Having adored the hikes in New Zealand, myself and my parents decided to look abroad for longer tramps in an alpine setting. It was in a 20-year-old book claiming to know the best hikes on earth, that we found this one: the Tour du Mont Blanc. A ~180 kilometre loop through France, Italy and Switzerland, traversing across valleys, over peaks and through towns. It tested us. Stale food, mouldy bathrooms, ten hour days and countless blisters later, we returned to Chamonix.
But despite this, eleven days in the Alps were better than I ever could’ve hoped. Theres something about being immersed for so long within nature. You feel connected. You feel strong. You feel calm. These days were some of the happiest of my life.
After the TMB, we hadn’t quite had enough of walking and so we decided get our first taste of mountaineering. We traversed Vallée Blanche, a glacier located in the heart of the Mont Blanc Massif 3,500m above sea level. Summer crevasses, altitude sickness and a 2000m vertical drop were just some of the struggles - all in good fun right?