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Day 10 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

Our last day on the trail was a very short one. We woke up to gray skies and a little bit of rain, so we took our time getting packed up. We shared breakfast with the Kiwis and then split ways. After packing all of our gear, we grabbed a cable car from La Flégère to Plan Praz, where we caught up with the TMB trail and walked about 20 minutes into Chamonix.

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Day 9 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

Waking up to sunshine streaming in through the windows at la Boerne was a welcome change from the cloudy days we had gotten used to. Breakfast was the usual bread with jam and coffee, but with the added bonus of fresh bananas! We were on the trail by 9am, and we started off with a steady climb for the next hour and a half.

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Day 8 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

By the time we left the hotel at around 8:30, the rain had subsided to a light sprinkle but the humidity was pretty intense. We began our ascent up to the Col du Balme immediately, starting with a seemingly endless amount of switchbacks just to get us out of the valley in which Trient lays.

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Day 7 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

Waking up at Bon Abri, we looked out the window only to discover a thick fog and some light sprinkling rain. Unfortunately this poor visibility meant that we would have to take the Alp Bovine route rather than the highly rated alternate route over Fenetre d'Arpette.

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Day 6 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

Day 6 of our trek was a wet one! After a delightful breakfast, we stepped out the door and were greeted with some sprinkles. We donned our rain gear and walked the short distance from La Lechere into La Fouly. When we arrived in the quaint town, the rain picked up and we decided to take a break in a little building that held the mail boxes of the locals in order to make a plan for the day.

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Day 5 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

We hit the trail at 8:00, wanting to get a good start. The first bit of the trail continued the nice sloping undulations that we had followed before our arrival to Bonatti. Eventually we had to head down into the Italian Val Ferret, just to have to go back uphill to make our way to Rifugio Elena. Situated at the very end of the valley, Elena is perched in quite the picturesque and pretty spot!

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Day 4 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

After eating our fill, we began our hike by climbing out of Courmayeur, passing the church and following some well-marked roads past beautiful homes with equally lovely gardens. The end of the paved road gave way to the familiar dirt trail, and we began our ascent up some serious switchbacks. At the top of the winding track laid Rifugio Bertone.

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Day 3 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

We woke up to the hustle and bustle of everyone around us in the dorm getting dressed and ready for another day of hiking. Evan and I took our time getting up, knowing that we had a shorter day in front of us. Our plan was to hike down out of Val Veny to the small village of Lasaille, where we would then catch a bus into Courmayeur.

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Day 2 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

Mentally preparing ourselves for a long day, we left the refuge at 8:30 am and made our way across some remaining snow fields.  We followed the trail and groups in front of us up to Tête Nord des Fours.  While not planned, we were glad that we went out of our way to hike the peak.

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Day 1 of the Tour du Mont Blanc

We woke up to a beautiful morning – cool to start, with a few clouds hanging on to the mountaintops. After readingseveral blogs from people that had skipped the first stage of the Tour du Mont Blanc as described in the Kev Reynolds guidebook {Les Houches to Les Contamines}, we decided to follow suit.

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Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc

Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc

Ten days, seven valleys, five cols, 2,650 meters in elevation at our highest point, 85 miles, and one grand adventure. Some blood, sweat, and tears, but mostly mud, definitely still sweat, and cheers. The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) was all of that and so much more.

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