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Tour du Mont Blanc Full Hike

Hi,

Seeking some recommendations on Tour companies from anyone who has done the full Tour du Mont Blanc Hike including luggage transfer.

Thanks,
Priya

Posted by
16726 posts

Do you meant a guided trip, or self-guided?

Edit: like the person below, we have done the full TMB, but we did it as a guided trip. We hike a lot, in the Alps, Dolomites, US mountains, Patagonia. . . And this was one of the best.

But I need to know whether you are asking about a guided of self-guided hike before I can make a recommendation.

Posted by
18 posts

I did the full TMB in July 2022. It was an amazing trip. One of the best things I have ever done. I did it with my 22 year old son as a college graduation celebration. We did it counter clockwise in 13 days, with a rest day in courmayeur. We did it self guided but used Alpine Exploratory (A company out of Scotland) to book the entire thing. They were great. They booked the hotels in the small towns and rufugio(mountain huts) along the trail. They also booked luggage transfer where it was available. We basically did the classic route with private rooms where available, some accommodations were shared rooms. I think it may be too late for this summer. I would recommend starting to plan in the fall of 2024 for the summer of 2025. Have fun.

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks Lola & Muniman.

Yes i'm exploring both options but definetely with luggage transfer. This is for summer 2025.

I read in some blogs that there is 1 part of the hike where it is very steep and need to climb through ladders.

Please share your experiences.

Thanks,
Priya

Posted by
18 posts

The ladders and cables are at the end of the route and are not too bad. I did them with a broken wrist. There is a way to go around them also.

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks, Muniman. I looked at Alpine Exploratory's website. They have good itineraries for TMB.

Posted by
16726 posts

What do you mean by the “end of the route”? Going which way and starting and ending where?

There are many ways of hiking the TMB—-different trails at some points. We hiked with MT. Sobek on an “express trip” which skipped a remote Refugio, and included some shuttle transfers across less interesting sections, so we did not hike every meter of the circuit. There may have been cables or ladders n the way to that Refugio.

Our guide at one point led us on a “variance” as a treat, a higher trail which she deemed our group capable of tackling after watching us hike for a few days. This involved some scrambling with hands on rock, and cables at a few points, but it was near Courmayeur, in the middle of the route. Not near the end. And it was not the standard route.

The last day we hiked from Argentière back to near Chamonix, via Lac Blanc. Several members of our group went for a swim in the lake. There were no ladders on our trek that day, but I recall from a previous visit to Chamonix with lots of hiking that there are metal ladders near Lac Blanc if one takes a particular route.

Posted by
16726 posts

I will just add, since you are undecided between guided and unguided, that we were very glad we chose a guided hike in 2018. We are very experience hikers (as in I have backpacked the entire John Muir Trail in the Sierras) but we wanted the support and camaraderie offered by a guided group experience. As it turned out, there was a mudslide on the main trail that blocked the main route coming out of Courmayer into Switzerland, and we had to take an alternate route. Our guides took care of this and arranged everything. I don’t know what the people who were on their own did about this. There was also a day before that, with heavy rain as we descended from a lunch stop to our hotel 5 kilometers and 1000 meters below. The hiking was across solid rick with cairns marking the route—-difficult to see with the limited visibility. The footing was not bad, but I was very grateful to have a guide who knew the way in these difficult conditions.

A friend of ours, also a very experienced hiker, opted for a self-guided TMB with a friend, using the company Distant Journeys. They booked everything, including luggage transfers, and provided guide books and maps for the route. And our friend and her companion still got lost, several times. They did find their way back to the designated trail, but walk extra miles in frustration.

For a guided trip you might start with the local Chamonix Guides offering (our guides were certified by this organization and recommended them if we wanted to return).

https://www.chamonix-guides.com/en/activities/category/hiking

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks Lola for sharing your expereince. I'm not an experienced hiker so definetely going to explore guided tours with luggage transfers. Bad shoulder so can't carry big backpacks and hike. I will check that the website you have mentioned.

Posted by
63 posts

Hubby and I did the full tour with Mac's Adventure a few years ago. It was self-guided with luggage transfers. Highly recommend Mac's; it was one of the best things I have ever done. Strenuous but worth it. Gorgeous scenery, amazing food, and met hikers from around the world.

Posted by
289 posts

We used Mac's as well and had a fantastic experience. They have a "Highlights" version which we did due to time restrictions but, after speaking with many other hikers, we were glad we took the shortened version. It eliminated stays at the high altitude huts with large dorms rooms (which I do not like) and a couple of the less interesting options. We really did not feel that we missed out on anything by not doing the complete route but I can certainly relate to the desire to walk every mile. If time was unlimited, I would consider the full route.

On another note, a hotel owner I talked to said we should be glad we were with Macs as they had the most reliable organization and booking. Another good company she liked working with was Pygmy Elephant. These were the two largest companies.

Posted by
289 posts

Oh, do not feel it necessary to do a guided tour as the Macs app was wonderful. I really cannot see the value added as a previous poster mentioned as most other hikers on the trails have current info and will be discussing the next day's route at the hotel the night before and morning of. This is how we knew to avoid a high route one day in sketchy weather. Not so much because of rain the day we were there but due to lingering muddy conditions. You will be sharing the trail with dozens of hikers every day. Many have done the route several times.

Posted by
23 posts

Thanks Jasonindenver for sharing your experience and recommendations on the companies. I will check them out.