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Tour du Mont Blanc Guide
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Accommodation

Refuges

The route has plenty of refuges most offering refreshments during the day and half board accommodation at night. The size of the refuges and level of comfort vary but will generally be clean and a place to relax after a good days walk. In the peak season it might be necessary to book ahead as they often fill up, especially if there are walking groups booked in. The main advantage of using refuges is that you don't need to carry much weight. The downside is that if you book ahead your schedule is not flexible so you can't adjust for weather or to your fitness.

Most will let you either stay with or without food which is usually half board and some will supply simple packed lunches. Some may have showers but water is often restricted due to limited resources so in some you may just get a cold water wash.

The accommodation is usually dormitory style although you don't need a sleeping bag a sheet sleeping bag is sometimes required. All other bedding will be supplied. If you are a light sleeper then you may need ear plugs.

Etiquette

  • When you arrive check in with the warden if you can't find one register yourself in the log book.
  • Boots should not be worn in huts usually there is a boot store by the entrance. The hut will often supply slippers but you may prefer to carry a pair of your own or use flip flops.
  • You are usually expected to pay before you go to bed.
  • Be quiet when going to bed and getting up, people may be making early starts so laying on you bed playing cards into the night may not win any friends. It is worth having a torch and packing before you go to bed so you can be off with the minimum fuss.
  • Smoking is not usually allowed in refuges.
  • If you are just using the dormitories and there are no cooking facilities then cook away from the refuge.
Camping

Camping gives you the most flexibility and is the cheapest way of traveling but does mean you need to carry more weight since you'll need tent, food, stove etc. Typically if there are two or more, you should be able to camp with backpacks weighing about 12kg with no food or water. With a couple of litres of water and a day or two worth of food the maximum would be about 16kg.

There are organised campsites on the route and a couple of permitted wild camp sites with composting toilets.

Some of the refuges allow camping close by but check before pitching a tent. Officially wild camping is prohibited in most areas of the Tour du Mont Blanc although if you are discreet you should have no bother camping from dusk to dawn, but don't light fires and leave your camp site as you found it.



K.Vans-Colina 2008