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By S Wild 21 Jan, 2018

Over the coming weeks we will be focusing our blog on 10 of the top frequently asked questions. What do people need to know before making the decision to come to this impressive environment and challenge themselves on one of our ‘Must do’ long distance trekking holidays, Tour du Mont Blanc & the Walkers Haute Route.

I will start with one of the basics questions:

When can you trek the Tour du Mont Blanc, Walkers Haute Route or Traverse of the Gran Paradiso & what will the weather be like?

In short for the Tour du Mont Blanc mid-June until late September & for the Walkers Haute Route & Traverse of the Gran Paradiso mid-July until late September.

The European Alps are in the Northern hemisphere so December to April we have lots of snow & the mountains that tower above Chamonix, Zermatt & Courmayeur are a reserved for snowshoeing, skiing, ski touring & winter mountaineering.

The snow starts to recede in the spring and the lower trails are accessible by May, if you are planning to arrive here at that time then it is possible to tailor make a series of Chamonix trails at lower altitude but the higher multi day routes are not accessible.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is possible from mid-June however you will come across a good deal of snow on the high cols & shaded slopes which makes the route difficult & potentially dangerous. If you are intending trekking at that time it is essential for you to carry the correct equipment with you, walking crampons, ice axe, walking poles. You also need the ability to move confidently on snow for large periods of time. The route tends to be snow free by early July however this can change each year & the amount of snow on the route depends on how much snow we have had during the winter & of course how warm spring has been. All accommodation & transport is open from Mid-June to the end of September.

The Walkers Haute Route & Traverse of the Gran Paradiso are different, both routes trek to a higher altitude up to & over 3000m so trekking isn’t advisable until mid-July. Both routes are doable until late September.

Weather-wise many clients ask what will it be like? In a word, changeable! This area of the Alps around Mont Blanc has its own micro-climate and during our trekking period we at MBT will experience all types of weather (sometimes in one day!) and it is not uncommon to have fresh snow on the trail in July & August. You need to be prepared and have the correct clothing and equipment to protect you in poor weather. You also need to be prepared for warm weather, with a high factor sunscreen, sunglasses and head shade for those scorching days with breath taking views.

Average valley temperatures for Chamonix at 1100m, allow for temperature drop for altitude gain as the Cols at 2500m will be significantly cooler.

June-July

 Min +7°C / +9°C

Max +20°C /+24°C

August- September

 Min +8°C / +6°C

Max +22°C /+18°C

Climate: http://www.weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine,chamonix-mont-blanc,France

If you need any additional information regarding the trekking season & weather for the Tour du Mont Blanc, Walkers Haute Route or Gran Paradiso please do not hesitate to get in touch on: info@montblanctreks.com

By S Wild 16 Jan, 2018
Winter arrived with a vengeance in early December in the Chamonix valley with over 1 meter of snow falling in one day. A bit of a shock to the system as beforehand we had had very little to speak of in the valley bottom and autumn seemed to go on for ever!

After 8 months snow free in the valley bottom it takes a little time to get re-accustomed to living with snow and the cold temperatures. Snow clearing, de-icing, togging up, the on & off of snow chains & of course driving at slower speeds.

It looks like being a great season which is fabulous as for the ast 3 years the snow fall has been pretty poor.

For more information on local weather here in the valley take a look at: http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/forecast/morning/5_days_weather_forecast.php

By S Wild 15 Jan, 2018

We have three full guided treks in 2018, all treks inlude one of our fabulous UIMLA guides, quality accommodation & bag transfer.

Our dates for this summer 2018 are:

  • 23 July – 3 August
  • 13- 24 August
  • 3- 14 September

For more information on our full guided Haute Route trek take a look at: http://www.montblanctreks.com/walkers-haute-route-full-guided-trek

Early booking discount of £25 per person for all bookings received before the 31st January 2018, quote ref: WHR-G-2018

Or contact Sara at: sara@montblanctreks.com

By S Wild 15 Jan, 2018
As an International Mountain Leader and being responsible for guiding groups in the Alps during the summer and winter understanding weather is a critical factor of the job, whether it be from a client safety point of view or to just maximise enjoyment during the trek.

