Friday, 30 June 2017


The Trient Glacier 
Fresh snow above 2000m
Mont Blanc from Col de Balme 
Aiguille Verte
Trient Glacier from Les Tseppes 
Aiguillete de Posettes
The temperatures dropped last night and there was rain falling in Trient. A Fresh dusting of snow above 2000m this morning with completely clear skies.  Cold and clear, how I like it. Todays section of the TMB climbs over the Col de Balme which marks the border crossing back into France. Most groups and even Tour leaders just out to take the shortest,  most direct Route over the col. There are actually 3 varients of this leg on the TMB. The finest one running via Les Tornays and underneath the Western slopes of Croix de Fer. The views from the tiny alp of Les Tseppes give stunning views across to the Trient Glacier. I hardly see anyone use this route,  they don't know what they are missing! The views from the Col de Balme where stunning, Mont Blanc & the Aiguille Verte standing tall above the Chamonix Valley. The days not over. The continuation over the Aiguillete de Posettes give even more stunning views of the Mont Blanc Range. 

Thursday, 29 June 2017


Rhone Valley from Bovine 
Kevin, Tom & Herenes Cow
Bovine Buvette & Eidelweiss
A low cloud day with a forecast of rain made the decision not to walk to the Fenetre Arpettere. The alternative trail is the Bovine Route. Not my favourite of days but when it's dull and wet it's a welcome walk. The guys were up and onto the top of the hill, where the Bovine Buvette form suits. Like many of the refuge and coffee shops on the TMB it is perfectly positioned to arrive there at lunch time. We we're down at Trient to finish the day with just a 15 minute drizzle shower.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Nice morning in La Fouly 
Valley walk down Val Ferret 
Yellow Gentian 
Above Val Ferret 
Praz de la Fort 
Last night we had a heavy thunderstorm over La Fouly.  This morning it was cool and some blue skies. Todays section from La Fouly to Champex is the easier stretch along the TMB. It is mostly a valley walk, three quaters of the day is all down hill. It passes through the beautiful,  very old villages of Praz de la Fort & Issert before the final 450m of uphill to Champex. We got away with a dry and mostly sunny day, despite the weather forecast of showers.

Tuesday, 27 June 2017


Val Ferret
Cool & cloudy on Grand Col Ferret 
Martagon Lily 
Mont Dolent & Val Ferret 
Grandes Jorasses,  moody light 
It's not always blue skies, hot sun and glistening glacial peaks in The Alps. Today it was much cooler, especially up high where the cloud lingered. The route from Bonatti to La Fouly sees the TMB entering Switzerland over the Grand Col Ferret. We didn't lingered long on the top and a fast descent to La Poule for lunch.

Monday, 26 June 2017


Monte de Saxe ridge
Grandes Jorasses & Val Ferret 
Mont Blanc from Refugio Betone
Ridge walking, Monte de la Saxe 
Afternoon siesta
Glacial Crowfoot 
Limestone ridges
A stunning morning with clear skies again. The next stage of the TMB to the Refugio Bonatti has 3 alternative routes to this high, fabulous mountain hut. On a good weather day it would be criminal not to take the wonderful high level trail that traverses the Monte de la Saxe ridge. All the way along this grassy, easy angled ridge are brilliant views of Mont Blanc & especially the Grandes Jorasses. Another brilliant day on the TMB.

Sunday, 25 June 2017


Mont Blanc above Val Veny
Cloud clearing Monte Bianco 
Val Veny & Grandes Jorasses 
The team & Mont Blanc 
Alpine Buttercup 
We finally had a good old thunderstorm last night to clear the hot and humid air. This morning dawned overcast and cool, so welcome. The route from Les Chapieux over the Col de La Seigne into Italy is always a pleasure. An easy angled col to ascend and descend. The finest part of the day is the climb out of Val Veny in the afternoon and the high level traverse path toward Courmayeur. Stunning views over to Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) all the way along the 2 hour traverse. The clouds broke up and lovely views. The temperatures were just right with a slightly cooler SW breeze. One of the finest days on the TMB,  yet most folk tend to take the easy, far less  interesting Route in the valley. Top day and a fit team who who we're grinning all afternoon.
Classic Mont Blanc reflection

Saturday, 24 June 2017


Approaching the Col 
Col de Bonnhomme
Col de Croix de Bonnhomme 
Marsh Orchids 
Hot again
Hot and sultry again for our TMB journey.  Two cols on todays Route over to Les Chapieux. There was a nice breeze higher up thankfully. Still not that busy on the trek, next week will be different I am sure.

Friday, 23 June 2017


Domes de Miage from Col de Truic
Aiguille de Bionnassay
Fragrant Orchid
Globe flower
Break time
Day two of the TMB and another Scorcher, the heat a bit easier to cope with with some cloud cover at times. From Bellevue we headed over the Col de Tricot,  Miage and then down to Les Contimenes. This time of year is fabulous for the array of Alpine flowers in the meadows and up high. Again it was relitively quiet on the trail. Another good reason for booking a trip in June. The forecast of thunderstorms never meterialised again today, despite the big cumulous cloud growth in the afternoon. More heat and long sunny periods forecasted again tomorrow.

Thursday, 22 June 2017


Lunchtime pic-nic spot
Lesser Butterfly Orchid
Small patches of snow 
Mountain Pansey
Last snowpatch,  The Brevent
My summer season in The Alps kicked off today. First trek of 2017 starting off with my 50 something Tour of Mont Blanc.  10 folk from the USA on their 10 day hike around Western Europes highest mountain.  Its been a lean, mildish winter in the Chamonix area and the temperatures have been very high for a long time. There is normally a lot more big patches of snow on the trails, not this season. We headed up to Le Brevent from Chamonix and descended to Les Houches for day 1 of the classic tour. It was shocking hot but a wee bit cooler high up. The hills were quiet today, not many folk out.  Good time of year for trekking. The flowers looking wonderful too at this time of early summer. This trip I am guiding for Mont Blanc Treks. Good to be back!