Walking near Mont Blanc
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Tour dates: 02 Aug to 24 Aug 2007.
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This holiday was inspired by the Tour du Mont Blanc, which I have done in 2005 and 2006. The original idea was for my wife and myself to cover the southern part of this classic walk at a leisurely pace with plenty of time to stop and enjoy the surroundings. Accommodation would be in the huts and hotels favoured by TMB walkers and we would stop at nearly all of them, meaning that the days would be short and there would be time to explore each area.
We modified this to become a series of walks based on hotels and huts in the areas around Chamonix, Les Contamines and Courmayeur. The result was a pleasant and comfortable holiday during which we found and walked some excellent footpaths.

View Photo Set 1/3 | Set 2/3 | Diary
Repeat visit in 2008
My TMB info page

Le Tour

Our holiday started at the Chalet Alpin du Tour.
It is a very convenient place to start and finish.
We stayed there for our first two nights.

Col de Posettes

We walked up through woodlands to reach the Col de Posettes.
A modest first day for us.
It has excellent views, particularly towards Mont Blanc.


The Balmer & de Saussure statue.
(Passing through Chamonix on our way to the Bel Lachat)

Refuge Bel Lachat

To my mind, the best hut in the area.
Small and usually difficult to get a booking.

The view from the terrace.
The perfect view and viewed in comfort!


Walking to La Flegere

The weather was still good.
Magnificent views.

Path from Plan Praz to La Flegere
The sixth time I have walked this path. I still enjoy it!

Walking to Lac Blanc

Cloud in the valley below

Up past one of the tiny lakes.
Have seen Ibex here in the past.

The Refuge du Lac Blanc is small and well-run.
The views of Mont Blanc are good, but not on this visit.

Les Échelles d'Argentière

Used to descend a cliff on the way down from Lac Blanc to Argentière

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Path down to Argentière

An attractive path which goes down through woodlands.
Path starts some way below the Échelles

Les Houches to Les Contamines

The wettest day of our holiday!
Some nice paths though!

View of Les Contamines.
From balcony of Hotel le Grizzli.
(We recommend this hotel)
Closed 2008 by fire damage!

To La Balme

Notre Dame de la Gorge is worth a visit.
It is close to the road to La Balme.

So is the Roman Bridge.
(This road has long been a trade route)

To Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme

The way up to the Col du Bonhomme was snowy

Click here for the route sequence in photos.

This is the bivouac shelter at the col

Some descending walkers had a pack-pony

Arriving at the Refuge Croix du Bonhomme

Back to walking around Les Contamines

Footbridge on a minor footpath
(A roundabout route to Tré le Champ)

On the path to the Auberge du Truc

Path to Cascade de Combe Noir
(The upper path is an excellent walk)

Leaving Les Contamines

The day was rainy and we were using the time
to go through the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Courmayeur.


A fence made of ice-axes
(I had been here several times without noticing it)

When in Italy one should eat ice creams!

Our hotel in Dolonne

To reach our room we needed this spiral staircase.
A very tight fit!

Once up the staircase the room was most comfortable.
(We recommend this hotel)

Walking in the Val Veni

This is Val Veni
The middle of the valley is blocked by a glacial moraine.

Above the moraine there is a lake.
It was once a vast lake; until the water broke through the moraine.

This is the path up onto the southern flank of the Val Veni.
The moraine can be seen below.

The path is over rolling grassy terrain.

These two shepherds have just caught their donkey.
There was a long chase first.

Here the path is approaching Col Checroui.

At Col Checroui is the Maison Vieille.

Walking in Val Ferret

We had taken a bus to the end of the Val Ferret road.
Now we are walking up to the Refugio Walter Bonatti.

This new building is the best alpine hut I have ever visited.
(In all respects except for the Italian door locks on the loos!)

The following day we continued along one
of the paths to the Rifugio Bertone,
where I returned some shower tokens
accidentally removed last year.

Next page

View Photo Set 1/3 | Set 2/3 | Diary
Repeat visit in 2008
My TMB info page