Start at the designated hotel in Chamonix, France. In the evening there is an introductory briefing by your leader and time to spilt bags between items to be left at the hotel in Chamonix, for the end of the trip, and things you will carry with you. Hotel in Chamonix (France).
We take a short train or bus ride to Col des Montets (1461m) at the end of the Chamonix valley to begin our ascent to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2201m), descend to the Col des Posettes, and then ascend a little to the Col de Balme (2,191m) where we walk across the border from France to Switzerland. Excellent views all morning of Aiguille d'Argentiere and the Aiguille du Tour and its glacier. After lunch we descend towards Le Peuty (1,296m) with fantastic views of the Trient Glacier. Ascend from Le Peuty to our hotel on the Col Forclaz (1,526m). Hotel dormitory at Col Forclaz (Switzerland).
We leave the Col de la Forclaz from where we can look directly down into the Rhône valley and the Swiss town of Martigny. Following our path through the forest and up to high alpine pastures (great for flowers in the early season) the 'Bovine route' (1986 m) affords dramatic views over Swiss peaks and valleys. After lunch we descend to Champex (1486 m) and now were on the east side of the Mont Blanc massif. Walking south we descend through woods to the Val Ferret and on to Issert (1055 m) and other pretty alpine farming villages. At this point we usually hop aboard the local bus to take you the rest of the way La Fouly (1593 m). From our hotel terrace we look out onto the glaciated face of Mont Dolent, whose summit is the meeting point of the French, Swiss and Italian borders. This is the longest day on the trip! Hotel Dormitory in La Fouly (Switzerland).
Still following the valley and the river 'La Drance', we climb steadily to the 'Grand Col Ferret' (2,536 m), the highest pass of the tour. The mountain views from the Col are stunning with Grandes Jorasses dominating the scene. Now in Italy, we descend into the valley also called 'Val Ferret' and walk down to Planpincieux (1,600 m) then travel by bus to our hotel in La Palud.
We travel by bus to La Vissaille (1,660m) then climb gently along the Val Veny beneath the massive glacier de Miage and pass Lac Combal. The gradient becomes steeper as we follow the old Roman road and head for todays pass: the 'Col de la Seigne' (2,516m), which marks our re-entry into France. A fairly steep descent brings us through La Ville des Glaciers (1,789m) and finally after quite a long walking day to Les Chapieux (1,553m), a small hamlet inhabited only during the summer months. Hotel dormitory in Les Chapieux.
We have now reached the southwest corner of the circuit and turn north to climb once again. First we ascend to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme (2,478m), then contour across to the Col du Bonhomme (2,328m) and then descend again on a Roman road into the Val Montjoie and the town of Les Contamines (1,175m). Our private transfer will be waiting for us at the bottom of the mountain to take us to Chamonix. Hotel.
Our final day presents perhaps one of our most spectacular walks as we trek a section of the Grand Balcon Sud route, past the beautiful photogenic Lac Blanc (2352m) with grand vistas over the Chamonix Valley and Mont Blanc behind. Our route will then drop sharply down to Chamonix (1,030m) and the end of our trek. Hotel.
To Geneva; fly to London.