She’ll be coming round the mountain - Mont Blanc Circuit
“I want to see mountains again Gandalf, mountains”; so says Bilbo Baggins near the beginning of Tolkien’s ‘The Fellowship of the Ring’. And I know just what Bilbo meant. There’s something about great big, soaring rocky mountains that gets into the soul. And what better way of getting your mountain therapy than by spending two weeks walking and sleeping amongst them? The only question is – which mountains to choose to visit in August? Andes; too far to go. Himalaya; it’s monsoon season. The Alps; perfect!
A quick hop to Geneva followed by a short transfer by road to Chamonix and there they were. Great big, soaring peaks with snow at top of the Aguille du Midi. A cable car up to the top allowed us our first taste of the many stunning views we were to enjoy over the next two weeks. From the platforms and terraces we could see the French, Swiss and Italian Alps and of course, Mont Blanc which we were about to circumnavigate. At some 3,800m, we quickly appreciated that we were in the mountains when a slight feeling of breathlessness set in after ascending a short flight of stairs; slightly worrying when you are about to rely on your fitness to get you around the mountains!
Next day we set off on the first section of the trek. No heavy backpacks to carry as our tents and other luggage were quickly loaded into the van and driven off by the ever-efficient Mark (also a great cook, tour leader and putter-upper of tents!). Over the next two weeks we worked our way clockwise on the justly famous Mont Blanc Circuit. Like all good treks, there are some challenging sections but the rewards are virtually continuous and ever-changing mountain views, a bit of wildlife spotting (Ibex and Marmots) and a rather fine selection of refreshment stops. The Mont Blanc region is blessed with a range of mountain huts that have been refuelling walkers for years. As a result, they are rather good at it and have absolutely perfected the preparation of their various cakes, pies and hot drinks. I’m sure it was the promise of our next cake stop which got me up some of the tougher slopes!
Louisa Richardson did the Mont Blanc Circuit (Trip Code: TWB) in August 2008.
We offer a range of itineraries to the Mont Blanc region over one and two weeks of varying grades.