The complete TMB, walking every mile, is about 110 miles (though this can vary a bit because there are alternate routes). With our guiding company (MT Sobek) we are doing roughly 90 miles. Most of the difference is short road walks that we van around. But the MT Sobek itinerary eliminates one “stage” of the traditional TMB, from La Fouly to Champex, a roughly 10 mile stretch. We were told this day has only so-so views and no good views of Mt Blanc.
Day 7: Champex to Trient (Martigny)
Another relatively easy day. Of course, this is the alps so there was still a relatively steep, 2500′ climb up to the ridge overlooking Martigny.
Near the top of the climb we stopped at the Alpage de Bovine, a small restaurant, for lunch. Julien ordered several plates of Rosti for us to share and it was delicious. Basically potatoes and cheese so you can’t go wrong. And this was also one of our first stops on the Haute Route back in 2017.
From here it was a relatively gentle (by Alp standards) descent to the Col de Forclaz where Fabrizio was waiting to take us to our hotel in Martigny. We had an early day (at the hotel by 4:00) so some of us elected to go into town to see the Caillebotte exhibit.
Then we walked to a recommended italian restaurant, crossing over the Rhone river (it’s a lot smaller here!) on the way.
Day 8: Trient to Argentiere
A big climb day but we are finally adapted to the altitude and feeling fit so this was a great day of hiking.
The day started along a steep, old smugglers path through the forest up to the Col du Balme (7,200′) and the border with France. Back in France!
From the Col de Balme we hiked up another couple hundred feet to the Tete de Balme.
Then another three miles along the ridge to the Aiguilliette des Posettes (7,100′) for more stunning views of the Chamonix valley and Mt Blanc.
Then….. down, down, down 2,500′ to the Vallorcine Valley east of Chamonix and Argentière (4,100′) and our last hotel before Chamonix. And as we wind our way down we can see tomorrow’s start across the valley.
Day 9: Argentière to Chamonix
Last day! And we are feeling great! Beautiful weather and feeling a little sad that it will all soon be over. A very short, 6 mile day but… still 3,000′ of ascent over the first three mile. Ahhh…. Les Alpes.
After a short transfer from our hotel to Le Col De Montets (4,800′) we began our hike…
2,500 feet up to Les Cheserys (7,130′) hiking past several alpine lakes in the last mile.
It was very pretty but… it being Saturday and close to Chamonix, was very crowded compared to the other days on the trail. We stopped at one of the first lakes for lunch to avoid the crowd.
The climb to the final lakes involved ladders….
….. up to the last lake, Lac Blanc.
Because of the number of people we did not stay long and headed down toward the gondola that would take us back to Chamonix.
Back to the hotel we started at nine days ago, Grand Hôtel des Alpes.