Tour du Mt. Blanc Trek

Circumnavigation of Mount Blanc

Bruce, Mike, Warren

Start of the TMB Adventure; Geneva Train Station 

Les Houches

Starting out with a side trip to Aiguille du Midi

Aiguille du Midi Cable Car travels from Chamonix at 3,396' elevation

to the Aiguille du Midi at 12,605' - a 9,209' lift in 20 minutes.

Spectacular

Dome du Gouter (13,969') - Aiguille du Midi (12,604')

Left to right: Mount Blanc de Tacul (13,736'), Mt. Maudit (14,649'), Mt. Blanc (15,777'), 

Dome du Gouter (14,121')

 

 

Chamonix, France

Bruce & Warren

Warren & Mike

Aiguille Verte (13,524')

Aiguille de Blaitiere

Aiguille du Midi

1st Day [Les Houches - Tram Ride - Col de Tricot - Les Contamines]

Mike ready to go - First day trekking

 

Started with a tramway ride from Les Houches to Bellevue - 2,651' lift

River flowing out of Glacier de Bionnassay

Bruce on the Suspension Bridge

Photo by Warren Elliott

Mike on the Suspension Bridge

Col de Tricot (6,955')

Warren atop Col de Tricot

Bruce & Mike atop Col de Tricot

Photo by Warren Elliott

View from Col de Tricot

Refuge de Miage (5,085')

Warren, Mike, Bruce

at Refuge de Miage 

My apologies for the blurred image

Leaving Refuge Miage

Photo by Warren Elliott

Trail to Les Contamines

Les Contamines Hotel

2nd Day [Les Contamines - Col de Bonhomme - Les Chapieux]

 

Notre Dame de la Gorge

Mike ready to go

Col de Bonhomme - 4 hours

Warren (new pack) heading up to Col de Bonhomme

River Gorge

Trail to Col de Bonhomme

Mike stepping out

Col de Bonhomme (7,640')

Mike & Warren at Col de Bonhomme (7,640')

Col de Bonhomme

Photo by Warren Elliott

Col du Bonhomme (7,640')

Photo by Warren Elliott

View from Col de Bonhomme

View from Col de Bonhomme

View from Col de Bonhomme

Trail to the French village of Les Chapieu

Trail to Les Chapieu

Les Chapieu is at the end of the canyon

and around the corner

Trail to Les Chapieu - a long way down

Mike & Warren on the trail down

Mike enjoying a beverage at Les Chapieu

3rd Day [Les Chapieux - Col de la Seigne - Refugio Elisabetta]

From this Les Chapieux hotel we took a van ride up the

Vallee de Glaciers to the trail head at Ville des Glaciers

 

View from above the trail head 

Vallee de Glaciers

Aiguille de Bellaval

Col de la Seigne & Refuge Eiisabetta

Col de la Seigne ahead

Trail to Col de la Seigne 

Petite Aiguille des Glaciers

Trail to Col de la Seigne

Aiguille de Bellaval

Dramatic landscape heading to Col de la Signe

Aiguille de Bellaval

Mike & Warren taking a break

Petite Aiguille des Glaciers

Trail to Col de la Signe

Trail to Col de la Signe

Warren & Mike approaching the top of Col de la Signe

Petite Aiguille des Glaciers above

View from Col de la Signe

Warren & Bruce at Col de la Seigne

Petite Mt. Blanc on left (snow capped)

Les Pyramides Calcaires on right

Col de la Seigne (8,241')

Col de la Seigne

Rifugio Elisabetta ahead

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Warren & Mike on a rainy trail

Petite Mt. Blanc (snow capped)

Bruce heading down into the Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Photo by Warren Elliott

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

unnamed mountain

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Mike in the Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Glacier de la Lee Blanche

Aiguille de Tre la Tete (12,893')

unnamed peak

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Refuigo Elisabetta Soldini

Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini, 

Aiguille de Tre la Tete behind rifugio

Photo by Warren Elliott

Afternoon Light

Glacier de la Lee Blanche

Aiguille d' Estelette on left, Aiguille de Tre la Tete in clouds

Local Marmot

4th Day [Refugio Elisabetta - Col Checrouit - Courmayeur]

Departing Refuigo Elisabetta Soldini

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

Mt. Rouge de Peuterey (pointed peak on right)

Vallon de la Lec Blanche

An Environmental Education Center

Photo by Warren Elliott

Cabane Combal (6,397')

