loss: 2100m

Map:

map of the haute route Skitour from chamonix to zermatt

Price:

1560.-€ (min. 4 guests, max 6)
This spectacular tour can be done in many different ways. Adding more peaks or changing tour route with other huts. Please contact us for more informations.

Included in the price: Organisation, IFMGA mountain guiding, Private Transport Champex – Verbier on Day 2,  half board in the huts
Not included in the price: Lunch & Drinks, Lift tickets, personal insurance*, personal equipment

*We strongly recommend the purchase of a cancellation, accident, travel insurance.

Level requirements

This trip is for experienced ski tourers who have already done at least one hut-to-hut tour or a multi-day ski tour. You should be able to skin up to 5 hours with up to 1100m vertical gain per day, at a good steady pace.
Efficiency in your skinning technique and confident moving over a steep and exposed terrain should be no problem. You are expected to be comfortable and safe doing kick turns on slopes of over 35 degrees.
Are you an excellent off piste skier, confident and efficient in skiing in all snow conditions without losing control over your skis?  Skiing on slopes of 40 degrees is not a problem of you?
You should be physically fit, ready to hike and ski for up to 8 hours per day without being too tired the next day. You have to be able to move reasonably fast (climb 400m/h).

Haute Route Mont Blanc Extension 

Why not benefit from your fitness and acclimatization and climb Mont Blanc with skis following your completion of the Haute Route? Take a look at our program!


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Women’s Skitouring Camp Vallorcine, France

March 2019:   7 th – 10th  &  28th – 31st

(Please ask us for private dates, also for mixed groups)

Highlights 
  • 3 days ski teaching and skitouring in the Chamonix valley
  • 3 nights at a traditional Chalet in Vallorcine
  • Learn all about ski touring and back country skiing
  • Ski touring basics, including gear usage, uphill techniques, pacing, layering, and route selection
  • Avalanche awareness including terrain management and basic companion rescue strategies

 

Learn off piste skiing and ski touring with us!

Three days of world-class skiing with top, women-specific instructions from Ex-World Cup ski racer and certified ski instructor Ella Alpiger.
This Women’s ski touring camp features the latest ski and ski-touring teaching techniques, avalanche safety informations and some hidden Off-piste runs.

  • “It’s all about learning off piste skiing technique, backcountry skills, mountain safety, and most importantly, having fun in the outdoors!”

We will base out of the beautiful village of Vallorcine for 3 days of adventure skiing. Our goal is to ski the best hidden places for the given conditions, and provide you with coaching and instruction in big mountain skiing.

  • “It’s a unique ski program that makes it easier, faster and more fun to learn.”

 

Women’s ski touring camp Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival day

We welcome you at the Chalet in Vallorcine for a first get together.  Come enjoy a typical Savoyard dinner with some fine wine from the chalet owners vinery.
Night at Chalet in Valloricne

Day 1: Off piste skiing work shop and avalanche rescuing

Off piste work shop in the ski area of Vallorcine / Balme which lies very near the Chalet. We ski where we find the nicest snow. Get tips on your skiing skills and technique to help you improve in a variety of ski conditions and terrain. Work on technique and mental preparedness that will improve your skiing in the backcountry, in steeps, trees, narrow chutes and crud.
Learn how to search with your avalanche transceiver in the afternoon. An important skill you have to know!
Night and dinner at the Chalet in Vallorcine.

Day 2:  Ski touring intro Les Marecottes, Switzerland

A short train ride brings us to our Offpiste work shop in the morning in the quiet ski area of Les Marecottes. Les Marecottes is a secret spot for powder lovers and offers also some great tree skiing  just over the boarder in Switzerland. Practice the tips you have learned yesterday.
Now we are ready to bring our back country skiing to the next level. We start with a short ski tour in the afternoon where you learn all about ascending with skins on your skis, ski touring itineraries and snow safety information.
Night and dinner at the Chalet in Vallorcine, enjoy a glas of wine at the fire place and check out today’s skiing videos.

