February 10, 2016

How to Prepare for the Tour Du Mont Blanc

There’s only one hike that showcases the Alps in three different countries: the Tour Du Mont Blanc. Here’s why it’s one of our favorite adventures.

First summited by Jacques Balmat in 1786, explorers have traveled the Tour Du Mont Blanc in hopes to catch a glimpse—and picture—of its grandeur ever since. It’s not hard to see why.

white mountain
Tour Du Mont Blanc (or “White Mountain”) is typically done in 11 legs or 12 days, where you’ll pass through Italy, Switzerland, and France.

Peak season is typically from mid June to mid September, depending on the weather. But people still tackle the trail in the winter. 

Solo trek or a guided tour?

If you poll everyone around the GORE-TEX® Brand offices, there’s a split between the people who want to experience Tour Du Mont Blanc on their own terms and those of us who prefer to go with a guide.

If you’re the adventurous type who would prefer to tackle it on your own terms, Distant Journeys has a great self-guided Tour Du Mont Blanc plan that you can get here.

But if you prefer to travel with a guide, there are some great resources as well:

REI Tour Du Mont Blanc Tour

REI is a brand we all trust, and if you want they can take care of every part of your Tour Du Mont Blanc journey. Just check out this review:

Active adventures [and] all the details [were] planned for me. “I liked the itinerary. I was recommended by a friend because they also liked to travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts. Would recommend!”

Boundless Journeys

Experts in the art of adventure, Boundless Journeys offers a different kind of Tour Du Mont Blanc experience. Partnering with local companies along the hike, they’ll take care of your bags and belongings so all you need is a daypack during the hiking portions. They also avoid the “dormitory-style” accommodations so you can enjoy solitude during your stay.

Alpine Treks

Instead of putting all of their eggs in one basket, Alpine Expeditions offers two ways to tackle Tour Du Mont Blanc: self-guided and guided. If you’d rather experience the hike on your own terms but still want some of the amenities like a warm bed and prepared meals, you can go with the self-guided tour. Or you can tackle the adventure with a larger group with one of their guided tours.

tour du mont blanc

Fun places to stay

The views along the trail are breathtaking, and the B&Bs along the Tour Du Mont Blanc are wonderful. One of our favorites is La Ferme du Bon Papa. A cozy 17th century farmhouse nestled in the village of Les Contamines-Montjoie, France. It still has the original timber and they decorate the property with rustic farming tools, making it look and feel authentic to its history. But the appliances are modern, making the B&B a perfect hybrid that connects to the past to the present.

tour du mont blanc

What to see: Chamonix Valley

While you’re there, be sure to look for two of our favorite sights: Arve Valley and the Le Brevent’s panorama. You can see both as you stand above the Chamonix Valley (weather permitting, of course). Trust us. They’ll take your breath away.

Gear guide

Mont Blanc can have bipolar weather, which makes preparation critical. Here’s a list of our go-to gear for the trek:

gear guide tour mont du blanc backpack

gear guide tour du mont blanc pants

Pants/Shorts: Marmot Transcend Convertible Pant

Baselayer: Marmot ThermalClime Series

Baselayer: Marmot ThermalClime Series

gear guide tour du mont blanc jacket

Shell Jacket: Marmot Nano AS Jacket

gear guide tour du mont blanc boot

Boots: Anything designed for the terrain in this catalog

Safe travels!

P.S. Don’t forget to share your photos on Facebook and Twitter 😉

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