Mt. Rouge de Peuterey

Val Veny below

Mt. Rouge de Peuterey (center)

Mt. Brouillard (upper left)

Toward Col Checroit

Mt. Brouillard (13,350')

Behind and out of sight is Mt. Blanc

Glacier du Miage

unnamed peak

Glacier du Miage

Aiguille de Bionnassay (13,293') - snow capped triangular peak

Mike on the trail to Col Checrouit

Mt. Brouillard overhead

Aiguille de Bionnassay behind

Mt. Brouillard (13,349')

Dent du Giant

Mt. Brouillard 

 

Mike & Warren above a receding Glacier du Miage

Val Veni

Trail to Courmayeur

Trail to Courmayeur

Mt. Brouillard above

Warren & Mike

Trail to Courmayeur

Trail to Courmayeur

Rifugio Maison Vielle

Drinks & Sandwiches available here

This location is a few paces away from Col Checroit 

Italian Villages of Dolonne & Courmayeur

Village of Dolonne 

Village of Dolonne

Italian Village of Courmayeur

Glacier de la Brenva

Courmayeur Hotel - Italy (4,022')

This was a long & dry hike down from

Col Checrouit, which is a 3,664' descent.

5th Day [Courmayeur - Col Sapin - Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts - Rifugio Bonatti]

Departing Courmayeur 

Charming Village of Courmayeur, Italy

Mountain Climbing Guides Building

Couemayeur, Italy

Scenes above Courmayeur

Engineered Waterfalls above Courmayeur

Village of Courmayeur below

The climb out of Courmayeur up to

Col Sapin is a climb of 3,977 feet

Mont de la Saxe Alternative Trail Route

Mt. Blanc ahead

Rifugio Bertone (6,525')

Tough & steep hike out of Courmayeur which is seen below

Photo by Warren Elliott

Mont de la Saxe Alternative Trail Route

Mt. Blanc behind

Mont de la Saxe Alternative Trail Route

Mont de la Saxe Alternative Trail Route

Photo by Warren Elliott

Trail to Col Sapin

Photo by Warren Elliott

Mt. Blanc (15,770'), Glacier de la Brenva

Mont de la Saxe Alternative Trail Route

Mont Chetif on left

Mont de la Saxe Alternative Trail Route

Col Sapin (7,988') 

Val Ferret

Mike atop Col Sapin

Col Sapin

Bruce & Mike

Photo by Warren Elliott

Bruce atop Col Sapin

Mt. Blanc behind

Upward to Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

Mt. Blanc

Mt. Blanc

Aiguille Noire de Peuterey (12,375')

Val Ferret - Mt. Blanc

Photo by Warren Elliott

Trail to Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

Photo by Warren Elliott

The trail to Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

The trail to Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts from Courmayeur

Photo by Warren Elliott

The trail to Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

The trail to Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

Val Ferret

Warren & Mike coming down to Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

Down from Pas Entre-Deux-Sauts

Warren checking out the trail marker

Trail to Rifugio Bonatti

Trail to Rifugio Bonatti

heading into the Vallon de Malatra

Mt Blanc above Vallon de Malatra

Rifugio Bonatti

Rifugio Bonatti

Grandes Jorasses on left, Pointes de Frebouze, Petites Jorasses in center, Aiguille de Leschaux on right

Fading light on Grand Jorasses (13,806')

Pointes de Frebouze behind on right skyline

Grand Jorasses

Rifugio Bonatti Dining

6th Day [Rifugio Bonatti - La Fouly]

Morning light on the Grand Jorasses from Rifugio Bonatti 

Bruce ready to head out

Col Grand Ferret to La Fouly

Italy to Switzerland

Val Ferret below

Trail to Col Grand Ferret

Bruce on the bridge to Col Grand Ferret

Abandoned Structure

Petiets Jorasses (left), Aiguille de Leschaux overhead (right)

Trail to Grand Col Ferret

Val Ferret - Italy

Mt. Blanc overhead

Grand Col Ferret Trail

Grand Col Ferret Trail

Mt. Noir de Peuterey on left skyline

Grand Col Ferret Trail

Grand Col Ferret Trail

Waterfall heading into Val Ferret

Bridge & trail leading up to Rifugio Elena 

Mike, taking a break at Rifugio Elena (6,765')