Day 3: Ski tour 

With a picknick and all necessary things in our backpack we skin up into the mountains. We use and try all our new learned skills and enjoy a day in the peaceful mountains.
The course finishes at 3pm in Vallorcine.

Changes to the itinerary:

The programme is given as an indication only. Changes and adaptation may be made to suit current technical criteria, safety requirements and weather conditions.

What you will learn in this Women’s ski touring camp:

This course makes it possible for intermediate and advanced skiers to move to the next level of expertise in the shortest time possible. Get confident with the avalanche safety skills and make your first ski touring experiences. All in a group session designed to foster camaraderie. A truly elevated experience.

Personal Requirements:

If you feel confident on red and black slopes and have some off-piste experience, you’re ready to join this camp. Please contact us if you’re not sure about your level.

Location: Vallorcine

The last or first village in the Chamonix valley, Vallorcine is a peaceful mountain village. Hidden behind the col des Montets, at the foot of the Aiguilles Rouges, La vallée des Ours (the valley of bears) has retained all the charm of a traditional mountain village. Vallorcine is made up of several hamlets on the foothills of the surrounding mountains stretching to the Swiss border. Here, the mountains never cease to inspire your curiosity and sense of adventure. 

How to get to Vallorcine:

We can organize a transfers to and from Geneva airport with guaranteed flexibility to match your flight times allowing you to fly from your local airport at a time that suits you. If you’re traveling by train from Switzerland, you can reach Vallorcine via Martigny. We will pick you up at the train station.

Our Accommodation:  

Nico’s and Audrey’s traditional chalet in a very quiet and peaceful location.

This comfortable, traditional chalet offers breathtaking views of the mountains.  Guests can relax in front of the  fireplace with a glass of wine or enjoy the cozy rooms.

Four tastefully furnished double bedrooms one of them with a privat bathroom and a bedroom with 4 bunkbeds can be found in the Chalet. 

Chalet features:
  • Champagne and canapés upon arrival at the chalet
  • Typical Savoyard dinners  – including special menus for those with dietary needs, prepared by an experienced chef
  • Excellent quality complimentary French wine (selection of red, white and rose wines), spring water with all evening meals
  • Full breakfast every morning: hot and cold option including eggs, bacon, fresh bread, pastries, fruit platter and a choice of cereals
  • Afternoon tea – home baked cakes, fresh bread and jams with tea and coffee
  • Tea available at all times
  • No WIFI and very little phone coverage – a good break to disconnect and connect with yourself!
Fees:
  • 3 Skiers:              885.00€ /skier
    5 skiers:               734.00€ /skier
    Skiing only*:       400.00€ /skier 

(*Min. 3 skiers: accommodation/half board, ski pass and transport not included in the skiing only program)

Included: Professional teaching and organisation, 2 ski passes in Vallorcine/Balme and Les Marecottes, 3 nights in a traditional Chalet with half board in a privat room, lots of information about ski touring and avalanche rescuing, mental training tips, train ride to Les Marecottes and back, entrance avalanche rescue park

Not included: Transportation to and back from Vallorcine, lunches, drinks, personal insurance, personal equipment (let us know if you need ski touring and avalanche safety equipment, it can be rented).

What material should you choose for our women’s ski touring camp? 

We proudly ski on K2 Skis! They offer great backcountry skiing equipment especially for Women! Let us know if we can recommend a ski for you.

 

 



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Chamonix Hut to Hut hiking short trip


Patagoniatiptop video


Dates: June/July/August/September

  • 3-Day trip

“Rustic hut charm with incredible views!” 

This short trip is perfect for hikers that like to enjoy stunning views over the Mont Blanc mountain chain, sleep in two mountain huts and spot some ibex and wildflowers along the way. Your local guide makes sure that you will get to the huts just in time to enjoy a delicious mountain dish and that you don’t have to worry about anything but taking the nicest pictures of the famous Lac Blanc mountain lake.

