The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) leads approx. 180km around the highest mountain massif in Europe. The TMB crosses 3 countries: France, Italy and Swiss. You will climb up at passes to 2500m, crosses nice valleys und have a beautiful view on the top of Europa. On the trail, you can fill up your supplies everey two day, there are many overnight accommodation, but the trail is very popular. So it is better to reservate your overnight accommodation oder use a tent.
Vallorcine-Chalet de la Flégere
I started the trail at Vallorcine. The small village is located at the french/swiss border. There is a touristic train from Martigny to St- Gervais. I left the railway station und crossed the rails. There is a small path alongside the rail. It climbs up the valley, passes a camping site and leads to the Col des Montets. I crossed the route and followed the Tour du Pays du Mont Blanc. It climbs up in zigzags and leads to the Grand Balcon du Sud (part of the TMB). This is the panorama trail in the Arve-valley. After 2h I reached the Chalet de la Flégere (1977m ASL, overnight accommodation, meals, cable railway to Chamonix). At the sunset, my camera failed to function. So I have no photos from this trip.
Chalet de la Flégere-Bionassay
After breakfast, I followed the Grand Balcon du Sud to Planpraz (cable railway to Chamonix and Brévent). The TMB turns right and climbs up to the Col du Brévent (2368mm ASL). Here it joins the GR5, the GR5 comes from the Lake Geneva. Both waymarks leads together to the Croix du Col du Bonhomme. The path gets rugged. In early summer snowfields are still widespread at the trail to the Brévent (2525m ASL). The TMB descends to the Refuge de Bel Lachat and to Merlet. It follows the road to a car park, turns left and leads downhill to the valley. It crosses the Arve river and the N205 (highway). The TMB follows the road to the cable railway. Beyond it, the TMB climbs uphill to the Col de Voza (1653 m ASL). A dirt road crosses the tramway to Nid d'Aigle. The GR5 descends at the dirt road to Bionnassy. In the village is a Gîte d'étape.
Bionassay-Chalet-Refuge des Mottets
The TMB leads downwards to the Torrent de Bionnassy, and crosses the river by a small bridge. The path climbs uphill into the forest and leads to le Champel. I turned left at the small junction and took the path to la Gruvaz. At the village, I crossed the Torrent de Mirage and descended into the valley. The TMB crosses the Bon Nant torrent and leads at the bank upstream. At Contamines-Montjoie you can fill up the supplies. Follow the road towards the south, at the bridge, the TMB joins the road. First the TMB follows a rocky, ancient roman road and passes the chapel Notre Dame de la Gorge. The road crosses a roman bridge and leads to the Refuge Nant Borrant (overnight accommodation). After 2km is another chalet, Refuge la Balme (overnight accommodation). Behind the chalets, the TMB leaves the roman road on a small trail towards the south. It passes a junction to Jovet lake and climbs up the slope in zigzags to the Col du Bonhomme (2329m ASL/shelter). The TMB turns left on a rocky path, crosses small streams and leads to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2483m ASL). There are two choices: You can follow the TMB down to the les Chapieux or climb up to the Col des Fours (2665m ASL). I went the trail over the pass. After the pass, waymarks are rare. I followed the foodpath in direction of les Tuts (alpine pastures). I crossed some streams and reached the huts. The barns and the chalet are in ruins. The dirt road descends to Ville des Glacier. Here you join the TMB again. It climbs up the valley to the Chalet-Refuge des Mottets (1870m ASL, overnight accommodation, meals).
Chalet-Refuge des Mottets-Refugio Elena
The next morning, I started very early. The TMB climbs up to the Col de la Seigne (2516m ASL). The TMB crosses the french/italy border. The weather had changed, there were a lot of clouds in the valley. The TMB passes Refugio Elisabette Soldini (overnight accommodation, meals) and descends to the Lac de Combal. It began to rain. The TMB turns right and climbs up to the l'Arp Vielle and to the Col Chécroui. I went the road down to the Val Veni. At the end of the valley, I followed the road in direction to la Saxe. At the village boundary is a supermarket. After I filled up my supplies, I went to Courmayeur. Here you join the TMB again. It descends into the Val Sapin and leads to the Col Sapin. I left the TMB and climbesd up to the Rifugio Bertone. At the hut I turned right, and climbed up the slope to le Pré (2125m ASL). A small footpath leads to Leuchey and La Lèche. Beyond Séchéron, the path joins the TMB. The TMB descends to the Val Ferret, turns right and follows the road uphill. At the end of the valley is a overnight accommodation, the Rifugio Elena (2062m ASL). At the evening, it was bucketing.
Refugio Elena-Champex d'en Haut
The next morning the sun shined. The TMB climbs up to the Grand Col Ferret (2537m ASL). It crosses the swiss/italy border. In Swiss, the waymark is a yellow diamond. The TMB descends to the valley. It passes Ferret(supermarket) and l'A Neuve. The TMB leads to Praz le Fort. Beyond Issert, the TMB climbs up the slope, and leads to Champex. Here are two Gîte d'étape. One is in the village and the other at Champex d'en haut. At the evening it was bucketing again.
Champex d'en Haut-Col de la Forclaz
The next morning, it was bad weather, so I chossed the variante in direction of Bovine. The TMB leads to Champex d'en bas, turns left and climbs up the slope. The path got rather muddy. It leads to Bovine (hut) and Portalo (2049m ASL). Beyond the pass, the path descends to Forclaz. The weather did not change, so I terminated the trail, and took the mail bus to Martigny.