Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under Dates & Prices tab)
This departure: Grade 8
Fly from UK to Geneva. Meet your Leader and transfer to Argentiere.
Plan Praz – Grand Balcon Sud – Col des Montets – Argentière.
Starting from the centre of Chamonix we use the lift to Plan Praz to join the TMB – here a magnificent high panoramic path known as the Grand Balcon Sud undulates round below the savage pinnacles of the Aiguilles Rouges to arrive at Col des Montet. Fabulous views of Mont Blanc all the way!
Ascent 550m / Descent 1000m; 14km (8.7 miles); 5 hours
Argentière - Col de Balme – Trient (Switzerland) – Col de Forclaz.
Resuming the TMB route from Argentière we climb up to the Col des Posettes (1997m) for yet more superb views of Mont Blanc and the Chamonix Valley. We then traverse to the Col de Balme (2191m) before descending to Trient (1297m). We finish by a steep little climb up to our hotel at Col de la Forclaz. (Luggage transferred separately).
Ascent 1100m / Descent 900m; 16km (10 miles); 7 hours
Trient - Bovine Route – Champex en Haut.
The ‘Bovine Route’ from Trient to Champex (1444m) winds its way through meadows, forests and open country with views of the mountains of Verbier and the great Sion Valley. (Luggage transferred separately).
Ascent 700m / Descent 750m; 15km (9m); 5 hours
Champex - La Fouly.
From Champex, it is a gentle walk to La Fouly (1600m) along the valley floor of the Val Ferret following the river through forests and meadows to Praz de Fort from where we ascend with wonderful views of Mont Dolent. (Luggage transferred separately).
550m Ascent / 440m Descent; 15km (9.3m); 5-6 hours
La Fouly - Grand Col Ferret – Courmayeur (Italy).
From La Fouly we cross into Italy via the impressive Grand Col Ferret (2537m). From here, the descent is slightly steeper but with outstanding views of Les Grandes Jorasses and Mont Blanc. We finish at Arnuva in Italian Val Ferret from where we take a public bus down to Courmayeur. (Luggage transferred separately).
Ascent 970m / Descent 1,170m; 17km (10.5miles); 6-7 hours
The Balcony of Val Ferret.
Returning by public bus to Val Ferret we ascend via a superb traversing balcony path to the finely situated Rifugio Bertone for a leisurely lunch before descending directly back to Courmayeur. A relatively easy day but one with unmatchable views of the Italian side of the range.
Ascent 600m/Descent 900m; 10 km (6.5 miles)
Rest Day or Optional Walk.
The opportunity for a complete rest in our cosy base in Courmayeur or - for the more determined! - a chance to fill in a short but scenic variant of the TMB omitted in the main itinerary. Walkers can take the Dolonne lift to over 2000m and traverse round and down into Val Veny enjoying stunning vistas of the Brenva Face of Mont Blanc directly across the valley. Those in more relaxed mode can share the great views by ascending either of the two major lift systems starting in Courmeyeur.
Optional walk: Ascent 400m / Descent 900m; 10 km (6.5 miles)
Val Veny – Refugi Elisabetta – Casermetta – Col de la Seigne – Chapieux.
We start the day by taking a public bus to Val Veny where we join and follow the TMB trail once more up to the charming Elisabetta hut for refreshments before crossing the high and wild Col de la Seigne. Once over the pass a long but easy descent through Alpine meadows takes us down to the tiny hamlet of Chapieux where pre-booked taxis will whisk us down to a comfortable night in the pleasant town of Bourg Saint Maurice. (Luggage transferred separately)
Ascent 900m / Descent 1300m; 19 km (13 miles) 7 hours
Les Chapieux - Col du Bonhomme - Les Contamines.
Returning by road to Les Chapieux we start with a long steady ascent to the Col du Bonhomme (2479m) before crossing another col (2329m) in order to descend to Les Contamines (1167m). (Luggage transferred separately).
930m Ascent / 1,320m Descent; 17km (10.5miles); 7-8 hours
Les Contamines – Les Houches.
We ascend to the Chalets du Truc perched under the great west-face of the Mont Blanc range before descending to the Chalets de Miage at 1559m. Then a steep climb to the Col du Tricot (2120m) and on to the plateau above Les Houches which has outstanding views of the Chamonix Valley, the Aiguilles and the Mont Blanc massif. We have a choice between walking down to Les Houches or descending by cable car and then walking to our hotel. (Luggage transferred separately).
Ascent 1300m / Descent 650m or 1350 ;18km (11.2miles); 6-7 hours
Rest Day- Les Houches.
This provides the opportunity either to spend the day in Chamonix or to go up the Aiguille du Midi on the cable car before descending to the mid-station for a high level walk to Montenvers in order to catch the rack and pinion railway back to Chamonix.
Optional walk: Ascent 250m / Descent 250m; 10km (6.2miles); 5 hours
Walk directly from the hotel up Le Brevent (2525m) which gives great views across the Chamonix valley of the whole of the Mont Blanc range. A superb path leads us back down to the top of the Plan Praz lift where we close the circle! All that remains is to let the lift take the strain of the descent before celebrating with a drink in Chamonix and taking the train back home to Les Houches!
Walking time approximately 5-6 hours; Ascent 1600m / Descent 600m; 12km (7.5miles)
Depart for Geneva airport in time for a flight back to London Heathrow
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