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Tour du Mont Blanc Guide
Home Route Planning Accommodation Equipment
Planning

When to go

The route is possible between June and September. In June the high passes may still have snow on the ground and some of the refuges and camp sites may not be open although the route will be quieter at this time of year.
July and August are the busiest months on the route and it would be worth booking refuges as this is the main time organised groups run trips. The other down side is that the weather can be extremely hot especially on the long ascents, so early starts might be needed.
Early September the paths are quieter and the weather is still fairly good, after the middle of the month campsites and refuges start to close for the winter.

Money

Most of the large towns will have banks and cash points so getting money is straightforward. Before heading into the hills make sure you have enough to cover accommodation as the refuges require mainly cash payments.
The Euro is the currency in France and Italy and the Swiss Franc the currency in Switzerland. Fortunately it is possible to pay for goods in Euros in most areas the route takes you in Switzerland.

Navigation

Navigation on the TMB is fairly straight forward, routes are generally marked by sign posts or markers painted on rocks. These are red and white in France and yellow diamonds in Italy and Switzerland. However keeping track of your position and knowing how to use a map and compass are essential to your safety.

Guide Books

Cicerone - Tour du Mont Blanc
This is probably the best and most used guide book to the tour it gives details of the route in both directions.

Lonely Planet - Walking the Alps
While not as detailed as the Cicerone offering, it gives more than enough detail to plan and guide you around the TMB. It also gives details of other walks all over the Alps and so offers good value for money. The only criticism is that you get the impression the author hasn't walked certain sections and would often sooner take public transport. Ignore what they say even the few short sections of road you end up on are picturesque and worth walking.

Maps

Rando - Pays du Monte Blanc A1 Scale 1:50 000
This is probably the best map and shows the entire route at 1: 50000 scale.

Libris - Monte Blanc Scale 1:6000
This map also shows the entire route but at 1:60 000.

IGN - Maps 3530ET, 3531ET, 3630OT Scale 1:25 000 and IGC No107 Scale 1:25 000
Combination of the above maps show the route at 1: 25 000 scale.

Route Planning

The following table should help with route planning, accommodation shown here should be used as a guide only and is not a recommendation. There are a lot more options available in most areas, the tourist web site for Les Houche gives a downloadable pdf of most of the accommodation on the route.

Over Night at Refuge / Hotel Camping Food Shop
Les Houches Hôtel Les Campanules
Tél : 04 50 54 42 28
hotel-campanules@wanadoo.fr
Campsite in town Super Market
Les Contamines Refuge du CA
Tél : 04 50 47 00 88
Campsite on route out of town Super Market
Les Chapieux Auberge de la Nova
Tél : 04 79 89 07 15
lanova@wanadoo.fr
Free Campsite Shop (Bread and Cheese)
Rifugio Elisabetta Rifugio Elisabetta
Tél : 01 65 84 40 80
rifugioelisabella@alice.it
Available at refuge None
Courmayeur Maison Vieille
0165 80 93 99
info@maisonvieille.com
Either at Refugio Masion Vielle or Mont Bianco La Sogente in Val Veni Supermarket
Rifugio Bonatti Rifugio Bonatti
Tél : 0165 86 90 55
info@rifugiobonatti.it
No None
La Fouly Hôtel Edelweiss
Tél : 027 783 26 21
info@lafouly.ch
Campsite in town Supermarket
Champex Au club Alpin
Tél/Fax : 027 783 11 61
clubalpin@netplus.ch
Campsite in town Supermarket
Trient Refuge du Peuty in Le Peuty
Tél : 027 722 09 38
Campsite in Le Peuty None
Tre le Champ Gite La Boerne
04 50 54 05 14
Campsite in Les Frasserands or Argentiere Supermarket in Argentiere
Le Flegere Refuge Le Flegere
Tél/fax : 04 50 55 85 88
bellay.catherine@wanadoo.fr
No None



© K.Vans-Colina 2008