Tag Archives: Italian Alps

February 17, 2019 A hiker descending from the Fenetre d'Arpette on the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Photo Gallery: Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc in the Alps

In Backpacking, Family Adventures, Hiking, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   5 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Look at any list of the world’s greatest hiking trails, and the Tour du Mont Blanc almost invariably occupies a spot at or near the top of the list. There are many good reasons for that. But first and foremost comes the sheer majesty of this roughly 105-mile (170k) walking path around the “Monarch of the Alps.” Passing through three nations—France, Italy, and Switzerland—and over several mountain passes reaching nearly 9,000 feet, it delivers almost constant views of glaciers, pointy peaks and “augilles,” and when it’s not engulfed in clouds, the snowy dome of Mont Blanc.

In July 2017, I took a wonderful, nine-day trek on the Tour du Mont Blanc with my family and eight other friends and relatives—including my 80-year-old mom—and we were blown away by the scenery and the cultural and gastronomical experience. Scroll through my photos below for a window into the awesome character of this trail. Continue reading →

January 27, 2019 A hiker trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc toward Courmayeur, Italy.

The Best Plan for Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc

In Family Adventures, Hiking, International Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

You want to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc, but you’re not sure how hard it is, whether you can do it all, or even whether to hire a guide? One of the world’s great treks, the TMB is easy to do self-supported—but it’s not necessarily easy to figure out how to do that. When I hiked it with 12 family and friends of varying abilities—including my 80-year-old mother—I spent many pre-trip hours mapping out a flexible daily itinerary that allowed some in our group to use local transportation to avoid hard sections or bad weather, and everyone had a wonderful experience. This guide will show you how to duplicate that trip or customize your own. Continue reading →

February 4, 2018 Hikers on the Alta Via 2 in Parco Naturale Puez-Odle, Dolomite Mountains, Italy.

Hiking The World’s Most Beautiful Trail: Italy’s Alta Via 2

In Family Adventures, International Adventures, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

By Michael Lanza

Hiking toward a mountain pass named Furcela dia Roa, on the first day of my family’s weeklong, hut-to-hut trek on the Alta Via 2 in northern Italy’s Dolomite Mountains, we stopped in an open meadow of grass and wildflowers overlooking a deep, verdant valley in Puez-Odle Natural Park. Across the valley loomed a wall of cliffs topped by jagged spires, like a castle a thousand feet tall. I looked at our map and back up at the stone wall before us, puzzled. After a moment, I realized: We have to get over that wall.

Continue reading →

November 14, 2017 A hiker trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc toward Courmayeur, Italy.

The Big Outside Trip Planner: Trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc

In Family Adventures, Hiking, International Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   Leave a comment

 

Welcome to The Big Outside’s Trip Planner on trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc.

This planner offers tips on how to take a multi-day trek on one of the world’s greatest trails, the 106-mile (170k) Tour du Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland, including when to do it, advance planning, local travel logistics, and an overview of our hiking itinerary. See my story at The Big Outside about my family’s TMB hike, “Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc at an 80-Year-Old Snail’s Pace.” That story includes dozens of photos and a video. Continue reading →

November 14, 2017 A hiker trekking the Tour du Mont Blanc toward Courmayeur, Italy.

Hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc at an 80-Year-Old Snail’s Pace

In Family Adventures, Hiking, International Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

Our bus winds up a narrow road in the Vallée des Glaciers, below snowy peaks of the French Alps. We boarded it with about 10 other trekkers after a late-afternoon thunderstorm ripped the sky open while we enjoyed a café and tea with chocolate mousse and a slice of blueberry pie at the Auberge de la Nova in les Chapieux, a speck of a village along the Tour du Mont Blanc. As the bus rumbles into Ville des Glaciers, a cluster of old farm buildings, I ask the driver to stop.

My 80-year-old mother wants to get off and hike. Continue reading →

← Older posts