Mags: Self Guided TMB Western Route 4 Days - Adventure Base
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Self Guided TMB Western Route 4 Days

Self guided Tour du Mont Blanc Western Route from Chamonix to Courmayeur via Les Contamines and Les Chapieux. Start in France and finish in Italy.

    Adventure Snapshot

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    Duration

    3 Nights, 4 Days

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    Start Location

    Les Houches, Chamonix

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    Date(s)

    June - September

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    Price

    From €598

Book Now €598

FRANCE & ITALY / 3 NIGHTS / 4 DAYS

This 3 night / 4 day version of the Tour du Mont Blanc trek is an incredible opportunity to completely immerse yourself in the mountains and enjoy the natural beauty of the valleys that surround western Europe’s highest mountain. The trek offers an unusual variety of spectacular scenery and varied walks and you are sure to come away from this trek refreshed and invigorated, if a little creaky at the joints.

The route crosses three borders (France, Italy and Switzerland) over 8 days, traversing beneath huge glaciers, and meandering through beautiful alpine meadows and picture-book villages. That's right, this is a truly memorable journey and one of worlds classic long-distance hiking routes.

This 4 day self guided Tour du Mont Blanc Western Route from Chamonix to Courmayeur goes via Les Contamines and Les Chapieux. You'll start in France and finish in Italy.

Not sure whether you're ready? No problem. Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test or join us on our Tour du Mont Blanc guided trips:

Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test

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Learn more. Download our guide here.

DOWNLOAD PDF

Enter your details to download the Mags: Self Guided TMB Western Route 4 Days brochure


Footprints

YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE

WHO IS THIS FOR?

The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek is well suited to fit hillwalkers, capable of trekking for multiple days carrying a reasonably heavy rucksack. You follow footpaths each day and the terrain is very hilly. You can expect to do up to and over 1000m ascent and descent per day.  You stay in a mixture of mountain refuges, gites and auberges during the trek, which all provide basic but comfortable lodging and good food. This helps keep your packs fairly light carrying only snacks, clothing and essentials.

It might seem like a lot to take in so if you're not sure if you're ready.. No problem. Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test or join us on one of our Tour du Mont Blanc guided trips: Take our Tour du Mont Blanc Trek 'Readiness' test

    Adventure Overview

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    Duration

    3 Nights, 4 Days

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    Start Location

    Les Houches, Chamonix

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    Date(s)

    June - September

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    Guide Ratio

    Self Guided

  • Ability

    Level A

    Level A

    You’re not quite sure where to start but you’re hungry for an adventure and can’t wait to get going. Bring it on!

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    Price

    From €598

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ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY

Great news! Your place on this adventure is carbon offset along with our footprint in creating it. To learn more about what we're doing head to our 'Better Business' page.

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See real footage of previous expeditions

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The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek

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Stunning views and great memories. This is the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek.

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What is Self Guided Trekking?

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Olly and Charlie discuss what a self guided trip looks like.

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Beginner Hikes Tour Du Mont Blanc

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Check out Dave’s experience on the Tour du Mont Blanc with us.

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Omar's Trip

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A snapshot at Omar’s experience on the trails with us.

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Meet The Team

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Introducing our crack squad of mountain lovers and adventure junkies. We spend most of our days plotting, planning and building some of the very best trips out there for you all to enjoy.

EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR THIS TRIP

Please note this is a guide and you may be required to rent or purchase last minute equipment on arrival dependent on the weather and changes in itinerary.

For the full downloadable Tour Du Mont Blanc Trek kit list please click here.

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FINER DETAILS

YOUR ADVENTURE PACKAGE 

The trek begins in Les Houches at the Bellevue cable car in the Chamonix valley. Typically people will arrive the night before and overnight either in Les Houches or overnight in Chamonix and take the train from Chamonix to Les Houches in the morning to start the hike. If you would like us to book your accommodation for the first night please ask.

What's Included?

