Taking it Easy on a Mont Blanc Tour – Rick Steves Travel Blog

Although the Tour du Mont Blanc is demanding, it is not a particularly difficult hike. It’s just long, with great elevation gains and losses, and always scenic. On my last trip around the mountain with three friends, it seemed like each of us had a weak spot—knees, toes, or lungs. For some the challenge was the uphill climb and for others (with weak knees) it was the downhill. We just took it easy with very little breaks.

David, Sue, Shelley and I shared the entire Mont Blanc hike. But to be free to go at our own pace, we generally found it best to hike as a couple rather than as a foursome. It’s really important to stop and relax without worrying about what other people want or need. Our mantra was: “We are here to walk to enjoy the moment, the trail, the mountains, not to go to a hotel.”

For long climbs, steady, small steps are best. The trail can be really rocky and I can’t imagine doing it without trekking poles. The trail markings were great and the apps made it easy to stay on the trail; Just follow the blue dot. And I made good use of the high quality printed map. (I spent time the night before reading up on the hike and familiarizing myself with the trail on the map).

Although the weather forecast looked ominous, we hiked for six days (in September, the last week of the season) and luckily it only rained for an hour. Still, each day we packed rain gear and added and removed layers as we gained and lost altitude. After four days we had it sorted out and it occurred to the beginners. “We’re getting good at this.”

As we circled a great mass of mountains and slept every night in charming towns, every day seemed to be over a terrible mountain pass. The pleasure of the night was strolling under a milky blanket of stars.

I’ll be sharing more photos, stories and tips from Mont Blanc in the November 29 edition of the Monday Night Ride. Do you want to come? Sign up now for this fun — and it’s free! – event.

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