FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Your Questions, Answered
IS THE TRAIL WELL MARKED?
In general, yes. However, it can be confusing due to the trail's different route options. Weather-related problems and damage to the signs are another possibility. Every one of our itineraries comes with a guide outfitted with the right navigational tools and emergency supplies.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST MISTAKES PEOPLE MAKE ON THE TMB?
Improperly scheduling travel arrangements
Too late in the day to leave
Not paying attention to weather alerts or not checking the forecast before leaving
Not bringing the right equipment.
HOW DO I STAY SAFE TREKKING THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC?
While trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc, there are several ways to keep yourself safe. A guide will keep you safe if you have one, but if you're travelling alone, you should:
Don't underestimate how long it may take to travel the distance; thoroughly research the route and take care to understand the difficulty and elevation of each stage.
If there are any weather warnings, always check the forecast before heading out on the trail.
If you have underestimated your day, leave early each day to avoid hiking in the dark.
Put the local rescue services contact information for each nation in your phone, and make sure that everyone in your group does the same.
bring a basic first-aid kit.
to find your location, use a map and compass or an offline GPS app like Gaia.
Download the "these three words" app to help emergency services locate you.
Never leave the designated path and never enter a glacier.
Always have a whistle and a torch with you to make the distress call.
WHAT NUMBER DO I CALL IN AN EMERGENCY ON TMB?
Europe - 112 or text 114
Italy - 118
Switzerland - 1414
Often, calling mountain rescue directly is faster than calling the emergency services. If immediate assistance is required, they will immediately launch the helicopter. Put these numbers in your phone.
FRANCE – Chamonix Helicopter rescue (PGHM) +33 (0)4 50 53 16 89.
FRANCE – Bourg St Maurice rescue helicopter +33 (0) 4 79 07 01 10 (for the Contamines/Les Chapieux French sections)
ITALY – Aosta Valley helicopter +39 (0) 165 238 222
SWITZERLAND – REGA 1414
Other useful numbers in Chamonix are:
Chamonix Hospital: +33 (0)4 50 53 84 00
Compagnie des Guides: +33 (0)4 50 53 00 88
Office de Haute Montagne: +33 (0)4 50 53 22 08
Weather in English: 0892 70 03 30
WILL I GET A PHONE/CELL SIGNAL ON THE TRAIL OR THE REFUGES?
There is no denying that phone signals have significantly improved over time and will probably continue to do so. Contrary to popular belief, there are still places along the trail that are devoid of any. The valley of Les Chapieux, specifically the stretch between Col du Bonhomme and Col de la Seigne It's crucial that you have access to a phone here, whether it's a satellite phone or an emergency walkie-talkie, so you can contact help if something goes wrong. If you have a licensed guide, they should carry one at all times.
You could use the landline phones at any refuge if necessary. On the Tour du Mont Blanc, refuges are never more than 5 kilometres apart from one another.
WILL I NEED SPECIALIST INSURANCE TO TREK THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC?
Speak to an insurance specialist. We advise making sure your insurance covers COVID complications and that mountain rescue helicopters are available to you at the trail's highest elevation.
The well-known trek's summit rises 2,584 metres above sea level. But if you want to try some variations, make sure you have rescue coverage up to 4,000 or 6,000 metres (if you want to summit). Depending on your elevation, you might be asked to pay a premium.
WHERE TO FIND THE WEATHER REPORT?
We like to use three sites:
HOW DO I FIND OUT ABOUT VISA REQUIREMENTS?
Consult the local government office because this varies by nation.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
In theory, no. However, you must have travel insurance in order to participate in Adventure Abroad experiences.
WHAT IS THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC (TMB)?
The highest peak in Western Europe, Mont Blanc (4809m/15777ft), is circled by the 170km/105mi Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB). Trekkers begin their journey in France and travel through mountain passes into Italy and Switzerland. Trekkers typically take between 9 and 14 days to finish the circuit, with the option of doing the entire trail or just a portion of it. The trail's surroundings are breathtaking. The actual trail is well marked and has views of Mont Blanc and the Mont Blanc Massif as a backdrop, but depending on the time of year, it may frequently be covered in snow and ice. Generally speaking, the entire hike offers views of Mont Blanc and other imposing mountains.
HOW FAR IS THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC?
The Tour du Mont Blanc circuit is 170 kilometres (105 miles) long and is divided into 11 stages. You can decide how many stages you want to complete or whether you want to complete several stages at once.
WHAT COUNTRIES DOES THE TMB GO THROUGH?
France, Italy, and Switzerland are all included on the Tour du Mont Blanc trail route. The Savoie region, which once aspired to independence, is located in this area. Typically, your journey begins in Chamonix or Courmayeur, and you have the option of travelling either clockwise or counterclockwise.
HOW DIFFICULT IS THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC?
We rate the difficulty of the Tour du Mont Blanc at 3 out of 5. Don't let the luxuries around you, such as the plush beds, cheese, and wine, deceive you. But it's always nice to know that you do have these when you're struggling up a hill. This trip is incomparable to climbs like Kilimanjaro or the Everest Base Camp because it is much more comfortable, and we think that if you are physically fit and active you have a good chance of surviving it without any injuries. No mountaineering expertise is necessary for the Tour du Mont Blanc; only a positive outlook is needed.
There are many rest areas along the way where you can stop, unwind, eat, drink coffee, and get ready for the remainder of your day.
Throughout the circuit, we think it's crucial to reward yourself with a day of rest. Courmayeur, Chamonix or Champex are excellent choices depending on where you start. They are not only incredible places to visit and explore, but they also give your body and mind time to rest.
WHERE IS THE START POINT OF THE TMB TRAIL?
Most people base themselves for the Tour du Mont Blanc in Chamonix. You have a choice between travelling clockwise and counterclockwise from Chamonix.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO TREK TMB?
The majority of participants complete one stage per day on the Tour du Mont Blanc's 11 official "stages." Your tour should include an extra day of rest, so you can hike for up to 12 days.
The tour is fantastic because it offers flexibility and options. Some people prefer to complete it quickly over the course of about a week, and they use transfers or public transportation to get from stage to stage. Some people prefer to spread out their tour over several seasons.
SHOULD I HAVE A GUIDE OR CAN I DO IT NON-GUIDED?
Theoretically, you could complete this trek by yourself. All Adventure Abroad experiences, though, employ tour leaders who have earned their International Mountain Leaders (IML) certifications and are UIMLA members. They are all equipped with the right education, credentials, and insurance to conduct operations in the European Alps.
CAN I TAKE PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO SHORTEN THE STAGES?
Yes. There are many options for public transportation to cut stages short or save tired legs. A number of small shuttles (navettes) run during the busiest times of the year. You can also take buses along some of the valley roads, cable cars, and chair lifts to get up and down mountains. In the worst case, you can always take a taxi to get where you're going. All of your transfers are scheduled for you by Adventure Abroad.
CAN WE HIKE TOUR DU MONT BLANC WITH KIDS?
You can, indeed. But we advise against bringing children under the age of 14. This is entirely up to you, but it is definitely possible.
DO I NEED TO BE FIT TO HIKE TMB?
The truth is that you can easily complete this hike and that it can be adjusted to suit your needs. You have the option of finishing this hike in six days while putting in 12 to 14 hours of walking, or you can take your time and take in each valley over the course of fourteen days. There is a lot of flexibility with this trip, so make sure you talk to your tour operator or guide to make the necessary changes.
We advise discussing your itinerary with a fitness expert so you can increase your fitness level to match.
WHAT SHOULD I PACK?
You can download our packing list here