Self-guided Tour Mont Blanc 2017
Choose your own TMB trek timescale and route
FREE GPX FILE FOR THE WHOLE ROUTE
Clients booking this trip are provided a GPX file, to download this to a GPS unit, to assist with navigation
Select the timescale and self-guided TMB itinerary that suits you best...
The complete 'walk every inch' TMB trek
 
Demi (half)
10 day full TMB
7 day full TMB
4d UTMB recce
4 day TMB West
     

Prices
£299 for 1-3 people
£399 for 4-6 people
£499 for 7-10 people
£599 for 11+ people

Total group price, NOT per person
Prices
£249 for 1-3 people
£349 for 4-6 people
£449 for 7-10 people
£549 for 11+ people
Total group price, NOT per person
Prices
£149 for 1-3 people
£199 for 4-6 people
£249 for 7-10 people
£299 for 11+ people
Total group price, NOT per person
Prices
£149 for 1-3 people
£199 for 4-6 people
£249 for 7+ people
£299 for 11+ people
Total group price, NOT per person

Length: 167km
Average day:
16.7km & +1000m height gain

Itinerary

Day 1
- Travel to Chamonix to arrive for full briefings on kit and huts. Night spent in Chamonix.

Day 2
- 20km, +700m, -1200m. Les Houches to Col de Voza, to Contamines. Night in Contamines / Borrant area.

Day 3 - 14km, +1400m, -100m. Cross the Col du Bonhomme. Night in Croix du Bonhomme or Chapieux area.

Day 4 - 20km, +1000m, -1500m. Croix du Bonhomme to Col du Fours and Seigne reach the Elizabetta area for night.

Day 5 - 15km, +500m, -1300m. Pass Lac Combal and after Col Checroui descend to Courmayeur area for night.

Day 6 - 12km, +1000m, -100m. Ascend to Bertoni hut, and Mont de la Saxe to reach the Bonatti / Arnuva area.

Day 7 - 19km, +1000m, -1400m. Trek past Elena, over Grand Col Ferret. Night spent in La Fouly village.

Day 8 - 14km, +600m, -700m. Today is a little easier as you trek along the Val Ferret, to Champex.

Day 9 - 16km, +800m, -800m. Trek from Champex on the classic Bovine trail to Col du Forclaz, and Trient.

Day 10 - 18km, +1500m, -800m. Trek over the Col du Balme, and ascend to the Lac Blanc / Flegere area for night.

Day 11 - 19km, +700m, -1700m. Today is your last day of the trek, to reach Les Houches. Night in Chamonix.

Day 12 - Breakfast & depart

Length: 167km
Average day:
23.9km & +1430m height gain

Itinerary

Day 1
- Travel to Chamonix to arrive for full briefings on kit and huts. Night spent in Chamonix.

Day 2
- 24km, +1750m, -1300m. Les Houches to Col de Voza, to Contamines. Night in Contamines / Borrant area.

Day 3 - 15km, +1300m, -900m. Cross the Col du Bonhomme. Night in Les Mottets area.

Day 4 - 24km, +1100m, -1700m.
Cross Col de Seigne and Col Checroui to reach the Courmayeur area for night.

Day 5 -
16km, +1600m, -700m. Ascend to Bertoni hut, and Mont de la Saxe to reach the Arnuva / Elena area.

Day 6 - 33km, +1600m, -2100m.
Trek over Grand Col Ferret, and down past Praz de Fort and Issert to reach Champex Lac for the night.

Day 7 - 31km, +1850m, -2000m. Trek from Champex on the classic Bovine trail to Col du Forclaz, and Trient, and over Col de Balme to the Montroc area.

Day 8 - 25km, +1500m, -1800m. Trek over the length of the Aiguilles Rouges, past Flegere and Brevent to reach Les Houches. Night in Chamonix.

Day 9 - Breakfast & depart

Length: 167km
Average day:
41.8km & +2500m height gain


Itinerary


Day 1
- Travel to Chamonix to arrive for full briefings on kit and huts. Night spent in Chamonix.

Day 2
- D+ 1577m, D- 1434m, 31.5km. Start in Chamonix, and run to Les Houches, then ascend Col de Voza, and down to Saint Gervais, then river tracks to reach Contamines.

Day 3 - D+ 2387m, D- 2755m, 46.9km. Run up Col Bonhomme & descend to Chapieux. Then over Col de la Seigne, down to Combal, before the last climb to Checroui, and the steep descent into Courmayeur.

Day 4
- D+ 3247m, D- 2928m, 41.7km. Ascend to Bertoni and Mont Saxe to Bonatti, over Grand Col Ferret into Switzerland, via La Fouly and Issert, then up to Champex.

Day 5 - D+ 2559m, D- 2653m, 42.9km. Ascend to Bovine, down to Trient, then over Col de Balme, down to Vallorcine, up to Tete aux Vents, then descend from Flegere to Chamonix.

