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REEL AROUND THE MOUNTAIN MONT BLANC

THE TOUR DU MONT BLANC TRAIL COVERS 174KM THROUGH FRANCE, ITALY AND SWITZERLAND. JOSEPH DELVES THOUGHT IT LOOKED PRETTY RIDEABLE ON THE MAP, EVEN SELF-SUPPORTED…

The forecast is not good the morning we belatedly set off on the Tour du Mont Blanc and the manager at the hotel suggests we delay and stay another night. “The first section is difficult in poor weather,” she warns. “We have a heated pool,” she tempts. Eager and foolhardy we set off regardless. Somewhere above us lurks Mont Blanc, swaddled in an immense bank of dense cloud.

Mont Blanc, or Whernside?
As if by some divine goat shaped miracle, the skies cleared.

Behind the lift station at Les Houches, the first section of the TMB trail does nothing to allay my apprehension. Composed of narrow ledges clinging to the side of a fairly severe cliff, chains pinned into the rock provide handholds. It’s the sort of traverse that wouldn’t trouble most hikers, but in the rain, with my stupidly unsuitable shoes and a bike perched above my backpack I’m already getting the horrors.

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