29 September 2003

Tour du Mont Blanc

August 2003

The team: Colin Stump, Richard Pratt, Hayden Measham and Rod Shaw.
Recommended guide book: stages described below refer to those in Tour of Mont Blanc by Andrew Harper (Cicerone)

24 August 

Get Tramway du Mont Blanc from St Gervais to Col de Voza and then walk best section of ‘Stage 1’ to Les Contamines (approx 6 hours). 

Stumpy crossing the Torrent de Bionnassay
View back to Col de Tricot 2120m
View down to Chalets de Miage
View to Mont Joly and Chalets du Truc from Col de Tricot
Above Chalets de Miage
Col de Miage and Domes de Miage
25 August 

Climb Mont Joly (approx 6 hours) via ridge route from Le Signal cable car and Aiguille Croche.  Not on the TMB but an excursion from our base in les Contamines.

Ridge route to Mont Joly from Aig. Croche
View west from Aig. Croche
View to Lac de la Girotte from Aig. Croche
View down from ridge to Megeve airstrip
View back to Aiguille Croche 2487m
View to La Frasse from Mt Joly with Domes de Miage above
On the ridge to Mt Joly
Mt Joly summit with Chamonix valley in background
Stumpy on Mt Joly summit 2525m
Mountains above les Contamines, Domes de Miage just right of centre
View to Chamonix valley from Mt Joly
Les Contamines from Mt Joly
Descent from Mt Joly, looking towards Aiguille de Bionnassay
Descent from Mt Joly looking towards St Gervais

26 August 

Early start with drive to Courmayeur, Italy via the Mt Blanc Tunnel. Walk ‘Stage 5’ Courmayeur to la Vachey (approx 5 hours). Hotel in la Vachey overnight : Hotel Lavachey, la Vachey, Italy (0039 0165 869 723). An excellent hotel and great ice cream! 

Ascent to Refuge Bertone from Courmayeur
Refuge Bertone 1991m
Towards Courmayeur from Tete de la Tronche
Towards Tete de la Tronche 2584m

Val Ferret from Mont de la Saxe
Val Veni with Mont Chetif in foreground
Mont Blanc from above Courmayeur
View to Col Sapin from Mont de la Saxe
Mont Blanc from Mont de la Saxe
Mont Blanc on approach to Tete de la Tronche
View to Grand Golliat 3238m
Descent to Col Sapin
Grandes Jorasses from Armina Valley
Les Alpinistes 2003, on descent to la Vachey

27 August 

Walk ‘Stage 6’ la Vachey to la Fouly (approx 5 hours). Overnight in Hotel Des Glaciers, la Fouly, Switzerland (0041 27 783 1171). Weird hotel run by a transvestite! 

Sunrise on the Peuterey ridge to Mont Blanc, from la Fouly
Glacier de Pre de Bar from above the Refuge Elena
Aig. de l'Eveque and Aig. de Leshaux
Italian Val Ferret with Val Veny in the distance
TMB to la Fouly, Mt Dolent to left

28 August 

Walk ‘Stage 7’ la Fouly to Champex (approx 4.5 hours). Overnight in Hotel Belvedere, Champex, Switzerland (0041 27 783 1114). Very good hotel with superb views. 

On the Swiss section of the TMB
Lac de Champex
View from hotel down to Orsieres

29 August 

Walk ‘Stage 8’ Champex to Col de la Forclaz via the ‘Bovine’ route, then bus 75070 to Le Chatelard (border) followed by 1528 train RX 18934 from Le Chatelard to Chamonix. Collect car and return to Les Contamines having collected other car from Courmayeur. 

View to Martigny from the Bovine section of the TMB
The weather finally breaks...a wet walk back into France

30 August 

Return to UK