Backpacking,  Camping,  Hiking in Europe,  Hiking in France,  Tour de Mont Blanc Hike

Can’t believe how majestic are the glaciers! | Day 1 of TMB from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc to Houches

On the first day of our Tour de Mont Blanc we waked up quite early and didn’t sleep very well. The sound of the wind in the fir trees was quite intense and we weren’t feeling well enough still after the long 2 day trip. We found that the car trips are more exhaustive than anything to us. But the place was nice, very flat and calm even though very close to the village.

So we had our breakfast and started to shoot the what’s in our backpack video and an introduction video for our Tour de Mont Blanc. It took us good couple of hours, especially because we had so much food with us and had to put in into order. Our backpacks were more than full but we knew that we are going to eat it all with time. Also we brought a lot of new stuff like solar panels, power bank, water filter to be more independent and be able to pitch a tent everywhere without worring about not having electricity or anything alike. And because we were going to hike for at least a month and a half or two we brought more full size stuff as well like shampoo, creams etc. Because we find it quite challenging to find a travel size things on the way and didn’t want to worry about it every time.

So we started the hike only at 12am and didn’t have big plans for the day. We knew that we need to take our time for the body to adjust to the weight of the backpacks and hiking routine. It always takes at least couple of days. So we were happy to know that there is a trail going alongside the river right to the next village Houches where the official TMB trail starts. It was around 11 kms in total for the day and we thought it was more than enough for the start.

We started by walking through the Chamonix village, the center and its outskirts. We noticed that there was quite a lot of construction going on in the village maybe it was the seasonal thing in preparation for the ski season in winter.

The trail we took turned out to be the local walk from the village to village with lots of shadow, going through the forest all the time. The path was going flat most of the time and not difficult at all. It was well marked all the way through.

The views were amazing. We noticed that we were even more fascinated by the neighbour rocks to Mont Blanc because they looked so incredible spiky.

But the body was still feeling a bit sore from carrying the backpack. We even found the bar to do some stretching for the back and pull ups. It is a recent discovery of ours and we truly think that everybody should do it. Especially it is good for the hikers who are using the lower body more that the upper body. It develops strength and endurance in the muscles and keeps your back, shoulders, arms and abs well toned. This is better than the gym if you don’t want the big muscles. And you don’t have to exhaust yourself doing lots of repetitions, 3 to 5 times are enough for the start and your muscles won’t feel achy or sore whatsoever. Even women can do at least hanging out from a bar stretching the back but me (Angelina) have a goal to learn how to do pull ups as well.

So we got to the village Houches till 16pm, filled the water container with drinking water from the source and were out to find the place to camp. The campsite marked on the map didn’t exist anymore and instead we saw a big construction going on of some building which could be potentially a shopping center. That was quite dissapointing to know.

So we had to find the stealth camping spot for that night. We explored a bit the village and were out to the ski trails where the ground is at least more flattened up. And we found one at the side of a ski trail with a more or less flat ground and were able to pitch up a tent at daylight. We even took a shower from our very convenient water container and we fell in love with it. It feels like we have a water tap everywhere we go. It felt so refreshing and nice to rinse the skin with water and at least water off the surface sweat.

Then we cooked our dinner – rice with a buckwheat mix and tried the dried tomatoes for the first time. And it tasted well, a bit unusual but when you have no access to fresh veggies it is simply great. Also we started to implement the technique of cooking more meal at night and leaving some for the morning. This way we can save up a lot of time and get on the trail much faster the next day just heating it up a bit, not mentioning the gas economy. So we ate the food, chat for some time and when the darkness came went to sleep to wake up early the next day.

Here is the link to Google map to follow the hike:


  • walkingnatureworld

    That is so wonderful to know! This is one of the most memorable hikes we’ve done and we would love to go back one day. We’re so happy that it brings back to you positive and great moments☺

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