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Duration
7 days
Activities
  • guided alpine walk
Accommodation
  • 6 nights in gîte-hostels or refuges
Meals
  • 6 Dinners
  • 6 Lunches
  • 6 Breakfasts

Price

$1290USD

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Overview

Trip Code: UCW

Trip highlights


  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery around the highest peak in Western Europe
  • Experience the exhilaration of trekking through three countries in the European Alps
  • Enjoying the culinary specialties such as Raclette
  • Sharing your walking day with like minded fellow travellers

Specially devised for walkers who like to 'smell the roses' en route to the next comfortable gîte or mountain refuge, this relaxed walk around Mont Blanc still takes in the vistas for which the Tour du Mont Blanc is so famous. In the company of a small group of like minded companions, a bilingual guide and a mule to carry your gear, the walk traverses high passes, meadows brimming with alpine flowers and wanders through typical mountain villages. There is ample time to stop and take in the stunning scenery, enjoy a picnic of local ingredients and absorb the alpine culture as you make your way to the next accommodation. This is relaxed alpine hiking at its best.

Trip Grading

moderate

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

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Mid afternoon meet your group and your guide in the delightful Italian town of Courmayeur where you can sample the excellent ice creams. You will be advised of the meeting point and time with your tour confirmation. There will be a short briefing where you will pack gear in the kit bags provided (to be loaded onto the mules). We have a tough but rewarding 2-3 hour ascent before arriving at the Berthone refuge (1970m) for the nights accommodation. (760m/2500ft ascent, 0 descent)

Meals:  D

With our walking legs warmed up from yesterdays hike, we have a treat today. The trail follows a balcony route with great views over the 'Grandes Jorasses'. We begin by ascending to the flanks of Mont de la Saxe and from here the southern face of Mont Blanc is really quite spectacular. We will pass through the high mountain pastures of Arminal, Malatra and Arnuva, before climbing up to Elena refuge where there are excellent views to the glacier and mountains beyond. Overnight refuge with shower. 704m/2310ft ascent, 631m/2070ft descent

Meals:  B,L,D

The sight of the Pré de Bar glacier, (a glacier that boasts a perfect tongue formation), is with us all the way as we make our way to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m), and the whole atmosphere is out of this world, and despite the climb is a very rewarding section of the walk. The col marks the border of Switzerland and Italy and the trail becomes wider and more defined on reaching the border. The ascent from the pass takes you to the valley floor and eventually the charming village of La Fouly. Overnight Hotel with shower. 624m/2047ft ascent, 1100m/3609ft descent

Meals:  B,L,D

Although this is most definitely a quieter day, it is also one that brings you into contact with some scenes of amazing natural beauty. Dry meadows, pools of cold, fresh water and chalets that are as black as the small Heren cows that roam about, and are surrounded by flower filled gardens. We continue through Bovine mountain pastures which overlook the Rhône valley and the village of Martigny. In the distance are the Bernese Alps. Overnight Champex in a gîte with shower. (600m/1969ft ascent, 500m/1640ft descent)

Meals:  B,L,D

On a good weather day there are extraordinary views to the Trient Glacier during the days walk. The high point of the day is at around 2049m before we descend to the Col de la Forclaz. This evening will be spent in a gîte in La Forclaz with shower. (729m/2391ft ascent, 823m/2700ft descent)

Meals:  B,L,D

On today's walk we make our way to the Balme mountain passage. Weather permitting we will be afforded wonderful views over the Mont Blanc chain. The days walk concludes at Vallorcine at the head of the Chamonix Valley. (865m/2837ft ascent, 1071m/3514ft descent

Meals:  B,L,D

A highlight today as we follow the Grand Balcon Sud, one of the most scenic sections of the TMB with sweeping alpine views to glaciers across the valley and the massif of Mont Blanc. We continue to La Flegere set at 1875m high above the valley below with views across to the Aiguilles Rouges from the south or to the glaciers (Argentiere, Le Tour, Mer de Glace) from the north. The trip concludes around 2pm at Chamonix train station. (800m/2624ft ascent, 200m/656 ft descent

Meals:  B,L

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Leaving from Chamonix, we trail above the Chamonix Valley. As we ascend the trail there are numerous opportunities to take in the huge expanse of the Mont Blanc Massif, the Argentiere glacier and the Aiguille du Tour (3542m). It is an exhilarating walk and a fabulous start to the week. Overnight Le Tour. Ascent: 450m/1476ft, Descent: 150m/492ft