  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 3 Nights accommodation
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 3 Breakfasts
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 3 Dinners
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. Planning and reservations
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. Access to the Adventure Base travel app with your detailed itinerary and GPX tracks
  • Group 16 Created with Sketch. 24/7 Support communication with our Chamonix based team

What's not Included?

  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Flights
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Airport transfers (approx €50 pp each way)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. In-resort travel (bus / lifts / trains)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Lunches, snacks and drinks (approx €15 a day)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Luggage transfers (approx €35 a day)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Additional nights before, during and after trip (can be added on request)
  • Group 20 Created with Sketch. Travel insurance (required)

WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE ACCOMMODATION

We know the importance of having comfortable accommodation on this trip. After a long day of trekking it's vital to have a comfortable bed and good food to enjoy in a scenic location. We've handpicked refuges and other mountain accommodation along the way that we're sure you're going to love. (A single room supplement is available where possible, please request this far in advance)

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ON THE TREK

The majority of the accommodation on the trip will be in dormitories and / or small shared rooms. You can upgrade in some of the accommodation options if requested in advance and based on availability.

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    Duration

    3 Nights

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    Internet

    Not included

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    Beds

    Shared arrangements

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    Food

    3 Breakfasts + 3 Dinners

Mountains

Immerse yourself in Nature

Adventure Itinerary

Here you'll find the full itinerary including distances (KM) ascents and descents each day and a rough estimate of how long it will take.
Start point: Les Houches
End point: Courmayeur
Length: 4 days
Whilst we aim to stick to the itinerary below, accommodation in some of the locations may not always be available. In this instance you will be booked into a suitable alternative accommodation.

  • Day 1:
    Les Houches – Val Montjoie

    Starting in the village of Les Houches at the end of Chamonix’s valley, our itinerary starts from the main square where you can take a photo at the official start point arch. If you have stayed over night in Chamonix the night before you’ll need to take the no 1 bus and get off at ‘Les Houches Marie’ stop. After the obligatory arch photo walk 750km along the main road to the Bellevue cable car. Those who want to quick load up to the Bellevue Plateau can do so here. See more info below on taking the Bellevue cable car. Those intent on hiking up from the valley floor) will continue on past Bellevue through the tunnel and turn left onto the main trail up to Col du Voza and follow the signs for TMB variant Col du Tricot.

    Soak in incredible views of the Dôme du Gouter and the Aiguille Bionnassay before crossing a raging glacial torrent using the iconic TMB Himalayan suspension bridge. As you begin the relatively easy ascent to grassy saddle of Col du Tricot you’ll have splendid views of the Bionnassay glacier in good weather. Reward the steep descent from the Col du Tricot by booking a table for lunch at Refuge du Miage – a fantastic stop to drink in the impressive views of the Dômes du Miage.

    The trail then winds up briefly passing Auberge du Truc (another good lunch spot) before descending to the French town of Les Contamines, traditionally the stop over point for the first stage. Our itinerary either stops here in Les Contamines or pushes on for a further hour on the trail to stop at the first refuge out of Les Contamines, charming Nant Borrant, one of the best refuges on the TMB. By catching the free navette to Gorge du Notre Dame and then climbing the steep hill up to the refuge, you’ll an hour’s head start on a challenging day tomorrow – tackling two cols in one day.

    Approximate time and distances:
    21.9km / 1754m up / 1240m down / 5-7 hours trekking
    13.6m / 5754ft up / 4068ft down / 5-7 hours trekking

  • Day 2:
    Val Montjoie – Les Chapieux

    Today is a long, strenuous day which is duly rewarded with incredible views over wild desolate cols. This is truly les Alpes sauvages and your heart will sing to be far from civilisation. Stage 2 of the TMB climbs over two mountain passes Col du Bonhomme (2329m) and Col de la Croix de Bonhomme (2483m), possibly still laden with snow, before descending into the French hamlet of Les Chapieux (1554m) in the Vallée des Glaciers.