Val Ferret view - Italy

Aiguille de Triolet (12,696') on left, Point du Domino (11,968') center, 

Pointe de Pre de Bar (11,853') behind & on right

Bruce at Grand Col Ferret (7,999') - border of Italy & Switzerland

Photo by Warren Elliott

Mike & Warren taking a break atop Grand Col Ferret

Grand Col Ferret

Aiguille de Triolet (12,696') on left, Point du Domino (11,968') center, 

Pointe de Pre de Bar (11,853') behind & on right

Val Ferret view back into Italy

Trail from Grand Col Ferret to Switzerland's Val Ferret

Val Ferret Trail - Switzerland

Break Time - Alpage de la Peule, Switzerland

Trail/Road to La Fouly, Switzerland

To La Fouly

Between Ferret & La Fouly, Switzerland​

Between Ferret & La Fouly, Switzerland

Between Ferret & La Fouly, Switzerland

La Fouly, Switzerland

Hotel Lodgings

La Fouly, Switzerland

7th Day [La Fouly - Champex]

Waiting at the Bus Stop for a ride to Champex

Rain day - no hiking

La Fouly to Champex

Champex lodging

Champex Hotel

Photo by Warren Elliott

Lac Champex

Lac Champex

Lac Champex & the Combine Massif in clouds

from the Flore-Alpe Alpine Botanical Garden

Combine Massif - afternoon

Combine Massif - morning

Grand Combine (14,154') snow capped

8th Day [Champex - Col de la Forclaz]

Mike starting out to Fenetre d' Arpette. This day said to be the hardest day of the trek, 

but hiking out of Courmayeur was harder. This day had an elevation gain of 3,934'

Val d' Arpette stream

Mike pointing out the climb - Fenetre d' Arpette (8,743')

Val d' Arpette

Mike hiking up to Fenetre d' Arpette - up and to the right

Aiguilles d' Arpette on the skyline

Fenetre d' Arpette ahead

View back down the Val d' Arpette toward Champex

Fenetre d' Arpette

Le Genepi (9,455')

Val d' Arpette from the Col

Glacier du Trient on far left

French Alps on horizon

unnamed

Bruce atop Fenetre d' Arpette

Bruce & Mike atop Fenetre d' Arpette

Le Genepi behind

Glacier du Trient

Highest peak: Aiguille du Tour (11,614'),

Trail to Col de la Forclaz

Glacier du Trient

Mike heading down

Pointe d' Orny (10,732') - large center peak

Le Genepi (9,462') - on left of Orny

The col of Fenetre d' Arpette is the notch between the two peaks

Glacier de Trient

Trail to Col de la Forclaz

Le Genepi on left, Pointe d' Orny on right

Fenetre d' Appette Col is the low point between the two peaks

Glacier du Trient below

Hotel at Col de la Forclaz

Photo by Warren Elliott

Mike & Warren at Hotel Forclaz

Col de la Forclaz (5,010')

9th Day [ Col de la Forclaz - Tre-Le-Champ]

Elevated walkway leaving Col de la Forclaz,

Swiss village of Trient below

Mike on the elevated walkway

Glacier du Trient, Petite Pointe d' Orny (10,456'), & Pointe d' Orny behind (10,732')

Glacier de Trient, Pointe d' Orny

Trail to Col de Balme

Village of Trient behind

Col de Balme

Col de Balme & Refugio Col de Balme ahead

View from Col de Balme

Aiguilles des Grand Montent's & Mt. Blanc

Mt. Blanc from Col de Balme

Aiguilles Rouges from Col de Balme

Bruce at Col de Balme

Swiss - French Border

Col de Balme

Mt. Blanc on left, Aiguilles Rouges on right

Chamonix below

Aiguille des Grand Charmoz (center), Aiguille Verte (left and behind)

Mt. Blanc

Aiguilles des Grand Montent's

Wildflowers 

Mike on the trail to Tre-Le-Champ

Trail to Tre-Le-Champ

Hero's

Hikers pulling a disabled person up the hill

unnamed peaks

unnamed peaks

Tre-Le-Champ (4,648')

Photo by Warren Elliott

Tre-Le-Champ Lodging

Tre-Le-Champ 

Aiguille des Gds Montets (10,810')

From Tre-Le-Champ

10th Day [Tre-Le-Champ - Lac Blanc]

Morning light above Grand Balcon Sud

Glacier d Argentiere - Mt. Dolent (12,533')

Warren & Mike Heading toward the ladders leading to the Grand Balcon Sud

Aiguille ou Dent du Geant (13,166')

Trail to the Grand Balcon Sud

Village of Argentiere below

 

