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In June 2011 we completed the Tour du Mont Blanc

This hike far exceeded everything we expected and may have been the most exciting vacation we have ever taken. There is absolutely no way with pictures or words that we can describe the awe, the beauty, or the splendor of Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, rivers, and valleys. In a group of nine, with two high mountain guides, we trekked 100 miles over the passes surrounding Mont Blanc, and climbed (and descended) 30,000 feet.

The Tour of Mont Blanc, or TMB for short, is one of the classic alpine routes and one of the world's most famed treks. It circles the highest mountain in western Europe and many of its satellite peaks, passing through France, Switzerland and Italy - three contrasting countries which share the Mont Blanc Massif between them.

Select a picture below to see our photos

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ABOVE - We hiked clockwise starting in Chamonix, France

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ABOVE - We arrived in Chamonix, France and looked around the town

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ABOVE  -  We hiked various trails around Chamonix to acclimate to the altitude

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ABOVE - 6/12 - We rode the gondola to the top of Aiguille du Midi at12,600 feet

The serenity of the high mountains is extremely fulfilling. To see the sun sink into the west from a mountain 12,000 feet high, and watch the mountains change color from orange to red to deep purples is just awe-inspiring. Nature shows her grandest moods in the loftiest summits.

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ABOVE - 6/15 - We hiked from the Mer de Glace Glacier (above) to Plan de l'Aiguille

Everyone asks us why we are so attracted to the mountains of the world and how we can possibly enjoy climbing such steep grades on foot or by bicycle. Why don't we just go to the beach and relax?!  But nothing can explain the enchantment of the high peaks short of actually being there. Sitting on top of a mountain, looking down six thousand feet to the valley below, watching the clouds drift by at eye level, waterfalls filling an alpine lake, is just breathtaking.

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ABOVE - 6/16 - We hiked over the Col du Brevent (8400' ) and down to Les Houches

The scenery is never exactly the same. Around every corner is a new view to be added to the grand mosaic. Clouds dance in the light upper air, as they parade through the peaks and valleys, dissolving, reforming, and constantly changing the landscape.

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ABOVE - 6/17 - We hiked over two passes today to the town of Les Contamines, France

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ABOVE - 6/18 - Two more ascents today, in the freezing rain, to Les Chapieux, France

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ABOVE - 6/19 - Lots of water to cross and cold (30's) at the Col de la Seigne

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ABOVE - 6/20- We hiked from Courmayeur, Italy to La Vachey, Italy

We did some cross-country today through hillsides of never-ending wildflowers!

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ABOVE - 6/21 - We crossed the Grand Col Ferret to enter Switzerland, and descended to La Fouly

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ABOVE - 6/22 - Judith injured her knee, so we visited Martigny, Switzerland today

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ABOVE - 6/23 - We hiked over the Col de la Forclaz to Argentiere, France

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ABOVE - 6/24 - Our final hiking day was sunny and spectacular!

We sat atop a mountain, looking down at an alpine lake, watching the clouds pass by at eye level, constantly changing the view of the Mont Blanc mountain range in front of us! Life is good...