Situated in the centre of Europe the European Alps deflect large-scale weather systems resulting in rapidly changing weather patterns.

Typically in summer the weather warm and hot in the valleys and cooler high up, the build up of heat in the valleys during the day often creates cumulous cloud build up by late afternoon with the risk of thunderstorms. When in the mountains in summer the policy is to be up and out early and be at your destination by the time the weather breaks.

This typical pattern is caused by anabatic winds during the day: Anabatic winds are valley breezes caused by temperature build up pushing warm air up the valleys onto the mountains. These warm breezes are the cause of the cumulus cloud growth and potential thunderstorm risk.

In the evening the situation reverses and Katabatic winds take affect. Kanabatic winds are caused when cooler air sinks pushing down into the valleys creating a downward breeze.

In winter common high-pressure can be dominant, although the temperatures are cold, the air is cooler in the valleys due to lack of sun penetration within the steep sided valleys. As the cold moist air sinks cloud builds up resulting in cloud inversions (low cloud in valley bottom, blue skies high up).

The Foehn wind is a common factor in the Alps although it occurs throughout the year it has more detrimental affect in winter causing shifting of snow, increase in temperature creating unstable snow conditions. Low pressure pushes up the windward side of a mountain range, then warmed by compression as the system moves over the top of the range and finally dumped over the leeward slopes creating a strong warm wind that can last for a number of days. Temperature can increase by as much as 15 to 20 degrees.

Other notable weather signs are the Lenticular clouds, for example: ‘le chapeau de Mont Blanc’ or the ‘hat of Mont Blanc’. Unique to high mountains they are created by high altitude winds (although they look static in appearance) being forced over the obstacle. They can be a weather predictor indicating the onset of bad weather or the start of the foehn wind.

For further information on the kind of weather you might expect whilst trekking on one of our routes the contact: sara@montblanctreks.com

By S Wild 15 Jan, 2018

Originally completed as a summer mountaineering route by the Alpine Club of Great Britain in the mid 19th century the walkers haute route has been adapted following a lower level making the route more accessible for summer trekking. Approximately 180 kms in length the route crosses 11 high mountain passes with 12,000 mtrs of ascent from Chamonix in France to Zermatt in Switzerland.

The route has variations but generally takes you from Chamonix initially following the Tour du Mont Blanc route via the Fenetre de Arpette to Champex Lac. The route decends to the Osieres valley and over to Verbier, things get a little bit more remote for a number of days passing by the Cabane Mont Fort, Cabane Plafleuri, Lac Dix before descending to the Arolla Valley. From Arolla the Walkers Haute Route rises and falls over mountain passes and down to the valleys and villages of La Sage, La Sage, Zinal, Gruben before reaching St Nicklaus and the Matterhorn Valley. Two options are available from here by taking the starigh forward route up to Zermatt via the valley bottom or by ascending beyond Grasenreid onto the stunning yet precarious Europaweg.

Depending on the time you have available and how much rest and recuperation you need during the tour it is normally completed in 10 to 12 days however it’s possible to complete the tour in two halves from Chamonix to La Sage or La Sage to Zermatt.

The route is possible from mid July to mid of September.

Villages en-route
Chamonix, Haute Savoie, France
Le Tour, Haute Savoie, France
Trient, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Champex Lac, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Champel, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Verbier, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Arolla, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Les Hauderes, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
La Sage, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Grimentz, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Zinal, Valais, Switzerland (French speaking)
Gruben, Valais, Switzerland (German speaking)
St Nicklaus, Valais, Switzerland (German speaking)
Zermatt, Valais, Switzerland (German speaking)

We offer 3 guided & 6 Self guided itineraries and can also tailor make a trek to suit your needs. To find out more about the Walkers Haute Route treks that we offer take a look at our Walkers Haute Route page on our website by following this link: http://www.montblanctreks.com/walkers-haute-route

Or contact sara@montblanctreks.com for further help & advice.
By S Wild 14 Jan, 2018
Tour du Mont Blanc Guided Trek for Summer 2018 are as follows:

  • 25 June- 6 July
  • 9- 20 July
  • 23 July- 3 August
  • 2- 13 August
  • 6- 17 August
  • 3- 14 September
Visit our website at www.montblanctreks.com

Early booking discount of £25 per person for all bookings received before the 31st January 2018, quote ref: TMB-G-2018

For further information contact: info@montblanctreks.com

MBT

By S Wild 21 Jan, 2018

Over the coming weeks we will be focusing our blog on 10 of the top frequently asked questions. What do people need to know before making the decision to come to this impressive environment and challenge themselves on one of our ‘Must do’ long distance trekking holidays, Tour du Mont Blanc & the Walkers Haute Route.

