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Explore the Mont Blanc region with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Mont Blanc Walks
14 Jan 2016
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
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Mont Blanc Walks

50 day walks and 4 multi-day treks

by Hilary Sharp
Book published by Cicerone Press

Guidebook to 50 day walks in the Mont Blanc region near Chamonix and Courmayeur, plus outlines of 4 multi-day treks around both sides of the Mont Blanc massif. The walks range from 3 to 20km and cover a variety of terrains from easy valley walks to more challenging routes over boulders, scree and on via ferratas.

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Cover: Paperback - Laminated
Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
Weight: 320g

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The 54 walks in this guidebook explore the popular region around Mont Blanc(4808m), the highest mountain in Western Europe, showcasing the very best routes on both the French and the Italian sides of the massif. Includes 50 great day walks – from 3 to 20 kilometres – and 4 multi-day treks, taking in a variety of terrain including valley footpaths, airy ridges and via ferratas. Walks are organised according to the nearest town base: St Gervais les Bains and Les Contamines, Servoz and Plateau D'Assy, Les Houches, Chamonix, Argentière and Courmayeur. The multi-day treks are Vallorcine to Plaine Joux, the Tour des Aiguilles Rouges, Vallorcine to Servoz and a circuit of the Italian Val Ferret.

Walks are Graded 1 to 3: grade 1 walks are manageable by any reasonably fit person on good, usually waymarked paths, while grade 3 routes are long, tough routes, often without waymarking, making navigation difficult: there could also be some scrambling. Additionally there is often a valley walk that can be done whatever the weather, or on rest days, with children, by bike, or as a run. All routes feature a detailed route description and mapping and are illustrated with spectacular photography.

The major centres of Chamonix and Courmayeur are often busy with holidaymakers and associated industries: cafés, accommodation, and lifts and signposts... but these valleys have walks equal to anywhere for their views, terrain and variety, with their sublime glaciers plunging towards the valleys, high snowy summits glinting in the sun, flower-bedecked slopes and rocky trails. Be it spring, summer or autumn, the sheer beauty and range of the walking here will satisfy any hiker – and there are plenty of facilities for the end of the day.

  • Activities
    Walking; trekking; hiking; scrambling; via ferratas; food and drink; mountaineering history
  • Seasons
    Unsurprisingly, summer is the usual season for walking in the mountains, as its when they tend to benefit from more stable weather conditions: it's also when the huts are open and the lifts are working. So to have maximum choice of walks that's the time to come. This season extends from late June to mid-September and is busiest between 14 July (Bastille Day in France) to 15 August (Assumption). Earlier, in June the weather is often hot and sunny and the days are long, but snow often remains above 2000m or lower, and can seriously interrupt a high level walk, and facilities may be closed, as is also the case in September and October: the chance of snow is far less in autumn, too.
  • Centres
    Chamonix; Courmayeur; Ferret; Les Houches; Plaine Joux; Servoz; Vallorcine
  • Difficulty
    Walks are presented as one of three grades: • Grade 1 walks are of a standard that any reasonably fit person can manage, not involving more than about 500m of ascent and/or descent. Paths are good and usually waymarked. Grade 1 walks do not call for more than basic map-reading skills. • Grade 2 walks are usually quite long and involve up to about 1000m ascent and/or descent. Terrain can be rough but paths which are quite good and waymarked. • Grade 3 routes are long, often with no trail or where the path is difficult to find; there could be some scrambling, and there is considerable height gain and loss. These walks should only be undertaken by experienced walkers who have already hiked in the Alps.
  • Must See
    54 alpine walks centred around Chamonix, the 'capital of mountaineering' Sublime high-altitude landscapes: glaciers, flower-decked slopes and rocky trails Gastronoic specialities including cheese, chocolate and ice cream Chamonix alpine museum, cable cars and mountain railways for the bad weather days All routes feature a detailed route description and mapping and are illustrated with spectacular photography
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The Region
How it all Started
Via Ferratas
Animals and Birds
Flowers and Trees
Transhumance and Alpages
When to Go
Getting There
Alpine Accommodation
Security and Rescue
Guided Walking
Walking with Dogs
Mountain Biking
Trail Running
Things not to be Missed
How to Use this Guide
Chapter 1 – St Gervais Les Bains and Les Contamines-Montjoie
1 Mont Truc
2 Mont Joly
3 Lac d’Armancette
4 Col de la Fenêtre
5 Tête Nord des Fours
6 Lacs and Monts Jovet
Chapter 2 – Servoz and the Plateau d’Assy
7 Lac Vert
8 Pointe Noire de Pormenaz
9 The Dérochoir and the Désert de Platé
Chapter 3 – Les Houches
10 Le Prarion
11 Mont Vorassay
12 Aiguillette des Houches
Chapter 4 – Chamonix
13 Chamonix Valley Walk
14 La Chapeau and Tête des Prapators
15 Montenvers
16 Montagne de Blaitière
17 Chalet de Cerro
18 Montagne de la Côte
19 Refuge de Bel Lachat and Le Brévent
20 Grand Balcon Sud – La Flégère to Planpraz
21 Lac Blanc
22 Tête de Villy
23 Col de Salenton
24 Lac Cornu and Lacs Noirs
Chapter 5 – Argentière
25 Argentière Valley Walk
26 Pierre à Bosson
27 Tête du Grand Chantet
28 Aiguillette d’Argentière – Les Chéserys
29 Argentière Glacier Pointe de Vue
30 Aiguillette des Posettes
31 Refuge Albert Premier
32 Croix de Fer
Chapter 6 – Vallorcine
33 Vallorcine Valley Walk
34 Pointe de la Terrasse and Tré-les-Eaux Valley
35 Cheval Blanc
36 Dinosaur Tracks
37 Bel Oiseau
38 Col de Barberine and Fontanabran
39 Refuge de la Pierre à Bérard
40 Mont Buet by the Normal Route
41 Refuge de Loriaz
42 Emosson from Loriaz
43 Mont Buet by the north ridge
Chapter 7 – Courmayeur
44 Punta della Croce
45 Mont Fortin
46 Mont Chétif
47 Col and Lac Liconi
48 Mont de la Saxe
49 Tête Entre Deux Sauts
50 Tête de Ferret
Chapter 8 – Multi-day Treks
51 Vallorcine to Plaine Joux
52 Tour of the Aiguilles Rouges
53 Vallorcine to Servoz
54 Italian Val Ferret Circuit
Appendix A Mont Blanc Region Tourist Offices
Appendix B Useful Terms and Glossary
Appendix C Transport in the Chamonix and Courmayeur Valleys
Appendix D Rainy Day/Rest Day Activities
Appendix E Hut Etiquette
Appendix F Climbing Peaks and Hiring Guides
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