All posts tagged: TMB

Day Four – Aosta day trip

A change of scenery today, being our rest day, so most of us are off to the Italian town of Aosta, 34kms down the valley by bus from our hotel. A leisurely breakfast then onto the 8.40 bus which wound its way down the valley, through picturesque villages, hillsides strewn with vines impressive Chateaux perched over the rock faces, and into city with the most preserved Roman ruins in Italy. We were met at the bus stop by our guide for the morning, Elizabeth, who proceeded to spend the next three hours delivering us to all the main historical sites, filling us with information about the Roman way of life, giving us a sense of how the village would have looked in ancient times. First to the Criptoportico Forense which is amongst the best preserved archaeological vestigial from the Roman era. Next the Museo Archeologico Regionale, exhibiting many pieces from the 8th millennium BC until the Middle Ages. Onwards through the old town, all the while being serenaded by the most beautiful hymn music, being …

Day Three – Les Chapieux to Courmayeur

(19kms…6 hours) Another great start to the day, with a breakfast of muesli, the freshest croissants ever, home made yoghurt, and a multitude of different breads and fruits. We had time for a quick wander around town and a team photo by a wonderful two story stone barn before being bused up the narrow winding lane to our start. We had a slow steady climb in the morning which was meant to provide stunning views of Mont Blanc for the first time but with the weather slowly deteriorating we lost our views and discovered the variables of weather in the alps as the rain slowly built. After three false starts on whether to put on the wet weather gear or not, we were finally kitted out but not before a few of us got wet with our indecision, lesson learnt. With weather gear on, we continued up the hill till we reached a saddle in the mountain which was the border between France and Italy. Luckily the rain dissipated and we were able to see …

Day Two – Les Contamines to Les Chapieux

(8.5 hours…21km’s) After a restful nights sleep, weary aching joints staggered down to a great breakfast, before heading off at 8am. Ismael claims today to be the most difficult day of the walk with over 1200 metres of ascent, and 900 metres of descent, food for thought as the body warms up. The Mont Blanc circuit is essentially 10 days of climbing from the valley up over mountain passes, and back towards the valley each day. Total ascent is about 10,000 metres, and the same descent. Basically we are going up and down big hills as we sort of circle the Mont Blanc Massif, the group of glacier fields surrounding Mont Blanc itself. From Les Contamines at 1170m we climbed slowly and steadily up to Croix du Bonhomme at 2443m, through beautiful pine forest, into low covered flooring all with breathtaking scenery to elevate the aches and groans of protesting muscles and joints. The path we are taking this morning is an old Roman road and the highlight of the morning was crossing an ancient …

Day One – Chamonix to Les Contamines

Day One – (7 hours…16 km approx) Finally the day we start walking arrives, after two years in the making and many training sessions up and down hills, stairs and ramps! An early start with breakfast at 7.30, and on our way at 8am to Les Houches by mini bus, and the cable car to our much anticipated start at La Chalette, but not before plenty of photos to commemorate the moment. The morning was a mix of beautiful pine forest trails, short steep climbs and descents: fields of low shrubs with wild blueberry bushes carpeting the floor. A cable bridge crossing at the Passerelle du Glacier was a highlight, especially for Kate and Rach who may not like heights! More up and down, then a great lunch of potato omelette and green salad at the beautiful Refuge de Miage. Most agreed that the morning had been tougher than expected, with legs taking time to acclimatize to the steep terrain. The weather was mild to warm, producing buckets of sweat, as glutes hammies and quads …