Day 6 - Breakfast & depart

Length: 69km
Average day:
17.2km & +1100m height gain

Itinerary

Day 1
- Travel to Chamonix to arrive for full briefings on kit and huts. Night spent in Chamonix.

Day 2
- Les Houches to Col de Voza, to Contamines. Night in Contamines / Borrant area.

Day 3 - Cross the Col du Bonhomme. Night in Croix du Bonhomme or Chapieux area.

Day 4 - Croix du Bonhomme to Col du Fours and Seigne reach the Elizabetta area for night.

Day 5 - Pass Lac Combal and after Col Checroui descend to Courmayeur. Return by bus to Chamonix area for night.

Day 6 - Breakfast & depart

Notes...

Trek itineraries - All itineraries developed and written by UIMLA trekking guides.

Upgrades - Small or private rooms in huts may be possible on some of the nights, if requested at time of booking. Once on the trek, you can ask upon arrival at each hut any day if there is space to upgrade on any night you wish.

Bag storage - We store your extra baggage in Chamonix, so that you have fresh clothes on your return, and only take items on the trek that you require. Baggage storage is free in Chamonix, for up to one bag / suitcase per person.

Flexibility - We have carefully researched this trek and do not offer any bespoke options on it, apart from the option of an extra rest day in Courmayeur.
Icicle Classic Tour du Mont Blanc TMB profile
Recommended reading and maps for the TMB...
The items recommended below are all available to purchase online from our Windermere mountain store. All orders over £30 get FREE postage to a UK address, and all course clients can apply their discount code at checkout!
Your luxury chalet in Chamonix for a night at each end of the trek
Why so many people choose Icicle for self-guided TMB trips...
Other operators itineraries have far more nights in the valley as they often include the price of the huts / hotels in the quote, so are limited to selecting accommodation that they can pay for from a distance. Mountain huts have no card machines, which is why we do not include the cost of the accommodation, just the logistics of booking you in to the best places, so as to enjoy the best trekking staying in spectacular locations!
We are the only operator with a logistics team in Chamonix, with whom you can store any baggage that you are not taking on the trek. Many hotels are reluctant or refuse to store bags whilst people are away for 10 days, but you can rest assured that your belongings are stored securely for your peace of mind. This is safer and better storage than leaving your baggage in an hotel luggage room that can be accessed by anyone.
At each end of the trek you spend a night in Chamonix in accommodation of your choice. There are options to suit all budgets, from bunkhouses to appartments, chalets to 5* hotels. When you check in to your Chamonix accommodation, ensure you are provided a Carte d'Hote (tourist card), as this gives you free transport on the bus and train to the start of the trek in Les Houches, a journey of c.20 minutes.
Col du Balme & Mont Blanc
When is the best time of year to travel for the Tour du Mont Blanc
The huts on the Tour du Mont Blanc are open from mid June until mid September, usually around the 15th of each month, so the trek is only possible during this three month period. In the first few weeks of the season, there is a greater chance of extensive snow patches on the high passes.
July and August period is generally the best for conditions, but you have to counter that by pointing out that it is also the busiest due to holidays. Also in the key two months it can be hot, and afternoon convection thunder storms are more frequent, but generally in June and September it is slightly cooler.
If your snow skills are good then consider dates in June, otherwise July to mid September is better. If you are worried about the conditions, we really stress that you should opt for a guided TMB, as we have never had a guided group to date that has failed to complete the route due to weather or conditions.
We have a very detailed questions & answers page. Just click on the link, and the page will open in a new window for you. However, note that this page is for self-guided groups, and we expect a good level of self sufficiency from these groups. If any questions ring alarm bells, we will let you know!
Stream crossing near the Croix du Bonhomme refuge on the TMB
Will the self-guided TMB option suit you?
We ask is that you feel confident in the following points. If you are unsure at all about any of these points, then you should consider a guided TMB
.
Navigation in poor visibility, such as dense cloud / snow, or the dark.
Language skills in case of an emergency, or communications.
Security on steep / loose ground and on snow patches for trekkers.
First aid training and medical awareness of common injuries.
Views from the Lac Blanc on the TMB, across to Mont Blanc
Why a self-guided TMB?
For those who have not come across the concept of self-guiding before, it couldn't be simpler. You guide yourself and all the logistics are arranged for you.
We organise all the boring bits so you don't have to; route information, maps, hut bookings etc. You get to walk with your friends, at your pace, rather than as part of a group.
We have a seasonal team in Chamonix, and you are given a briefing (c. 45 - 60 mins) by one of our guides, in our meeting point in central Chamonix. This is an essential resource for you, in case we need to change hut bookings or any part of your itinerary.
Briefings are usually on the day of arrival at either 16:00 or 18:00, unless otherwise arranged at the time of booking. Before travel, we will contact you to book in a time for your briefing, at our central Chamonix meeting point.
Bag storage drop off is at our central Chamonix meeting point at the time as the briefing or 08:30 the next morning, and bag collection is from the same place after 16:00 on the last day of the trek, at a time arranged at the pre-trek briefing.
