This is the blog post about our fifth day hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc. Check out my summary post with all my tips for planning your own TMB!
The Tour du Mont Blanc is a 165km hiking loop around Mont Blanc, with nearly 9km of elevation gain into the sky, through 3 countries: France, Switzerland and Italy. You can go as fast or as slow as you want, staying in your choice of the many refuges (mountain huts) along the way at night. I know people who've done the whole loop in 3 days, and others who take it slow and go for 12 days. Connor, a friend and fellow hiker from Vancouver, and I planned a 9-day trek on the TMB.
Day 5: Forclaz to Ferret
Total distance: 32km
Total elevation gain: 1405m
Total elevation loss: 1237m
Refuge we stayed at: Hôtel du Col Fenêtre
With our first long day dawning upon us, with more than 30km to trek and some pretty substantial planned elevation gain and loss, we rose early with the sun. Breakfast at this refuge was probably the best we had on the entire trail and the 4 of us made sure to feast hard to fuel up for the day ahead. We began with a steep climb up to Alpage de Bovine, joined along the way by the cows on their breakfast walk, bells jangling and the fresh stench of morning dung hanging in the air.
Switzerland proved to be the ultimate hiking paradise (as was to be expected): ice cold water troughs, a crystal clear lake for our lunch stop, views abound and absolutely idyllic little mountain villages that looked like they were stuck in the 1300s.
By the end of the day, fuelled mostly by rainbow candy sticks and delusion, we made it to our little refuge in the mountains at Ferret, inhaled a plateful of roast potatoes and passed out early for a deep sleep as we faced another long day ahead…