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Below are some recent trips - to see all our videos check out our youtube channel by clicking here.
Mont Blanc Tour - Trekking
Tour Mont Blanc Day 0 Arrive Chamonix
Day 0 - Chamonix Sunday 17-06-18 Shuttle from Geneva airport to Chamonix is around EUR30 with Cham-Van and takes about 1.5 hours Cham-fest a music and food festival was on this weekend so no wonder it was hard to get accommodation. Our hotel the Chalet Hotel Le Priuere was very nice. Most importantly they had bacon and eggs as well as bread, cheese, fruit, cold meats etc. We walked around the town of Chamonix that is quite beautiful and full of adventure gear stores, skiing stores and plenty of restaurants and bars and is surrounded by beautiful steep mountains on both sides of the Valle de L’Arve - on l’Arve river which is a blue/grey cold and running powerfully. We picked up some snacks to take with us for the next couple of days. Dave and I had a Raclette for dinner which was served with potatoes and cold meats, pickled onions and gerkins.
Tour Mont Blanc Day 1 Les Contamines
Day 1 - Chamonix to Les Contamines Monday 18-06-18 We tucked into breakfast making sure we left with a good meal in our tummies. Which was lucky because the places we expected to get lunch were either not there anymore or closed on a Monday. Nuts and museli bars it was to be. We also came across some lovely boys who had made ice tea and you also got a slice of cake with it, so we bought a round. The day started with a short train ride to Les Houches leaving at 9.15 and from here you take the trail heading out of the town. It was pretty much straight up the mountain to the Col de Voza at 1,653 - Les Houches was around 1,000m. This area is a ski field in the winter and at the top of the Col you have a lovely view of the Glacier de Bionassay. There were some open cafes here but it was a little early for lunch and we thought we would have lunch in Bionassay but the cafe ended up being closed on Mondays. We had taken a stop for tea/coffee/ice cream at a lovely Refugio just a little before this called Chalet-refuge du Fioux which has a beautiful view and a lovely grassy terrace. We wish we had eaten lunch here because it smelled so good.. C’est la vie. By now the temperature was around 18 degrees and the sun out and we were sweating away. There are so many fields of wildflowers with cows with their bells ringing and many small typical alpine looking chalets. We walked not only on dirt paths but also though forests, small tar roads through towns and some fields. The views were stunning and it was everything I was hoping the trail to be. The total kilometres for the day were around 15. We left around 9.45 and arrived at the Refugio CAF on the outskirts of Les Contamines around 4.30 after finally getting a quiche for lunch at about 4pm. This was the shorter route which we were glad to have taken - 3km shorter than the alternative route. Were were pretty knackered by the time we arrived. A nice cold beer at the Refugio and a hot shower and then they cooked us a wholesome dinner at 7pm and will prepare us a picnic lunch for tomorrow of a ham and cheese sandwich, taboleh, muffin, fruit compote and a twix bar. Dinner was pea soup, chicken curry with rice, cheese, cheese cake...and some lovely Château Cardboard that from a carafe tasted wonderful. The room we have has 8 bunks in sets of two side by side. Yes, there is Wi-Fi here.
Mont Blanc Tour Day 2 Les Chapieux
Day 2 - Les Contamines to Les Chapieax - Tuesday 19-06-18 Not a cloud in the sky today- beautiful! Breakfast started from 6.30. Our room was right near the kitchen and dining room so we got in early as we had heard that sometimes the food runs out in the Refugios. It was not as wonderful as dinner. Muesli, bread, jam and tea and coffee. But the lunch pack they made had an excellent ham and cheese sandwich that made up for that. Today is a longer day that yesterday maybe 17-18km. And a lot harder. Around 7.5 hours. So we left at 7.45am and started on he first gentle slopes through pine forests and along a glacial river. We had a nice chat to a couple from North Carolina. She is s professional photographer and he twas into timber mills. We left them just after the chapel Notre Dame and the track became very steep. From this point it was to be up hill for the next 4 hours. Thankfully it wasn’t all as steep as the first section. As we came out of the forests the stunning view of the Col du Bonhomme opened up. There were beautiful pastures with happy cows with their signature bells ringing gently. We gained 1,316 metres before we had a two hour descent of around 929m which was quite step. The highest point today was 2,483m at Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. There was a lot of snow on the pass and for quite a long way down the other side. We had a bit of slipping and sliding in it on our way down the mountain. We saw quite a lot of marmots today running across the snow and eating in the sun. They look a lot like a beaver. Again we walked through fields of wildflowers down to Les Chapieax a small hamlet with a few places to stay, a campsite and small cheese and local products shop. We arrived around 3.30pm so about 8 hours today. I had come down with a bit of a head cold so after a shower and doing some washing I had a sleep and rest for about 45 minutes. I heard later I was not the only one a bit shattered after the hard day. I was then ready to join Dave for a local beer. Dinner was soup, followed by slow cooked lamb and roasted potatoes, hunks of cheese and then panacotta for dessert.
Mont Blanc Tour Day 3 Combal
Day 3 - Les Chapieax to Lake Combal - Wednesday 20-06-18 We were on road by 7.30 after our standard breakfast of museli, bread and jam. Not a cloud in the sky again. This is incredible. The start of the walk was a nice gentle slope along a tar road on the shady side of the valley which was lovely as most of us got pretty sunburned yesterday. Then a more serious climb started up towards Col de la Seigne which is at 2,516m which we reached around 11.15am. On the climb up you could hear cow bells ringing and we could see that the diary cows here are milked by a portable miking trailer so they can follow the cows around while they are in the high pastures in summer. There were beautiful views all day today and finally we caught a glimpse of Mt Blanc towering above us. She had a little cloud around her but they parted enough for us to get a fairly good view. We walked through a lot of snow again today. On the way down from the Col the easiest and fastest way through some of the steeper snow fields was to sit down and slide. Quite fun too! We saw some more marmots today but up a little closer. We arrived at the Elisabetta Refugio around 1pm and continued down the valley where a bulldozer was still trying to clear the road of metres of snow. There was a sparkling clear glacial pond next to a snow drift. Some of us had to jump in for a 5 second dip. Talk about refreshing! The Refugio Comban du Combal was just minutes away and just out the front a herd of mountain ibex were jumping around the rocks or nibbling on a salt lick. We arrived around 2.10pm so this was a much easier day than yesterday, only around 6.5 hours. The Refugio is lovely and spotless and no prize for guessing and there is minestrone soup and pasta on the menu tonight. Total distance for the day was around 17km and we gained 1,004m and lost 258m.