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TMB Day 1

Day 1 - Chamonix to Les Houches

Day 1 – Chamonix to Les Houches

After the weather made a start on 4 September 2008 look decidedly unwise, Elizabeth and I set out for Les Houches on Sunday 7 September 2008.

We had already walked from Les Houches to Chamonix via the ‘Statue du Christ Roi’ the previous day and thus considered that leg ‘done’ with a second walk along the River Arve, through the pretty villages that nestle along its banks in the Chamonix Valley.

Chamonix - Elizabeth on the footbridge over the River Arve

Chamonix – Elizabeth on the footbridge over the River Arve
Chamonix Valley - Les Gaillands

Chamonix Valley - Les Gaillands

Statue du Christ Roi overlooking Les Houches

Statue du Christ Roi overlooking Les Houches

Les Houches

Les Houches

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29/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | | Leave a comment

TMB Day 2

Day 2 - Les Houches to Refuge le Truc

Day 2 - Les Houches to Refuge le Truc

The first bit was easy; teleriphique from Les Houches to Bellevue and then a descent to the suspension bridge across the meltwater from the Glacier de Bionassay

An hour later, from the Col de Tricot, you look down on the descent to the Chalets Miage, 600m below

Miage - an hour or so later

Le Truc

Le Truc

Another half hour or so of climbing brings you to the delightful, but basic Auberge le Truc

No showers or even hot water and no electric light

No showers or even hot water and no electric light

29/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | 2 Comments

TMB Day 3

Day 3 - Le Truc to Bonhomme

Day 3 - Le Truc to Bonhomme

This was a long hard day, rewarded by incredible scenery and beautiful weather

The lovely church at Les Contamines, an hour from Le Truc

The lovely church at Les Contamines, an hour from Le Truc

Notre Dame de la Gorge

Notre Dame de la Gorge

Leaving Notre Dame de la Gorge at the start of the climb up the Roman road to the Col du Bonhomme

Leaving Notre Dame de la Gorge at the start of the climb up the Roman road to the Col du Bonhomme

Elizabeth on the Roman bridge at Nant Borrant

Elizabeth on the Roman bridge at Nant Borrant

Looking back down Nant Borrant towards Les Contamines and Col de Tricot

Looking back down Nant Borrant towards Les Contamines and Col de Tricot

The Col du Bonhomme

The Col du Bonhomme

The Refuge du Bonhomme. A welcome sight after a long day

The Refuge du Bonhomme. A welcome sight after a long day

Bouquetin - seen on the ridge above the refuge as we ate dinner

Bouquetin - seen on the ridge above the refuge as we ate dinner

29/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | 1 Comment

TMB Day 4

Day 4 Refuge du Bonhomme to Rifugio Elisabetta

This is the day of two major events – the highest pass so far and a change of country.
The Col de la Seigne from France into Italy

The stunning view from the Refuge du Bonhomme

The stunning view from the Refuge du Bonhomme

The long descent to Les Chapieux

The long descent to Les Chapieux

John begins the even longer ascent to the Col de la Seigne

John begins the even longer ascent to the Col de la Seigne

The Mottets Refuge at the base of the Col de la Seigne - 'Last in France'

The Mottets Refuge at the base of the Col de la Seigne

Cycling up to the Col

'Cycling' up to the Col

The crossing into Italy

The crossing into Italy

The welcome sight of the Rifugio Elisabetta

The welcome sight of the Rifugio Elisabetta

28/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | Leave a comment

TMB Day 5

Day 5 - Elisabetta to Courmayeur

Day 5 - Elisabetta to Courmayeur

The weather looked and felt unpredictable, so we opted for the low level route via Val Veni

The weather looked and felt unpredictable, so we opted for the low level route via Val Veni

Val Veni

Val Veni

Val Veni

Val Veni

Courmayeur

Courmayeur

Courmayeur

Courmayeur

27/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | Leave a comment

TMB Day 6

Day 6 Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti

Day 6 Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti

Elizabeth near the top of the long climb from Courmayeur to Rifugio Bertone

Elizabeth near the top of the long climb from Courmayeur to Rifugio Bertone

Rifugio Bonatti

Rifugio Bertone

From above Bertone

From above Bertone

Looking back over three days of walking since the Col de la Seigne in the distance

Looking back over three days of walking since the Col de la Seigne in the distance

Rifugio Walter Bonatti

Rifugio Walter Bonatti

Dortoir - typcal of TMB sleeping accommodation

Dortoir - typcal of TMB sleeping accommodation

26/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | Leave a comment

TMB Day 7

Day 7 Bonatti to Ferret in Swizerland

Day 7 Bonatti to Ferret in Swizerland

Another new country and a sudden change from sunshine to thick mist !

