Friday, March 29, 2019

TMB Day 9: Trient to Argentière

Day Nine
July 25, 2018

Starting point: Trient, Switzerland
Ending point: Argentière, France
Distance: 10 miles
Height gain: 3241 feet
High point: Col de Balme (7188 feet)
Lunch: Le Fournil Chamoniard Bakery, in Argentière
Accommodation: Hotel de la Couronne

Happy 3rd Anniversary to us!  We were officially married for three years on this day, and going on this trek has been the best way to celebrate.  So, we spoiled ourselves and booked an actual hotel, had dinner at an actual restaurant, and decided not to rush this stage.  Honestly, this was the least eventful day on the trail because it rained (finally).  We made it surprisingly quickly to the Col de Balme before the rain and got a peek of Mont Blanc, rising directly in front of us into the clouds.  Then, we walked down into civilization, bypassed the village of Le Tour, and strolled into Argentière, a charming village that does not get a lot of traffic and therefore retains a lot of authentic French charm.  It's usually busier in the winter due to skiing, but we weren't complaining about the peace and quiet.  We indulged at the bakery, checked out the little market, hung our laundry in the window of our fourth story room, ate classic French food with an American twist for dinner, and went off to bed!  All in all, a chill day back in France.

Saturday, March 9, 2019

TMB Day 8: Champex to Trient

Day Eight
July 24, 2018

Starting point: Champex, Switzerland
Ending point: Trient, Switzerland
Distance: 10 miles
Height gain: 3940 feet
High point: Fenetre d’Arpette (8743 feet)
Lunch: Picnic at Fenetre d’Arpette
Accommodation: Auberge Mont Blanc

This was by far the hardest day of the trek, even though every day had been truly hard.  We have to thank Mont Blanc (and Mother Nature) for keeping the impending storm at bay so that we could have the opportunity to reach the Fenetre d'Arpette (window into the glacier): the "highlight of the tour in every sense," a "true mountain pass," the "toughest of the whole route" -- honest words from Kev Reynolds, the writer of our guidebook.  Although we knew that it would be daunting, there was no way to fully prepare for what we were about to encounter.  This may also have been the most epic packed lunch, ever!