Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) Planning

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) has been on my bucket list for years. I have done a fair amount of outdoor exploring in my home country of Canada, including a few overnight backpacking trips. I love hiking, but I haven’t loved having to carry 40-50 pounds of gear on my back. But I considered […]

Training for the Tour du Mont Blanc

My plan was to hike the 10-day TMB in August, and I commenced my training in late spring. I am reasonably fit, and hike often, but I knew the better shape I was in, the more I would enjoy the trip. In the few months leading up to the trip, I aimed to do 1 […]

TMB Itinerary and Accommodations

During the TMB you will pass by many refuges, some stopping for a coffee or lunch, and some staying for the night. The following list of Refuges are where I stayed the night during my TMB in August of 2017. I have included links to the webpages and to their trip advisor page. See the […]

Packing for the TMB

This is what I brought when I hiked the TMB staying in refuges (no camping). I handwashed at least one or two items of clothing every night (even if it was socks and underwear). I chose a smaller backpack than most because I knew it would help me limit how much I brought. I was […]

TMB Day 0: Geneva to Domancy

Before the big trek, I spent a few days in Vienna visiting a friend and getting over my jet lag. I afterward met Steph, my close pal and travel companion, at the Geneva airport. She planned to join me for the first 4 days of the TMB. Steph and her boyfriend Sean, who had been […]

TMB Day 1: Domancy to Refuge Nant Borrant (via Bionnassay)

Despite reassurances from the airline that her bags would arrive at first light, we waiting for hours with no sign of it. We also couldn’t get through to anyone at the airport by phone. Later in the morning, Sean did the 2-hour round trip back to the Geneva airport and discovered her bag sitting at […]

TMB Day 2: Nant Borrant to Les Chapieux (Auberge de la Nova)

I woke early after a very restless sleep, and Steph and I went down for breakfast at 6:45 am. The self-service meal, which I would learn to be typical for the TMB, included café au lait, fresh bread, croissants, cereal, and sliced oranges. At the end of breakfast we picked up the packed lunches we […]

TMB Day 3: Les Chapieux to Rifugio Elisabetta

Neither Steph nor I will ever forget Day 3 of the TMB. When I booked my vacation for August, I did not expect to be crossing a high mountain pass in a blizzard. But I am filled with pride we did so! The hostess at Refuge de la Nova warned us of heavy rain and […]

TMB Day 4: Rifugio Elisabetta to Courmayeur

After 3 days of clouds and poor visibility, Day 4 dawned with blue skies. This was my last day to hike with Steph, who planned to meet her boyfriend in Courmayeur before heading home. I would continue for the final 6 days on my own.     We left the snow far behind as we […]

TMB Day 5: Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti

Day 5 had an emotional start. This was the morning I said goodbye to Steph, with whom I had shared 4 adventure-filled days on the TMB. We were both nervous about me hiking for 6 days on my own. On more than one occasion so far, I had charged off down a trail, brimming with […]