    Approximate time and distances:
    13.4km / 990m up / 920m down / 4-5 hours trekking
    8.3 / 3248ft up / 3018 ft down / 4-5 hours trekking

  • Day 3:
    Les Chapieux - Val Veny

    Today you’ll switch from Bonjour to Ciao as you climb the Col de la Seigne and walk over the frontiere into Italy. For those who want to shorten todays hike take one of the frequent shuttle buses from Les Chapieux along the tarmac road to La Ville des Glaciers or Les Mottets Parking cutting an hour off the traditional time. Tip: buy your ticket the night before if you want to bag a seat on the first bus at 8.30am otherwise you might have to wait until 9 or 9.30 to get a seat.

    At Ville des Glaciers make a quick side trip to the cheese farm only a few metres from the trail. This is one of the most authentic experiences on the TMB and highly recommended. Being a micro producer of the local Beaufort cheese its tiny operation only takes around 15 minutes to look around. Read my post here on visiting the TMB cheese farm.

    From here the trail ascends to 2516m to the top of the Col de la Seigne and, leaving the Vallée des Glaciers and France behind, cross the unmanned border and descend into Italy!

    From the col it’s an easy downhill onto the wide, flat valley floor of Vallon de la Lée Blanche. From here Refuge Elisabetta or Cabane Combal will be your home for the night.

    Approximate time and distances:
    13.9km / 990m up / 400m down / 4-5 hours trekking
    8.6m / 3248ft up / 1312ft down / 4-5 hours trekking

  • Day 4:
    Val Veny - Courmayeur

    There are no cols to climb on stage 4 of the Tour du Mont Blanc, so it’s easy to presume that this stretch is not demanding. Think again. However this stage is one of my favourites hands down. The formidable wall of rock holding up the Mont Blanc Massif on the opposite side of the valley highlights our minuscule selves. Prepare to feel humbled.

    The trail climbs up the side of the V shaped, moat like Val Veni to the highest point of the day, the Mont Favre spur (2430m). With every step along the high balcony path, the sheer southern flanks of the imposing Mont Blanc Massif range rising on the opposite side, take your breath away. Whilst not particularly challenging, the deceiving nature of this balcony trail leads to you believe you’re almost there. Many times.

    It’s a long day that should not be under estimated.

    Enjoy a well deserved gelato in the pretty Italian town of Courmayeur. Those wanting a bit of pampering and luxury can choose from several high end hotels. The spa nearby at Pre St Didier is fabulous.

    Approximate time and distances:
    15.7km / 490m up / 1550m down / 4-5 hours trekking
    9.7m / 1607ft up / 5085ft down / 4-5 hours trekking

Mountains

Are you ready?

Our adventures are attributed a difficulty level from A to E. This Mags: Self Guided TMB Western Route 4 Days trip is rated Level A, for beginners and newcomers We recommend you only book a trip that reflects your ability.

Level A

For beginners and newcomers

  • You’re not quite sure where to start but you’re hungry for an adventure
  • Little / no prior experience
  • Shorter time duration
  • No technical skills required but keen to learn
  • Basic level of fitness
Think you've got this?

This trip is at this level

Level B

For those with some prior experience

  • You have some previous experience in the outdoors, whether that’s hiking, skiing or climbing, and are keen to build on that
  • You will either be starting to venture into more technical terrain or slightly more challenging environments
  • Some basic skills
  • Moderate fitness

Level C

For accomplished adventurers

  • You enjoy challenging yourself physically and mentally
  • You’re comfortable on multi-day adventures and you call yourself an avid adventurer
  • You're not quite George Mallory but you subscribe to his 'because it is there' attitude
  • Strong level of fitness

Level D

For the pros

  • You're ready to test your skills on the next challenge
  • You're comfortable in most types of alpine environments
  • Some level of technical skills
  • Strong level of fitness

Level E

For the experts

  • You’ve been on multiple adventures and have built up a solid skillset to tackle most challenges out there
  • Good technical skills and knowledge
  • Experienced in alpine/mountains environments
  • Very high level of fitness

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READY TO TREK THE TMB?

We hope you've found all the information you need above, but if not don't hesitate to get in touch. If you're ready to book, follow the link below.

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