From Les Bossons (1,012m – 3,320ft) we have a short bus journey to Chamonix from where we walk to Les Praz and take the cable car to La Flégère (1,860m – 6,100ft). The trail today is named the 'Grand Balcon' and is on the opposite side of the valley from Mont Blanc, affording excellent views of the whole massif lying to our south. Initially we contour and then climb to reach the high point of the day, Lac Blanc (2,352m – 7,715ft).
The trail descends and then contours high above the valley before dropping steeply to the hamlet of Les Frasserands (1,371m – 4,500ft), from where we take a scenic valley train back to our campsite. In the afternoon there is a very short section of ladders/steep steps with handrails to descend.8 hours walking. 500m – 1,640ft up, 980m – 3,220ft downCampsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons.
After a scenic train ride up the valley to Les Frasserands, we begin by climbing steeply to the Aiguillette de Posettes (2,201m – 7,200ft), descend a little and then ascend towards the Col de Balme (2,191m – 7,190ft) where we follow one of the paths across the border from France to Switzerland. Excellent views all morning of Aiguille d'Argentière and Aiguille du Tour and its glacier.
After lunch we descend to the small hamlet of Trient (1,296m – 4,250ft), where we will enjoy some lovely views of the Trient Glacier. 7.5 hours walking. 970m – 3,200ft up, 1,060m – 3,466ft downCampsite: camping near Trient.
Following the same valley and the river 'La Drance', we climb to the 'Grand Col Ferret' (2,537m – 8,320ft), the highest pass of the tour. Now in Italy, the valley is also called ‘Val Ferret'. The mountain views from the Col are stunning, with Grandes Jorasses dominating the scene.
We walk down the valley to Arp Nouva (1,770m – 5,800ft) where we take an optional bus to Planpincieux (1,600m – 5,250ft). For the first and last trip of the season, the bus may not be running and we may need to walk to camp.7.5 hours walking. 970m – 3,180ft up, 800m – 2,600ft downCampsite: Camping Grandes Jorasses, Val Ferret.
We start with a short bus ride to pick up the Tour du Mont Blanc route, and from the road (1,675m – 5,500ft) climb up to the Bonatti refuge (2,025m – 6,640ft). Today we follow a beautiful contouring path around Mont de la Saxe to Courmayeur. The views of the south Mont Blanc massif are exceptional, as are those of the towering peaks of the 'Grandes Jorasses' and the glaciers that crowd the northern flank of the Val Ferret.
In the afternoon, we have a long, steep descent to Courmayeur (1,230m – 4,030m) where there will be time to stop for a tasty Italian gelato before taking a short bus ride into the spectacular Val Veny (1,530m – 5,020ft).8 hours walking. 500m – 1,640ft up, 900m – 4,400ft downCampsite: Camping Aiguille Noire, Val Veny.
Today will be another long but rewarding day as we return to the start point of our trek. We walk through Les Contamines, ascend to Chalets du Truc (1,720m – 5,614ft) and then descend to the Chalets de Miage (1,560m – 4,120ft). From here, we take the trail that climbs steeply to the Col de Tricot (2,119m – 6,950ft) before descending very close to the snout of the Glacier de Bionnassay, where we will enjoy fabulous views of the Mont Blanc massif's northern side.
Eventually, we make another short ascent to reach the Col de Voza (1,652m – 5,418ft), where we re-enter the Chamonix Valley and descend to the village of Les Houches (dependent on the time of year, there is an optional cable car descent from Bellevue to Les Houches). A short bus ride takes us to our camp in Les Bossons (1,012m – 3,320ft).9 hours walking. 1,200m – 3,980ft up, 1,370m – 4,500ft downCampsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons.
We cross to the north side of the Chamonix Valley and climb through a pine forest. The high point of the day is Brevent (2,525m – 8,290ft), from where there are panoramic views of the Mont Blanc massif and the Chamonix Valley. We walk down to Plan Praz (1,970m – 6,460ft), then descend by cable car to Chamonix and walk to our camp at Les Bossons (1,012m – 3,320ft). It is possible to take the cable car descent from the top (dependent on the time of year). This extra journey will be payable locally should you choose not to walk.
Our last day on the Tour du Mont Blanc circuit is long, with a tough climb of over 1,500m, but affords the best views on the whole trek of Mont Blanc and its neighbouring peaks. On our return to Les Bossons, we will have successfully completed the Tour du Mont Blanc!7.5 hours walking. 1,480m – 4,850ft up, 520m – 1,690ft downCampsite: Camping Les Marmottes, Les Bossons.