Meals:  D

Leaving from the village of Le Tour you take the scenic high mountain path of Balme heading towards Switzerland. Weather permitting you will be able to take some wonderful photos of the Mont Blanc chain including the impressive “La Verte”, the Drus and the Needles of Chamonix. You will cross the border between France and Switzerland before making your way down to the village of Trient for overnight accommodation. Ascent: 738m/2421ft, Descent: 912m/2991ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The route we take today is via the Mountain of Bovine which involves crossing the Forclaz Pass (1527m) where there are beautiful lake views. Along the route there will be views of Grand Combin, the Rhone Valley and the Bernese Alps. Ascent 930m/3051ft, Descent: 742m/2434ft

Meals:  B,L,D

Although this is most definitely a quieter day, it is also one that brings you into contact with some scenes of amazing natural beauty. Dry meadows, pools of cold, fresh water and chalets that are as black as the small Heren cows that roam about, and are surrounded by flower filled gardens. Swiss village life is all about us and whilst the dramatic scenery of previous days is not as apparent today, it is a chance to experience the wonderful “Valais des homes”. Overnight gîte with shower. Ascent: 420m/1378ft, Descent: 650m/2132ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The route today takes you out of Switzerland and into Italy by the Grand Col Ferret (2537m) pass. It’s a steady climb and at the Col you will be awe inspired by the sweeping views of the Pre de Bar glacier. After some time drinking in the panorama you can amble down the steep track to your overnight accommodation at the Refuge Elena which is located at the base of the glacier and a great place to view the changing light on the alps. Ascent: 930m/3050ft, Descent: 475m/1558ft

Meals:  B,L,D

This mornings walk takes you through the Val Ferret and along a balcony path with impressive views of the Grand Jorasses, Mont Blanc and in the distance the Col de la Seigne marking the border between France and Italy. On reaching Refugio Bonatti there are two options to reach Berthone. The newly rerouted TMB trail traverses the north flank of Monte de la Saxe, whilst the former official TMB route takes you along the crest of Monte de la Saxe. Both are high trails with fabulous views of the Brenva face of Mont Blanc and the dramatic Aiguille Noire. Overnight Rifugio (1989m). Ascent: 750m/2460ft, Descent: 478m/1568ft

Meals:  B,L,D

The TMB trail takes us down to the charming alpine village of Courmayeur where the trip concludes around 2pm. Descent: -760m/2492ft

Meals:  B,L


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.


Inclusions

  • 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style. Dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which include regional specialities.
  • 6 nights in gîte-hostels or refuges on a multi share basis with shared facilities (upgrade to rooms - 4 nights double, 2 nights quad share available - supplement applies. Note: not necessarily private facilities)
  • Luggage transfer by mule – (max 7kgs - early and late season departures use luggage van for transfer)
  • Experienced mountain guide

  • Travel to Courmayeur and from Chamonix, as well as to and from the trailhead
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Storage of luggage
  • Transfers
  • Travel insurance

Accommodation


Grading

moderate  

MODERATE– GRADE 3 The walking is moderate (3) grade with daily guided walks of around 3-6 hours. There are some more demanding stages during the walk with steep uphills, descents, and many sections of the trail which require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds. The planned itinerary may be altered in the event of adverse weather conditions. As with all our moderate programs, we expect participants to be active and fit, enjoying aerobic sport around two to four times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance walking with and without a pack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. At the same time, you are also comfortable with the layers you like to wear and footwear. Important note: good quality walking boots with ankle support are a pre-requisite for your participation. Runners or shoes without ankle support are not suitable for the conditions encountered on this walk.


Departure dates


Notes

DN1
Please ensure you read the downloadable trip notes prior to booking. Some departures begin in the Chamonix Valley and follow a reverse itinerary.
1
trip begins in Courmayeur
2
trip begins in Chamonix Valley
3
The TMB Ultra Marathon is held each year in late August, we recommend making your pre- & post- trip accommodation reservations well in advance. See Trip Notes for more information.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1290USD

Options & Supplements*
  • double room supplement - 2 nights quad / 4 nights doubleUSD$180
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

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Mont Blanc Guided Walk with UTracks

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