Tour du Mont Blanc :: Wrap Up

Below is a journal I kept of our two week Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) organized by Exodus. You want to start at the first entry and read your way to here in order for it to make any sense.

The TMB is one of the classic alpine walking trails, and I’d whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone with any interest in hill-walking. If you do it over two weeks, you should be able to manage it if you have a reasonable level of fitness … e.g. if climbing Ben Nevis, Snowdon, Scarfell Pike or Carrauntoohil doesn’t sound like an impossible challenge.

The TMB is usually done by people who have booked overnight stays in the many mountain refuges along the route, although I guess you could also carry your own tent and camp. The easier option, where you only have to carry a daysack, is to organise it through an adventure travel company like Exodus or UTracks either us part of a group with a leader or self-guided with your gear transported between refuges.

A word on gear. The weather is seriously changeable in mountainous regions such as the Mont Blanc Massif, so you don’t want to skimp to much on your gear. We brought:

  • Good (Gore-Tex) waterproof and windproof jackets
  • Lightweight waterproof boots (Goretex lined Brashers)
  • Waterproof trousers and gaiters (you could manage without the latter)
  • Two fleeces, a light one and a heavier one
  • A woolly hat and turtlekneck scarf
  • Gloves – don’t be afraid to bring ski gloves, you’ll probably only use them when it’s both wet and cold
  • Walking trousers with zip-off legs
  • Quite a few pairs of decent hiking socks
  • Good 20l to 35l daysacks
  • Waterproof covers for our rucksacks
  • Telescopic walking poles – don’t worry about looking stupid, they come in very useful on the descents
  • A hydration pack and water bottle – you should carry about 2 litres with you each day
  • A map of the region and a compass
  • For emergencies, a whistle, first aid kit, space blanket, pen knife and thermal bottoms
  • A good sleeping mat for camping – got 5cm thick “trail comfort” Therm-a-Rest mats and didn’t regret the cost
  • Inflatable pillows
  • Trek towels– we had a Lifeventure trek towel each and they stood up pretty well to a fortnight’s usage without being washed

Enjoy!

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