Anne van Kesteren

Tour du Mont Blanc: Overview

As mentioned earlier here an overview of our Tour du Mont Blanc (anti-clockwise) with locations, heights, estimated times and remarks. As should be clear, I am not responsible for any mistakes made below.

LocationHeight (m)Estimated time (h)Remarks
Day one — 7:50h
Notre-Dame de la Gorge1210-Starting point.
Col de la Croix du Bonhomme2483+4Close to Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme. Got some additional water there and took the variant route towards Col de Fours.
Col de Fours2665+1Went to Tête Nord des Fours (2756m) from here and back to reach the highest overall point and to get a nice view of the Mont Blanc. Takes twenty to thirty minutes.
Refuge des Mottets1978+2.5We stayed here for the night. Food was quite good.
Day two — 10:55h
Refuge des Mottets1978-Starting point for day two. (Duh!)
Col de la Seigne2516+1.5Border between France and Italy.
Rifugio La Maison Vieille di Giacomo1956+5-
Courmayeur1226+1.5Did some shopping and refilling of water bottles. Felt quite exhausted already.
Refugio Bertone1989+2Sleeping! Food was nice.
Day three — 5h
Rifugio Bertone1989-Starting point.
Rifugio Walter Bonatti2025+2Raindrops.
Rifugio Elena2062+2.5We stayed here for the night as my dad wanted to recover from day two. Cooked a meal ourselves somewhere inside where it was supposedly illegal to do so. They didn’t seem to care though.
Day four — 9:30h
Rifugio Elena2062-Starting point. We woke up at 5:30AM and left around 6:30AM in the rain.
Grand col Ferret2537+1This marks the border between Italy and Switzerland.
La Peule2071+1Hot chocolate and myst.
Ferret1705+1Wrote a blog entry.
La Fouly1610+1-
Praz-de-Fort1151+1Between this place and Champex Joël and I enjoyed Swiss hospitality at a house which we mistook for a private refuge.
Champex1466+2Took the alternative Tour du Mont Blanc leading towards Fenêtre d’Arpette.
Refuge d’Arpette1627+1Sleeping. We cooked ourselves, but it was not so good as we ran out of camping gas.
Day five — 8h
Refuge d’Arpette1627-Starting point for day five.
Fenêtre d’Arpette2665+2.5Very steep and thanks to rain during the night a bit slippery here and there. Beautiful view on a glacier.
Chalet du Glacier1583+1.5Bought a Mars for later use and drank a hot chocolate.
Refuge des Grands2113+2Looked quite boring and deserted. Ate the Mars and continued along the path.
Refuge du Col de Balme2191+2We slept here. Producs are quite expensive (water is five euro for instance though some people apparently paid up to eight when it was scarce). Food is ok, but you don't get much and it seems like they lock the door at night. This place also marks the border between Switzerland and France and has been burned down several times in the past because of that.
Day six — 9h
Refuge du Col de Balme2191-Starting point. We took an alternative route from here to Argentière because it was stormy and we needed some cash (the paper type).
Argentière1035+2.5Bought some camping gas and a small notebook to take notes. Sunshine!
Refuge de la Flégère1875+2Myst, some sun and ice tea.
Col du Brévent2368+2.5-
Brévent2525+1Nice view!
Bellachat (Bel-Lachat)2136+1Slept here. Cooked outside in the cold.
Day seven — 8h
Bellachat (Bel-Lachat)2136-Starting point for an overall boring day.
Les Houches1007+2-
Col de Voza1653+2.5Highest point of the day (still quite low).
Notre-Dame de la Gorge1210+3.5Done!