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What's a typical day on the Tour du Mont Blanc?

As one of the world's top 10 hiking challenges, pre-trip preparation for the TMB Tour du Mont Blanc trek is essential. Especially the full distance of more than 160 kilometers means long walks of 6 to 8 hours a day for more than a week. Therefore, all aspects of preparation are very important.


Join us on this trek, especially for those of you who are experiencing a long distance trek such as the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) for the first time, and we will give you a detailed description of the day you will be experiencing. This article will help you better prepare and add excitement to your trip.

Translated with DeepL.com (free version)


Tour du Mont Blanc Guide: Typical Day

环勃朗峰徒步指南:典型一天


If you have not yet tried a long distance hiking experience such as the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), Alta Via 1 (AV1) or the Haute Route, you may be curious or unsure about the experience you will be facing. Similarly, if you have not had a hiking adventure in Europe, you may have questions about the condition of the hiking trails or the weather conditions.


To help you better prepare, here is our carefully written overview of a typical day spent at the TMB. We hope this will clear your doubts and get you excited about your upcoming trek!




The Morning on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步的早上


The Tour du Mont Blanc trek usually starts early in the morning between 6:30 and 7:00 am, when a simple but satisfying breakfast is prepared and you can start eating at any time during this time. Breakfast usually consists of bread, cereal, yogurt and fruit. It is recommended that you pack your backpack the night before so that you can leave immediately after breakfast.


The hike usually starts at approximately 8:00 a.m. and may leave earlier if the day is longer or thunderstorms are forecast. Typically, mornings on the TMB are a bit more strenuous than afternoons, as there is usually a pass to cross, and you'll be climbing in the morning and descending to the other side of the mountain in the afternoon. In late summer, however, the mornings are relatively cool.



The Noon on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步的中午


At some point during the trek you will stop for lunch. This usually happens at the midpoint of the day, around 12 or 1pm, but the exact time will depend on how far you have traveled that day. At Altitude Trekker, we always try to find the perfect picnic spot for you!


If you get hungry in advance, you can always take a snack from your rucksack, or we can take a short break at the mountain hut for some drinks and cake. If you are feeling tired, you can also take a short break before lunch and there are usually toilet facilities available (see below for details).



The Afternoon on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步的下午



The afternoon hike is usually easier compared to the morning, mainly because you will start your descent from the pass. To avoid possible showers and thunderstorms in the late afternoon, we try to reach the lower elevations by 3pm. We aim to arrive at the next accommodation stop before dinner, usually between 4 and 5 pm, when you can shower, rest or enjoy a beer on the terrace.



The Evening on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步的晚上


Evenings are a good time to organize your backpack for the next day: keep a change of clothes, waterproofs, snacks and sunscreen within easy reach of your pack. Also, don't forget to refill your water bottle for the next day.


Dinner is usually scheduled for around 7:00 p.m., after which everyone is usually tired and therefore goes to bed around 9:00 p.m., which is earlier than the usual bedtime. Dinner is simple but satisfying enough and usually consists of three courses: an appetizing soup, a main course, and a dessert.


Daily distance on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步之每日路程


On the Tour de Mont Blanc trek (TMB), the average daily distance traveled is about 15-20 kilometers with an elevation gain of about 1,000 meters. Overall, we usually go out hiking for about 8 hours, including breaks and lunch breaks. The scenery along the way is varied, ranging from shady forested areas to bright alpine meadows to rugged rocky passes, and the change from valleys to high altitude brings large fluctuations in temperature.


The hiking trails of the Tour du Mont Blanc vary in technical difficulty but are generally easy to follow. Most of the trails are spacious enough to allow two people to walk side by side, nevertheless, it is recommended not to walk more than two people in parallel in order to ensure the smooth passage of other hikers, runners or cyclists. Most trails are gentle, but the higher the elevation, the more rocky the surface tends to be. The use of trekking poles helps to maintain stability, and it is important to wear shoes with good grip.



Temperature changes on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步之温度变化


You will experience a wide range of temperature variations during your trek around Mont Blanc. Even in July and August, early morning temperatures are usually quite cool. Your hike usually starts in cool forests and gradually rises above the tree line. When traveling through alpine meadows, especially in the late afternoon, the weather can sometimes become very warm and sunny. When reaching the pass, the temperature may drop. Also, mountain passes are often windy. These temperature changes can be fatiguing, as regulating body temperature requires a lot of energy. Carry extra clothing and add or remove layers as needed. Remember to stop and remove outer layers if you feel overheated.



Group trekking on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步之团队徒步


On Altitude Trekker's Tour du Mont Blanc group treks, guides are usually responsible for leading the way. They will regularly check the back of the group to make sure that each member of the team is in good shape and maintain communication with everyone. Guides will also instruct the team to stop and meet at appropriate points. We recognize that everyone moves at a different pace; some companies may require their clients to keep moving at the same speed, but at Altitude Trekker we encourage our clients to move at their own pace, accommodating trekkers of all ability levels and ensuring that no one feels forced to rush. In specific situations, such as technical terrain or snow-covered sections of trail, it is vital that a guide leads the way in choosing the safest route.



