/ Hiking Tour de Mont Blanc; summer hols, independently, anyone ?

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sarahjk - on 06 May 2013
I am toying with ideas for summer holidays and fancy a hut to hut hike. My friends all have other stuff lined up so I am partly looking for potential companions, and also any advice on going independently [tour companies are ] and in school holidays [only option as I teach]

Tour de Mont Blanc is my first choice, although concerned that it might be super busy and maybe hard to get huts booked in advance. I know there are variation trails that could be used to avoid the masses.

Also considering a tour in the Ecrins or a Via Ferratta hut to hut, Bouchetta I think it is called, but definitely not solo for that.

Argh too many choices.

Anyone fancy joining up, or got any recommendations on TdMB ?


Roberttaylor - on 06 May 2013
In reply to sarahkeast:

No need to pay for a tour company, call ahead/get hut guardians to call ahead and reserve hut space when necessary.

Don't carry a ton of stuff.

No need for walking boots unless you have ankles made of balsa wood, trainers are fine.

Do carry a map
Do carry a compass.

Banned User 77 - on 06 May 2013
In reply to Roberttaylor: Not sure even a compass is needed... huge trails.. can be extended.. different routes.. its busy but not overly so in August..

Certainly no need a company.. I'd just take a small tent and wild camp or camp in official sites..
altirando - on 06 May 2013
In reply to sarahkeast: I suggest you might consider routes not used by the big tour companies such as the GR54,Tour d'Oisans, ecrins etc, or the circuit of the Vanoise, forgotten the name, or the tour of the Queyras, depending on the type of walk you enjoy - the Ecrins is more mountain in style than the Queyras for instance.I have the impression that the TMB is booked up year to year by the trekking companies, even seen pics of fields of tents used by them.The two main Dolomite Alta Via treks have the advantage of generally better refuges, mountain hotels really. Not necessarily including VFs. And an extra thought, part of the GR5, north to Modane or from there south to the Med.
altirando - on 06 May 2013
In reply to altirando: Oh, and I can't ever remember using a compass in the alps, walking, you are either on a trail or obviously off it. You can't march on a compass bearing up zigzag trails.
Tom F Harding on 07 May 2013
In reply to sarahkeast:

I did the Walker's Haute Route solo a few years ago. I took a super-light tent and avoided most of the huts by sleeping in the valley camp-sites / by the trail-side / or asking to sleep in farmers fields (Leading to more then one offer of some killer spirit first thing in the morning). I Slept in a few huts to get the experience but by doing this it kept the overall cost down a lot. I didn't phone any of the huts in advance but because I was on my own they always seemed to find a spot.

It took me two weeks and Is still one of the best trips I have ever done, doing solo means you get highs and lows, have really tough days but the rewards, I believe, are so much more (and a friendly face is never far away if you get in too much trouble).

FrJ on 07 May 2013
In reply to sarahkeast:

The second half of August is often quieter than mid-July to Mid-August. (And only partly because the weather is generally a bit wetter)
Oceanic - on 07 May 2013
In reply to sarahkeast:

We're going in late June and have found the accommodation and route planner parts of this website to be really useful...

sarahjk - on 08 May 2013
In reply to Oceanic: wow that site is looking really useful. Thanks for sharing.

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