The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is one of the classic hikes of the world and certainly lived up to its reputation for our wayward Exped USA staff.
Vacations for our crew here at Exped USA are almost always trips in the outdoors and sometimes the destinations are world classics. This was true for our marketing guy and his friend for several weeks in late June. The TMB is a hiking trail that surrounds Mont Blanc and winds a little more than 100 miles through 3 countries: France, Italy and Switzerland. Along the way there are classic mountain towns to stop in as well as famous refuges between them. The daily mileage is moderate but the trip isn't a gimme. The trail gains and loses over 30,000 feet of elevation along the way making it important to be fit for true mountain hiking. And although hikers don't need to carry a tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat or cooking gear, typical pack weights are still around 20 lbs so it's good to train with this kind of load prior to departure.
The TMB is a nature walk laced with history. Towns along the way are beautiful and full of mountain culture. And because it's a circuit, every step along the way reveals new views and new experiences.
Of course, for our team these trips give us great opportunities to use the gear we have a hand in creating. The TMB was no exception so here's a list of the Exped gear we used:
- Mountain Pro 30 pack [just the right size for this trip and fully waterproof]
- Bivybag Duo [comfort station/emergency shelter for 2-3 - we didn't use it this trip but came very close to needing it in a big lightning storm]
- Fold Drybag UL [organization!]
- Fold Drybag First Aid [keeps first aid items dry and highly visible in the pack]
- Waterproof Compression Bag UL [more waterproof organization]
- Padded Zip Pouch S [we used these for holding our portable batteries and associated cords]
- Vista Organiser A6 [toiletries]
- Air Pillow UL M [most huts issued us pillows, but when they weren't comfortable the Air Pillow was a fall-back]
If you are a hiker and mountain enthusiast, this is a must-do trip. A walk in the hills is always nice and even better when there's a comfortable bed and a good meal waiting at day's end!