I will start with one of the basics questions:

When can you trek the Tour du Mont Blanc, Walkers Haute Route or Traverse of the Gran Paradiso & what will the weather be like?

In short for the Tour du Mont Blanc mid-June until late September & for the Walkers Haute Route & Traverse of the Gran Paradiso mid-July until late September.

The European Alps are in the Northern hemisphere so December to April we have lots of snow & the mountains that tower above Chamonix, Zermatt & Courmayeur are a reserved for snowshoeing, skiing, ski touring & winter mountaineering.

The snow starts to recede in the spring and the lower trails are accessible by May, if you are planning to arrive here at that time then it is possible to tailor make a series of Chamonix trails at lower altitude but the higher multi day routes are not accessible.

The Tour du Mont Blanc is possible from mid-June however you will come across a good deal of snow on the high cols & shaded slopes which makes the route difficult & potentially dangerous. If you are intending trekking at that time it is essential for you to carry the correct equipment with you, walking crampons, ice axe, walking poles. You also need the ability to move confidently on snow for large periods of time. The route tends to be snow free by early July however this can change each year & the amount of snow on the route depends on how much snow we have had during the winter & of course how warm spring has been. All accommodation & transport is open from Mid-June to the end of September.

The Walkers Haute Route & Traverse of the Gran Paradiso are different, both routes trek to a higher altitude up to & over 3000m so trekking isn’t advisable until mid-July. Both routes are doable until late September.

Weather-wise many clients ask what will it be like? In a word, changeable! This area of the Alps around Mont Blanc has its own micro-climate and during our trekking period we at MBT will experience all types of weather (sometimes in one day!) and it is not uncommon to have fresh snow on the trail in July & August. You need to be prepared and have the correct clothing and equipment to protect you in poor weather. You also need to be prepared for warm weather, with a high factor sunscreen, sunglasses and head shade for those scorching days with breath taking views.

Average valley temperatures for Chamonix at 1100m, allow for temperature drop for altitude gain as the Cols at 2500m will be significantly cooler.

June-July

 Min +7°C / +9°C

Max +20°C /+24°C

August- September

 Min +8°C / +6°C

Max +22°C /+18°C

Climate: http://www.weather-and-climate.com/average-monthly-Rainfall-Temperature-Sunshine,chamonix-mont-blanc,France

If you need any additional information regarding the trekking season & weather for the Tour du Mont Blanc, Walkers Haute Route or Gran Paradiso please do not hesitate to get in touch on: info@montblanctreks.com

By S Wild 16 Jan, 2018
Winter arrived with a vengeance in early December in the Chamonix valley with over 1 meter of snow falling in one day. A bit of a shock to the system as beforehand we had had very little to speak of in the valley bottom and autumn seemed to go on for ever!

After 8 months snow free in the valley bottom it takes a little time to get re-accustomed to living with snow and the cold temperatures. Snow clearing, de-icing, togging up, the on & off of snow chains & of course driving at slower speeds.

It looks like being a great season which is fabulous as for the ast 3 years the snow fall has been pretty poor.

For more information on local weather here in the valley take a look at: http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/forecast/morning/5_days_weather_forecast.php

By S Wild 15 Jan, 2018

We have three full guided treks in 2018, all treks inlude one of our fabulous UIMLA guides, quality accommodation & bag transfer.

Our dates for this summer 2018 are:

  • 23 July – 3 August
  • 13- 24 August
  • 3- 14 September

For more information on our full guided Haute Route trek take a look at: http://www.montblanctreks.com/walkers-haute-route-full-guided-trek

Early booking discount of £25 per person for all bookings received before the 31st January 2018, quote ref: WHR-G-2018

Or contact Sara at: sara@montblanctreks.com

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