We have a 24 hour emergency and contact number, for urgent queries during the trek. This level of support is unique to us.
During your briefing in your Chamonix accommodation, you are given a new 1:50,000 scale map (for you to keep) of the whole TMB. We get the latest edition of the maps direct from our supplier for our Windermere shop.
At this time you are also provided with printed route trip notes for the trek. These help you plan your route each day.
The routecards have been meticulously researched and produced by our TMB guiding team. They are informative and also detail emergency escape routes, local numbers, and key information about the route.
We provide the routecards at the in resort briefing, as the questions are best answered by a guide in reaction to current conditions.
Note that the routecards used on self-guided treks are suggestions, and that should you opt to alter any section of the route, you would be operating outside the remit of the trip.
You are totally responsible for your own safety on self-guided treks, as there is no guiding element to the package. One set of routecards, maps, etc is provided per group.
It is a popular feature for self guided groups to opt to be guided for a couple of days near the start of their trek (from £200 per day), so that the leader can advise them on the route, and ensure that their navigation skills and equipment selection is correct for the rest of the tour. This option is for those who need training beyond the scope of the briefing.
Our routecards follow the TMB, and in some cases a popular 'official' variation that we consider merits the extra distance or diversion.
Examples of these variations, that have fast become standard amongst most guiding companies, are to suggest you trek across the suspension bridge to Col du Tricot and the Miage valley, and the Col de Fours variation to avoid the road section from Chapieux to Ville des Glaciers.
Our itinerary can start on any day that you choose, so decide what day you would like to start your trek, and get in touch with us by e-mail. We upload a private self-guided trip onto our booking system, and then you can book and pay securely online.
You receive an immediate e-confirmation and equipment, as well as an Alpine Courses Booklet. You receive your trip detailed itinerary and walking notes etc in Chamonix.
Read our full TMB article
Trek accommodation
We vary the exact choice of accommodation that week book for different groups, to cater for the likely weather and mountain conditions, as well as for any preferences that were made at the time of booking such as accommodation where smaller rooms may be available. For these reasons, we do not provide any details of the accommodation that we have booked for you, until your full briefing on the evening before you depart. This enables us to adapt any bookings in reaction to things such as unexpected snowfalls on the high passes, or other objective risks. Another logistical reason for not providing accommodation details up front, is that in each area, there are generally several accommodation (mountain hut / gite / lodge / hotel) options, from which we can select, depending on their suitability and availability. Our great local contacts, and highly detailed knowledge of the TMB route and all its variations, enable us to select for each booking, the best options for you.
Inclusions
Booking of the mountain hut and valley accommodation in your name.
A new map of the TMB, for you to keep even after your trek is finished.
The detailed Icicle route information cards, so you know where to go.
Language cards with key phrases, so you can communicate confidently.
Emergency procedure and mountain rescue card, in case of an incident.
Local information sheets, with details about the region and key sights.
Briefing on arrival about the route and kit to take, from a UIMLA guide.
Free baggage storage in Chamonix, for the days you are out trekking.
24 hour in-resort emergency contact and queries support throughout.
Discount voucher for use in our Windermere store / online purchases.
Exclusions
Travel to Chamonix, all accommodation / food / lodging costs (i.e. price of the half board stay in mountain hut or accommodation), activities & travel insurance, equipment hire, all other costs as required.
Cost notes
The accommodation in Chamonix at either end of the trek can be in accommodation of any style to suit your budget, from youth hostel / gite to a four star hotel. The cheapest accommodation is c.£40 pppn for B&B, and the more expensive hotels are c.£100 pppn. On the nights in mountain huts you should budget for c.£40 pppn for half board (evening meal and breakfast). Packed lunches can be ordered in huts for c.£5 per day. Cable cars, buses and taxis are not required for these itineraries, but if you choose to use them, then you need to budget accordingly.
Post-booking changes
Changes to the group size after booking will incur a price change if it alters the group size price bracket, and a £50 administration fee. All the huts will need to be contacted to alter the reservations. Transfers of dates on a self-guided TMB are treated as cancellations.
Any further questions?
A key part of choosing a company is being able to come and talk about your plans with an experienced course advisor face to face. In an increasingly virtual world, we know our clients value speaking to real people, getting open and honest advice. The vast majority of our clients are British, and our office and outdoor store is based in Windermere in the English Lake District.



Get in contact to arrange a meeting, and come in for a coffee to discuss your course in person with a trip advisor.
 
 

 
 
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