It’s suddenly less than 70 days until we go back to Chamonix. Since we booked the first night’s accommodation before we set off to do five nights on the Tour du Mont Blanc, things have slowly been coming together and new kit is being ticked off the list.
This also means it’s almost probably around 730-ish days since BG took me to the Peak District for our second date and I thought I had seen the mountains. There ain’t no mountains in the Peak District, it took until our first trip to the Lake District a few months later for me to realise that. The Peak District is full of lovey hills that are perfect for running up and down and climbing crags that are perfect for swearing up and down!
If it’s less than 70 days until we fly then it’s almost 365 days since I first saw the big ones, the real ones and was gobsmacked over how big mountains can be. And this year we are genuinely running out of time to do everything before we’ve even got there.
Apart from the stunning TMB hike from Courmayeur to Chamonix there is a list of things we want to do while based in Chamonix when we get back there.
There’s the hikes:
Chamonix to Le Brevent (2525m) – Le Brevent offers spectacular views across the Chamonix valley to the Mont Blanc Massif opposite, including Mont Blanc du Tacul which will always hold a special place in my heart as it was my first 4000m peak.
Grand Balcon Nord – Having hopefully done Le Balcon Sud as part of the TMB it only seems right to do the opposite side of the valley from Plan d’Aiguille to Montenevers. It’s also a perfect excuse to avoid the Aiguille du Midi cable car back to Chamonix.
I had my heart set on the Domes de Miage traverse but logistically (this time) it’s a bit out of the question. It’s a stunning traverse over perfect alpine domes, and the beginning of the Royal Traverse (for the future…) and it is difficult to get to. No cable car to the refuge so a long walk up 5hrs to the refuge the day before, and 6-7hrs on the traverse before even walking back down to Les Contamines which isn’t close to Chamonix. If we weren’t doing the TMB we would have more time… Shame, but the mountains will still be there.
Aiguille du Midi 3842m to Pointe Helbronner (3462m) – Classic traverse from France to Italy passing the BEST looking views in the world. It feels wrong to go to Chamonix and not be up here.
Petit Flambeau (3440m) – Easy little peak that would be rude to miss if we are at Helbronner.
Tete Blanche (3421m) and Petite Fourche (3520m) – Popular peaks which are often used in training for Mont Blanc. Also potential for a bivvy on the Glacier du Tour the night before or a stay in the refuge. I quite fancy a bivvy under the stars like on Mont Buet but without the terrifying alpine storm. Thanks. This is also a closer alternative to the Domes de Miage.
Already we are running out of time and there are so many things to see/do. I got BG the Chamonix Rockfax for his birthday and despite it being full of things I will never do, or want to do such as anything on the Grandes Jorasses or in fact anything that involves a an alpine grade of D (in the future when I’ve battled with the exposure issue), the book is full of EVERYTHING. And that’s just the mountaineering. The easy hikes, mountain days like Mont Buet last year are endless, as are the trail runs, and yet our time is not endless. We’re back at work the second week in August…