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.
3 Nights, 4 Days
Les Houches, Chamonix
June - September
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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
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
3 Nights, 4 Days
Les Houches, Chamonix
June - September
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!
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 'about us' page.
See real footage of previous expeditions
The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek: Highlights02:21
Stunning views and great memories. This is the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek.
Tour du Mont Blanc Trek in 30 Seconds00:27
A snapshot of what to expect when you tackle this awesome trek.
The Tour du Mont Blanc Trek10:48
Olly & Charlie document their trip as they tackle the Tour du Mont Blanc Trek.
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.
Mountaineering specific 35-40L backpack
Foldable poles are best
Hiking shoes / Trail Shoes
Good grip and ankle support is recommended
Light technical jacket, ideally with a hood.
Something light and thin.
Keep them light and thin.
Highly breathable, lightweight synthetic technical t-shirt.
Keep them light and thin.
Stretch, durable mountaineering trousers.
Ideally thin and single layered so it can fit under the helmet.
Choose your hat of choice as long as it shields you from the sun.
Side-leg zippers are helpful
Good walking socks are required
Good to have for approaches to the mountain huts especially in warmer temperatures
Fleece windproof gloves
Factor 30-50 High Mountain sunscreen
You must be able to carry at least 2L of water in your backpack
Sleeping bag silk liner
You don’t need a sleeping bag itself, as blankets are provided in the huts
Don't forget to pack spare batteries. They're essential
ID and documents
Passport / Drivers license, Visa, Insurance, Yellow Fever Card (if applicable)
Cash / credit card
For extra costs such as drinks and snacks
First aid kit
Blister kit, paracetamol, etc
Bandana / Buff
Highly recommended for the mountain huts
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.
- 3 Nights accommodation
- 3 Breakfasts
- 3 Dinners
- Planning and reservations
- Welcome meeting with an Adventure Base representative
- Free baggage storage in Chamonix
- Welcome pack
- First aid kit
- A detailed itinerary
- 24/7 Support communication with our team in Chamonix
What's not Included?
- Flights and transfers
- Lunches, snacks and drinks on the trek
- Luggage transfers
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.
3 Breakfasts + 3 Dinners
Immerse yourself in Nature
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
Les Houches – Refuge Nant Borrant
Starting in the village of Les Houches at the end of Chamonix’s valley, our itinerary takes the cable car up to the Bellevue Plateau (or add another two hours onto today’s trek by hiking from the valley floor). Admire the Dome du Gouter and the Aiguille Bionnassay before descending to cross the raging glacial torrent by the iconic Himalyan suspension bridge. The route then passes the spectacular Bionnassay glacier before climbing up to the grassy saddle of Col du Tricot. This stage 1 variant should never be done in bad weather but is not particularly taxing. The descent into the Miage valley is however very steep. Book ahead for a table at Refuge du Miage to enjoy lunch overlooking the impressive Dômes du Miage. The trail then winds up briefly before descending to the French town of Les Contamines, traditionally the stop over point for the first stage. Our itinerary 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.
17.4km / 1040m up / 1240m down / 7 - 8 hours trekking
Refuge Nant Borrant – 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. You’ll climb 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.
13.4km / 990m up / 920m down / 6 - 7 hours trekking
Les Chapieux – Cabane Combal
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. 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 all downhill onto the wide, flat valley floor of Vallon de la Lée Blanche. Pass Refuge Elisabetta, a basic cavernous refuge, commanding an exceptional view perched on a spur of the Pyramides Calcaires, with not one, but two glaciers (Glacier d’Estellette and Glacier de la Lée Blanche) spilling down behind it. The refuge has a good terrace if you need a refreshment before heading on the further 45-60 minutes along the ancient arrow straight Roman road to your accommodation for the night – the picture postcard A frame Refugio Cabane Combal.
16.9km / 990m up / 570m down / 6 - 7 hours trekking
Cabane Combal – 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. 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 Veny 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. During the peak summer weeks of July and August it is possible to take a gondola and chair lift from Maison Vielle down to Dolonne. From there it’s just a ten minute walk into the centre of Courmayeur. This is a good option for those with delicate knees – the descent into Courmayeur is brutal. This would shorten today’s hike to 7.5km and remove most of the descent.
16.9km / 490m up / 1250m down / 5 - 6 hours trekking
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.Deposit/Book Now