Wild animals on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步之野生动物


On the hike around Mont Blanc, you'll have the opportunity to observe a multitude of wildlife. In the forest, look out for squirrel holes and black squirrels on the ground. You may hear the tapping of woodpeckers and see the peck marks they leave on tree trunks. If you're lucky, you might spot deer or rock sheep in the forest. Ascending above the tree line, you'll hear the characteristic call of groundhogs, which inhabit alpine meadows and desert areas. Higher up in the rocky pass country, keep an eye out for feral goats, which have long, curved horns and usually hang out near cliffs or in sunny areas. If you're interested in animal spotting, talk to one of Altitude Trekker's guides, who are experts in exploring Alpine wildlife.



Daily weather on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步之每日天气


Weather on the TMB: The weather in the Alps is usually quite pleasant. In the Chamonix region, you can enjoy an average of 8 hours of sunshine per day. While temperatures in the valleys can be quite high, the breeze higher up in the mountains usually helps to keep us cool. However, the weather in the mountains is unpredictable and you may experience rain, thunderstorms and sometimes snow. Therefore, it's a good idea to be prepared for all possible weather conditions. Here are some tips to help you cope with the various weather conditions you may encounter during your hike. For more information on the best hiking seasons in the TMB, please refer to the public's previous articles on weather and month introductions.



Typical weather conditions: Mornings are usually cooler, with temperatures around 10 degrees Celsius, but temperatures rise rapidly as the sun rises. By midday, temperatures in the valleys may rise to around 25 degrees Celsius, while temperatures in the higher zones range between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius. There is usually a gradual light breeze as the day progresses. Maintaining hydration and sun protection throughout the day is critical in hot weather, given the physical exertion and altitude. Hats, sunglasses and a high SPF sunscreen are recommended as the sun is particularly strong in the mountains.



THUNDERSTORMS: During the summer months, especially during August, afternoon showers or thunderstorms may occur. Most of these thunderstorms occur in the late afternoon, possibly when you have left the alpine area, but you should still be prepared to wear waterproof clothing at all times. If traveling with an Altitude Trekker guide, the guide will rationalize the daily itinerary to avoid storms. An early start is recommended so that you can complete your day's itinerary early and wait safely in your accommodation until the storm passes.



RAINY DAYS: Occasionally we may experience drizzly weather. While this usually doesn't last too long, sometimes we may experience continuous rain. It is safe to walk most trails in the rain, but it is vital to have a good set of waterproof clothing and shoes with good grip. Some of the steeper trails can become slippery in the rain, so we tend to favor trails at lower elevations.


The main risk posed by rain is a drop in body temperature, and wearing a waterproof jacket, pants, gloves and a hat will help you stay warm - remember, even in the summer months, it can be chilly. It's important to make sure your backpack is equipped with a rain cover or waterproof bag. Most accommodation is equipped with drying facilities so you can dry your clothes after the rain.



SNOW: The end of September can sometimes bring the first snowfalls on the trails. This usually covers only a thin layer of snow and you can still safely continue your hike and enjoy the snowy scenery! However, early season snow areas can pose major risks. These snow areas are usually located on mountain passes and once enough people have passed through, the trails become easily recognizable. Again, wearing boots with good grip is essential to prevent slipping, while using trekking poles can provide you with extra stability.



How to go WC on TMB

环勃朗峰徒步之怎样如厕


About toileting: What should I do if I need to go to the toilet? This is a common concern, and there is no need to be upset about it - it is a very normal concern! Hiking, especially for women who are menstruating, and the discomfort that can be caused by unfamiliar foods are all common causes of possible concern. Rest assured that these are common situations that we take into account.



Toilet facilities: Are there toilets on the Tour du Mont Blanc trek? On a typical TMB itinerary, you will usually pass at least one or more mountain huts. You can stop at these huts if you need to use the toilet. Consider using their facilities after purchasing some snacks or drinks. It's perfectly fine to ask your guide for information. If the next hut is some distance away and you need to pee or change your hygiene products, it is possible to find a rock or tree shelter. There's always a way to find a secluded spot off the trail.



Toilet Etiquette: When using the toilet on the trails, especially if you need to use paper or change sanitary products, please be sure not to leave any trash behind. Carry a small garbage bag or similar container with you to ensure that you can take your personal waste with you and dispose of it properly when you arrive at your lodging at night. If you are away from any amenities and must defecate outdoors, try to minimize this. If you do have to do so, make sure you take away any used paper and cover your tracks with stones etc. to keep the environment tidy.



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