I am as green as the leaves when it comes to trekking in any mountain range, and looking for some advise please on a route around / through the Alps which does NOT include technical climbing or glacial crossings - call it starting out on well trodden paths.
The purpose is more of an awe inspiring trip to finally be up at high while taking on some serious distance - maybe 10 - 14 days trekking.
Any advise on booking budget auberges (probably bad spelling) or even bothies too?
I'm not sure how long we took ( maybe less than 10 days walking), but the Tour of the Jungfrau was good. It has a Cicerone guidebook. Have a look at similar titles in their range to get other ideas.
Nepal would fit the bill. If you are new to trekking that sounds bizarre, but it isn’t. Do a bit of googling.
A friend and I did the GR54 a few years back - 11 days (including one non-trekking day). It was great.
If your French is up to it, we found the best guidebook to be this one: www.nature-randonnee.fr/Topo-guide-Tour-Oisans-Ecrins.php. The Cicerone guide is good too.
We were experienced Scottish hillwalkers but had little to no Alpine background, but after a day or two getting used to the packs and denivelation, it was a real pleasure and remains a highly memorable trip.
Go for it!
The sentiero roma might be of interest. Incredibly beautiful area and a hut to hut walk with no glacier crossings.
The tour de mont blanc is an outstanding walk, refuge to refuge about 120 miles all on well maintained paths and signposted.
The GR20 route through the high mountains of Corsica is a classic trek. Can be done in two halves (there is a halfway town with services) or in one push in 12 days or so. Not specifically the alps but worth considering. There are refuges along the way or you can camp/bivvy if you want.
Another question for you good folk:
Does anyone know if the Mount Blanc route is even open next year (or was open this year) with Covide lurking its ugly head.
The refuges and camp sites are so far between that should one not be open one is kinda screwed (without causing much up roar from the local community by wild camping, or in Switzerland where it is illegal).
will the tour du mt blanc be open next year, yes... but exactly what that will entail will depend on exactly what travel restrictions/lockdowns are in place and nobody can predict that!
there was a period of time this year when it was practically unfeasable, as you would have had to 2 week quarantine going from france into italy, then again going from italy into swiss, and for a final time going back into france! but it was never actually closed, except whe we were all in full lockdown, which is rather arbitrary as you couldnt leave the house!
Another vote for Tour du MB which I did with my family 4 years ago. It's very steady, nothing very scary, and all the accommodation can be booked by email, which worked fine.
> The refuges and camp sites are so far between that should one not be open one is kinda screwed (without causing much up roar from the local community by wild camping, or in Switzerland where it is illegal).
i wouldn't worry about wild camping as long as you're discreet about it. my thinking is if you're carrying a tent then why book or stay at a refuge?
the TDMB could be a good introduction and/but there would be lots of fellow trekkers and packed refuges unless you go out of season (eg late sept)
the Haute Route (Chamonix-Zermatt) was my favourite alpine trek- until i did the Geneva-Modane part of the GR5 last year with its greater variety of scenery/geology/vegetation.
Wild camping and bivvying is legal in Switzerland, depending on the kanton or geminde. Usually, above the tree line and away from the shores of any lakes it is considered acceptable. There are exceptions to this, especially in the Zermatt area where it is not tolerated at all. However, the more popular the route the more likely wild camping will be banned.
Also look at the Alta Vias in Italy, and the Adlerweg variation in Austria. There's other long distance paths whose names I forget too.
two local to me are the GR54 the tour of the Écrins national park, there is a new guidebook in English by knife edge outdoor guidebooks, it is really good done in conjunction with the national park, and tells you everything you need to know options for splitting the days if you want to do long day and shorter over all time or the other way around. That said the GR54 is a tough GR route really worth but may not be the best option for first time alps walkers, kind of depend on how much experience you have in the uk?
the other option is the Tour de Queyras, the Queyras regional park is a walker paradise, a easier tour over all, with lots of options, it will also be a lot quieter than many of the GR route, with things like the TDMB being a bit of a motorway depending on when you do it. kind of depend on what your after. This site has some good info on it (in french stick it in google translate) https://www.tour-du-queyras.com/
and cicerone do and English guide book - https://www.cicerone.co.uk/tour-of-the-queyras-second
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