Hiking – Itinerary

Arrival day 
19.00: Information and meeting at the hotel.
Night in Hotel

Day 1: Refuge Bellachat
We hike from Chamonix up to the Refuge Bellachat (2152m). The Refuge offers one of the nicest views over the Mont Blanc mountain chain. You might want to enjoy a drink on the terrace that overlooks the whole Mont Blanc valley and wait until the sunset puts the mountains in a pink coat. The family style dinners will soon be served in the cosy mountain hut.

  • 4-5 hrs, +1100m, overnight at the Refuge Bellachat

Day 2: Lac Blanc
An early breakfast at the mountain hut with the fantastic views towards Mont Blanc. Our trail brings us up to Brevent summit for an even more breathtaking view. We reach Col du Cornu via the Col du Brévent and traverse to the Lac de Cornu (at 2276m), which is situated in of the most beautiful environments in the valley. After a picknick lunch we continue the descent through the Combe de la Glieres and hike up to the mountain hut Lac Blanc (2353m). The Lac Blanc mountain lake is the perfect location to take some stunning pictures of a perfect mountain scenery with the Mont Blanc in the back.

  •  7-8 hrs, overnight at Refuge Lac Blanc

Day 3: Aiguilles Rouges
We eat a good breakfast overlooking the Aguilles Rouges mountain before leaving this beautiful spot. Our way down to Argentière will take us to the Lac Cheserys and either Argentière or the Col du Montets. Those that want to hike a bit longer can join the guide on the Petit Balcon Sud all the way back to Chamonix. Lunch will be served at local restaurant in the famous ski resort of Argentière.

Costs per Person
  • 455€ with a minimum of 6 guests (340€ without the first night at Hotel)
  • 525€ with a minimum of 3 guests (420€ without the first night at Hotel)

Included in the price: Organisation, UIMLA-guide, 2 nights at mountain refuges with half board, 1 night at Hotel in Chamonix with breakfast, 2 pack lunches, one lunch at Restaurant, hiking map copy
Not included: personal insurance, drinks

Guide:

Local, certified UIMLA – mountain leader


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Trekking tour around Mont Blanc, TMB

Dates: Mid June to late September

  • 10 – day program, 9 hiking days

The Tour du Mont Blanc, a complete circuit of the Mont Blanc, is the ultimate long distance mountain walk in the Alps, and has some of the most stunning scenery.

The TMB is a 120km route that passes through France, Italy and Switzerland. The track offers cultural delights, picture book Alpine villages, the vibrant towns of Chamonix and Courmayeur, and mountain huts with majestic views.  Almost each night we stay in a different location. Accommodation varies from small family run village hotels and hand picked mountain guest houses.

Our Video:

Detailed Program:

Arriving day:
We pick you up at Geneva airport or you travel independent to Les Houches in the Chamonix Valley. Check-in at the Hotel and get to know your hiking guide that tells you all about the tour.
Dinner and night at the Hotel in Les Houches

Day 2: Les Houches (1007m) to Les Contamines (1167m)
Cable car ride up to Bellevue and ascent to Col de Tricot. A great lunch waits for us after a steep descent to the alpine village Chalets du Miage. We pass the Refuge de Truc where we buy some fresh cheese and sausages and finish the day in Les Contamines.
Night and dinner at Hotel in Les Contamines
• ascent 639m, descent 1200m
• distance 14km

Day 3: Les Contamines (1167m) to Les Chapieux (1554m).
We reach Col de Bonhomme (2329m) 0ver an old Roman bridge and trough alpine cow pastures.  After a picknick lunch we traverse the hillside to the slightly higher Col de Croix de Bonhomme before a descent to the hamlet of Les Chapieux.
Night and dinner at les Chapieux or village du Glacier
• ascent 1270 m, descent 906m
• distance 15 km

Getting into Italy

Day 4: Village du Glacier (1554m) to Courmayeur
We follow the well marked route up to Col de la Seigne (2516m) where we cross the border into Italy. We enjoy views to the impressive Mont Blanc from it south side while stepping over the border line. From the Col we descend slightly down to Val Veny and take a bus to the alpine city of Courmayeur.
Night at Hotel Courmayeur, no organized dinner
• ascent 734 m, descent 741m
• distance 15 km

Day 5: Courmayeur (1226m) – Rest day.

