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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
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PostSat Nov 23, 2019 2:07 am 
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We are about to quit the Tour de Mont Blanc (on the most snowy uphill) | Day 4.2 of TMB Refuge La Balme - Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme

In today's episode we hiked from Refuge La Balme to Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme.

Watch the full video here:

The path was becoming steeper and steeper from that moment on and soon we met quite a big snow areas under our feet. In some places it was quite deep and it was dangerous to step at it.

Then the glorious  view of the snowy mountain has opened to us and we realized that this is how this trail goes next. We hesitated for some time whether we should attempt to climb it or not and finally we decided to try it. In the end we didn't lose anything and what was more important is to be able to continue the whole trail. It would be so dissapointing to stop it at that point.

So with the belief that we have enough powers to do it and that the uphill looks steeper from a far we started to climb it. It was steep and all covered in snow but the footpath made by people helped a lot to stay on trail and to keep the snow hard enough to step. So it wasn't easy but possible to do. Of course it's better to have a good waterproof boots, pants and trekking poles. We didn't expect there will be so much snow left still in the middle of June so we weren't prepared enough. It honestly felt like spring and not like summer there around a month of delay in the season's change. And it wasn't the only place that experienced that.

So with a lot of effort we were staying on top of Col de Bonhomme and had to go further uphill to the Refuge du Col de la Croix de Bonhomme. This part of the trail was a bit easier already, the path was very narrow and on the other side there was a mountain edge so it was a bit dangerous but not too steep at least. The views all around were very picturesque and we regret not having ehough time to spend there. Because it was getting late we didn't even have time to take a photo of us on top.

By the time we got to the top we saw the clouds are gathering and we were afraid of them becoming something bigger. After that stormy experience the second day on the trail we become really cautious about it . But they didn't look very dark or low so we hoped that there won't be a storm.

The refugee house on top was situated really high and we wandered how do they transport food supplies up there. But when we saw a helicopter sign it was all clear. It was a bit crazy to us to think about the amount of resources spent on this refugee house. There weren't really a flat spot to set up a tent and it was very cold and windy so we decided that we need to descend down a bit.

The way down wasn't less extreme than the way up. There was quite a bit of snow on the trail and we literally had to slide down with the feet there was no other way of doing it. After some time the snow dissapeared and we started to see the eternal green hills with lots and lots of different flowers on them.

We were already very exhausted and the knees were hurting a lot after the long downhill so we started to look for the camp spot. We were aware that this vegetation needs protection and did our best not to step on it and not to ruin it in any way. There were a lot of waterfalls around and so the ground was quite wet everywhere. Also there was quite a bit of slope but we still managed to find more or less flat and dry spot to pitch up a tent. It was already getting dark so we tried to do it quick.

When we were all set up we heard the thunder and saw the lightning flash somewhere close. The sky turned purple colours and we knew that it's going to rain. It ended up being a thunderstorm with not a lot of rain but with a lot of thunder and we were just praying for it to stop and not going on all night long. Fortunately it stopped after one hour more or less and we could quietly go to sleep.

So in total we did 14 kms that day and it was a hell of the day, one of the hardest ones we had so far.


Have you ever encountered an obstacle on a trail that you weren't able to get through and had to quit? What was it?

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We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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RichP
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Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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here and there
PostSat Nov 23, 2019 8:07 am 
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Some challenging terrain there. I would have wanted boots, poles, microspikes and even an ice axe on some of those steep slopes. There would be no way to stop if you started to slide.
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walkingnatureworld
Walking Nature World



Joined: 12 Aug 2018
Posts: 104 | TRs
Location: Spain
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Walking Nature World
PostSat Nov 23, 2019 9:18 am 
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Yes, we weren't quite ready for it and thought there won't be as much snow at this season. We certainly felt the lack of some special equipment and wouldn't want to repeat that. We were lucky we guess that we were able to get through without any harm. We just didn't want to stop even thought it was quite a high risk.

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We are a young couple who loves hiking, nature walking and camping. We choose walking over driving and other types of transportation whenever we can. Also we have a Youtube channel where we're showcasing all our hikes.
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Nancyann
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PostSat Nov 23, 2019 5:59 pm 
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There was an unusually heavy spring snow in the Alps this year, which many people were not prepared for. I hiked the Via Alpina Sections 12 and 13 (in Switzerland) with my son and brother the last week of June, and there was so much snow in the high passes, we were not able to connect the two sections. We brought Microspikes, but no crampons and ice axes. Some of the high huts were only accessible by skis, although that didnít bother the Swiss at all lol.gif
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