Looking back over three days walking. The Bonatti refuge is the upper building on the left and the Col de la Seigne is the low point on the horizon. So the views from here include France, Italy and Swizerland

Looking back over three days walking. The Bonatti refuge is the upper building on the left and the Col de la Seigne is the low point on the horizon. So the views from here include France, Italy and Swizerland

Italian Val Ferret

Italian Val Ferret

Italian Val Ferret

Italian Val Ferret

Rifugio Elena (closed !) below on the climb to the Grand Col Ferret

Rifugio Elena (closed !) below on the climb to the Grand Col Ferret

John and Elizabeth at the Italian Swiss frontier

John and Elizabeth at the Italian Swiss frontier

Swizerland was damp and misty !

Swizerland was damp and misty !

The welcome sight of the Col de Fenetre at Ferret

The welcome sight of the Col de Fenetre at Ferret

25/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | Leave a comment

TMB Day 8

Day 8 Ferret to Champex in pouring rain !

Day 8 Ferret to Champex in pouring rain !

Elizabeth, smiling despite the weather

Elizabeth, smiling despite the weather

Good for growing fungus though !

Good for growing fungus though !

and pine trees

and pine trees

Pretty villages but VERY wet !

Pretty villages but VERY wet !

near Issert

near Issert

The clouds hung heavy and low

The clouds hung heavy and low

Champex at last !

Champex at last !

24/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | Leave a comment

TMB Day 9

Day 9 Champex to Trient via Bovine

Day 9 Champex to Trient via Bovine

The very welcome and comfortable Hotel du Glacier in Champex

The very welcome and comfortable Hotel du Glacier in Champex

Leaving Champex in the mist

Leaving Champex in the mist

For the first hour or so, the trail is wide and fairlly flat, winding through woods and past wooden houses

For the first hour or so, the trail is wide and fairlly flat, winding through woods and past wooden houses

Logs ready for the winter. Always so neatly stacked in the Alps

Logs ready for the winter. Always so neatly stacked in the Alps

Then the surprisingly tough climb to Bovine starts. Closed and damp on arrival !

Then the surprisingly tough climb to Bovine starts. Closed and damp on arrival !

The clouds hung persistently low all day

The clouds hung persistently low all day

Kevin and Paul from Australia

Kevin and Paul from Australia

Chocolate at Forclaz

Chocolate at Forclaz

Last night in Switzerland at Trient

Last night in Switzerland at Trient

23/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | Leave a comment

TMB Day 10

Day 10 Trient to Chamonix via the Col de Balme

Day 10 - Trient to Chamonix via the Col de Balme

We met members of ADIRONDACK MOUNTAIN CLUB many times along the route. Shelley and Jack Finnigan on the right were the group leaders

We met members of ADIRONDACK MOUNTAIN CLUB many times along the route. Shelley and Jack Finnigan on the right were the group leaders

Trient church

Trient church

Leaving Trient towards the start of the ascent to Col de Balme

Leaving Trient towards the start of the ascent to Col de Balme

Every breath is a little cloud

Every breath is a little cloud

Looking back at Trient as we left Switzerland and approached France again

Looking back at Trient as we left Switzerland and approached France again

Close to the Col de Balme it became even colder

Close to the Col de Balme it became even colder

Too cold to linger !

Too cold to linger !

Beautiful panoramic views of Mont Blanc on the left, the Chamonix Valley and the Aigulles Rouges on the right

Beautiful panoramic views of Mont Blanc on the left, the Chamonix Valley and the Aigulles Rouges on the right

So we dropped down into the warmth of the valley and ended the day along the banks of the River Arve all the way to Chamonix.

TMB 2008 complete

22/10/2008 Posted by | TMB, TMB2008 | Leave a comment