Today you have a rest day in Courmayeur. There are great shops, cafes and bars. We also suggest a trip up the new cable car to punta Helbronner. Fantastic views of Mont Blanc and the glaciers of the Valle Blanche.
Night in Hotel in Courmayeur, no organized dinner

Day 6: Courmayeur (1226m) to Refugio Ferret. 

We head up to Bertone Refuge for a coffee. Then along the ridge with some of the finest views of the Mont Blanc range, to the guesthouse Chalet Ferret(2025m). A peaceful mountain guest house next to a mountain stream.
Night and dinner at Chalet Ferret
• ascent 1080m, descent 522m
• distance 18km

Getting into Switzerland

Day 7: Chalet Ferret (2025m) to La Fouly (1610m).
A gentle traverse of the mountainside to the Rifugio Elena for a morning coffee followed by a climb up to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) where we cross the border into Switzerland. Down through the flower meadows to the small village of La Fouly.
Night and dinner in a Hotel in La Fouly.
• ascent 760m, descent 746m
• distance 14km

Day 8: Champex Lac (1466m) to Trient (1279m).
We take a bus up to Champex Lac and  walk along the Bovine trail up to the Bovinette alpage where you can enjoy a delicious apple pie or a home made soup. Enjoy stunning views down to the Roman town of Martigny and the Rhone valley as you walk to Trient for the night.
Night and dinner in a Guesthouse in Trient
• ascent 750m, descent 705m
• distance 14 km

Back to France

Day 9: Trient (1279m) to Argentière (1252m).
The last Col of the tour… The hike over the Col de Balme brings you back into the Chamonix valley and down to Argentière. The view from the pass over Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains are just incredible. We stop for a delicious homemade Quiche at a mountain guest house before heading down to Argentiére.

Night at Hotel in Argentière, no organized dinner
• ascent 1100m, descent 500m
• distance 13km

Day 10: Argentière (1252m) to Chamonix (1000m).
From the Col des Montets  you walk through the Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve  to the famous Lac Blanc which provides a magnificent view of the Mont Blanc Massif. Your last walk down of the tour to La Flégere (1875m) and than a  cable car down back to Chamonix.
Last night in a Hotel in Chamonix and farewell dinner
• ascent 1100m, decent 500m
• distance 12km

Map:

map of the tour du Mont Blanc

Difficulty

This is a challenging route with an accumulated height gain and loss of over 9,000meters. The route crosses from valley to valley via  mountain passes, with long and some steep ascents and descents. This tour is ideal for regular walkers that are physically fit. The terrain on this trail is diverse with country lanes, forest trails, rocky mountain paths, and high mountain meadows. In early season you might have to walk over a few snow patches.

 We can arrange a luggage transfer between accommodations to make the tour easier for you.

Rates
  • 3915.00€ per hiker / single room supplement 410.00€

Included in the price:
Organization, certified UIMLA-hiking guide for the whole tour, 10 nights in privat rooms with ensuite bathroom in typical village hotels and mountain guest houses, breakfasts, 7 dinners, cable cars, pick up and drop off at Geneva airport, transport to hiking starts 

Not included in the price: lunches, 3 dinners,luggage transfer (we are happy to organize that for you, the cost is  35.00€ per day per luggage of 15kg), meals that are not listed above, personal insurance (accident, travel, annulation etc.), drinks

a picknick along our tour du Mont Blanc Trekking
Lunches

We didn’t include lunches because often hikers have different kind of appetite and food wishes along the trail. There are a view mountain guesthouses where we can stop for delicious lunches and the guides are more than happy to organize a buffet style picknick during the hike. Once in Les Houches the guide will ask you what your food preferences are.