Aiguillette d' Argentiere

Ladders leading to the Grand Balcon Sud

Mike on the ladders

Bruce on the ladders - Grand Balcon Sud

Photo by Warren Elliott

More ladders

Aiguillette d' Argentiere & Le Tour below

Warren on the ladders

Ladders to the Grand Balcon Sud

Wood stairwell on the Grand Balcon Sud

Bruce, out of gas on the Grand Balcon Sud

Aiguille Verte, Les Drus behind

Dominating skyline on the Grand Balcon Sud

Warren on the Grand Balcon Sud

Arete de Rochefort, Aiguille ou Dent du Geant 

Aiguille Verte, Les Drus

Photo by Warren Elliott

Bruce on the Grand Balcon Sud

Photo by Warren Elliott

Lac des Cheserys, Lac Blanc directly ahead

Lac des Cheserys

Bruce on the Grand Balcon Sud

Lac Cheseyrs

Photo by Warren Elliott

Lac des Cheserys

Refugio Lac Blanc

Lac Blanc

Refuge Lac Blanc (7,716')

Refuge Lac Blanc

Warren & Bruce at Lac Blanc

Aiguille Verte, Les Drus (behind clouds), Grandes Jorasses

Grandes Jorasses, Arete de Rochefort, Aiguille ou Dent du Geant 

Mere de Glace below

Mt Blanc - from Lac Blanc

Aiguille du Midi directly above the hikers

Photo by Warren Elliott

Lac Blanc panorama

Aiguille du Chardonnet (12,073') on left,

Aiguille d' Argentier (12,723') on right

Lac Blanc

Grandes Jorasses on left, Aiguille ou Dent du Geant  - spire on right

Lac Blanc outfall

Mere de Glace

A receeding Mere de Glace

Arete de la Brenva, Mt. Blanc

Aiguille ou Dent du Geant (far left), Aiguilles des Grands Charmoz (center to right),

Mt. Dolent (12,533')

Aiguille ou Dent du Geant (13,166')

Paraglider in center of photo

 

Mere de Glace 

Cloud cover over Dome du Gouter

Paraglider

Ibex

Lac Blanc

11th Day [Lac Blanc - Planpraz - Chamonix]

Packing up/Heading out to a cable car at Planpraz 

First light from left to right: Mount Blanc de Tacul (13,736'), Mt. Maudit (14,649'), Mt. Blanc (15,777'), 

Dome du Gouter (14,121'), Aiguille du Gouter (12,674'), Aiguille de Bionnassay in background (13,294')

 

Early Morning - Last Day at Lac Blanc

Lac Blanc - Mt. Blanc

Left to Right: Arete de Rochefort, Aiguille ou Dent du Geant , Aiguille Marbree Nord,

Aiguille Marbree Sud, Aiguille de Toule, Aiguille d' Entreves, Arete de la Brenva, Mt. Blanc du Tacul

Grandes Jorasses (13,805') on the left

Morning Light; Arete de la Brenva, Mt. Blanc du Tacul,

Mt. Maudit, Mt. Blanc, Dome du Gouter

Morning Light;

Arete de Rochefort, Aiguille du Geant, Arete de la Brenva

Grandes Jorasses (13,805'), Arete de Rochefort, Aiguille ou Dent du Geant (13,166'), Aiguille du Grepon (11,424')

Aiguille Verte (13,524'), Les Drus (12,316'), Grandes Jorasses (13,806'), Arete de Rochefort

Mt. Blanc - Early Morning

Sunrise on Mt. Blanc

Mt. Blanc

Les Drus, Grandes Jorasses, Arete de Rochefort

Leaving Lac Blanc

Found out later Warren was hiking with a stress fracture in his leg

Grand Balcon Sud signage - Mt. Blanc in distance

Warren on the Grand Balcon Sud

Aiguille des Grands Montets? behind (10,810')

 

Warren on the Grand Balcon Sud

Aiguille Verte, Les Drus, & Grand Jorasses behind

Trail markers painted on the rock

Warren on the Grand Balcon Sud - service road

Grand Balcon Sud Trail Marker 

Grand Balcon Sud Trail

Grand Balcon Sud Trail

Aiguille Verte

Cime de L Est (10,247')

Aiguille du Midi

Cable Car at Planpraz - Chamonix

Bossoms Glacier

Chamonix

Bruce, Warren, Mike

Completion of the TMB in Chamonix