 


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9 Reasons why you should hike the Tour du Mont Blanc

There is a never-ending battle over which city or region is truly the best “mountain town,” “trail city” or “outdoor heaven.” East versus West, mountain access versus desert singletrack, dense forest versus world-class crags, even the local craft-brew scene comes into the debate. Europe doesn’t have this problem—there’s a clear winner.
Chamonix, France is nestled at around 3,000 feet at the base of the picturesque Mont Blanc Massif and is about as close to a true outdoor heaven as a town can possibly be.
Chamonix’s crowning attraction for adventure-seekers, though, is its location along the Tour du Mont Blanc, a 170 kilometer (105-mile) circuit that observes the massif from all sides through three countries. More of a shrine to the Alps than a simple walk in the mountains, the TMB is the definition of a Bucket List Hike.

So, why should you stick the TMB on top of your list? Here are a few good reasons.
1. The Difficulty

The trail acts as a rite of passage for those addicted to serene alpine environments, climbing to 2,500 meters five times and totaling somewhere around 30,000 feet of total elevation gain. Each section of trail is comprised of a major uphill slog, usually followed by an almost equally brutal descent. It’s certainly no walk in the park, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

2. The Scenery

This one is a no-brainer. With hardly any forest cover, the mountain views are panoramic and never-ending. From almost any point along the trail there are million-dollar views of the massif’s glaciers and of Mont Blanc itself. You’ll want to keep your camera handy!

3. The Food

The TMB gives hikers the option to forego the “just add water” meals and incessant food daydreams that usually characterize a lengthy backpacking trip. Villages with stores and bakeries can be found almost daily, and more than 50 trail refuges offer semi-reasonable prices for hot food. Don’t worry, the physical demands of the hike will erase any guilt you might have about culinary indulgences. When in Europe, right?

4. The Accessibility

Many people shy away from backcountry trips that take longer than 2-3 days, the standard time/distance threshold where the risk goes up and the ability to bail goes way down. One of the most appealing characteristics of the Tour du Mont Blanc is how accessible and well marked the trail is. The path winds around some of the most sought-after terrain in Europe, so people are always nearby and help is readily available if needed. There are plenty of points to get on or off the trail, giving hikers the flexibility to create their own itineraries.

5. The Prestige

The trail is famous for its beauty, but this fame extends far beyond some pretty pictures in a magazine. For over a decade now, Chamonix and the TMB have hosted thousands of trail runners each August for the Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), which has developed into one of the most prestigious and influential ultra races in the world. Hundreds of the fastest mountain athletes flock to Chamonix weeks before the event to train for what may be their biggest race of the year. The UTMB follows the TMB counterclockwise starting and ending in Chamonix, and the fastest runners finish in under 24 hours.

6. The People

One of the best aspects of any popular hiking destination is the people that you meet on the trail. The fact that the Tour du Mont Blanc is such a global attraction elevates this to a whole new level. On any thru-hike it would not be unusual to hear ten different languages being spoken and to see an incredible age range of people using the trail. The trail is also open to mountain bikes, so it’s common to see cyclists resting on the trail’s high-elevation cols before an exhilarating descent. Swapping trail stories is even more fun when your campfire pals are from all over the world.

7. The History

Most high mountain areas have a history of adventure, and the Mont Blanc Massif is no different. The first ascent of Mont Blanc was in the late 1700’s, not too long after the first circumnavigation of the massif itself roughly along the Tour du Mont Blanc’s path. Some of the trails that comprise today’s TMB route are even older than this, though, because they follow old trade and transportation routes used for many centuries between mountain villages—some dating as far back to the days of the Roman Empire.

8. The Culture

In international travel, getting from Point A to B efficiently can sometimes restrict cultural immersion. Hiking is the perfect way to reverse that. As the trail wanders through quaint and historic hamlets in France, Italy, and Switzerland, hikers are able to gain an intimate look into local life and culture at their own pace without the distractions of modern transportation.

9. The Distance

Hiking over mountainous terrain is tough, especially for the first few days. When a hiker is able to continue working through the soreness and discomfort on a longer trek, a new world of empowered enjoyment can be found. A thru-hike of the TMB takes 9-12 days for most hikers, giving anyone plenty of time to adapt to the terrain and to thrive in the mountains. This is the perfect distance for an international trip that calls for a full-scale adventure in a compact timeline.

 


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