Have a few too many glasses of wine and just book it.
Joke, that’s a joke. But seriously. Don’t procrastinate, sometimes you’ve got to bite the bullet, which is exactly what we did with our planning to hike around the base of Mont Blanc. Having pondered the potential of travelling to the Dolomites or hiking part of the Camino de Santiago in Spain (pre-covid planning), we were thrown a curveball by Em’s boyfriend ‘Poggi’, who had in one crazy weekend, run around the route that we were about to take 5 days to do half of.
What To Take Into Consideration:
We were both keen on simple transport. Hiring a car, flying or taking excessive amounts of varying modes of transport wasn’t high on our agenda so we knew we had to find a relatively simple solution. Luckily for us, flixbus runs a very cheap and efficient service from Milan to Chamonix via Courmayeur, two of the stops on the famous route around Mont Blanc. The deal was sealed.
In terms of time bracket, we had around 5-6 days, with a few days off work either end. This is also an ideal length in terms of endurance for both of us as it’s the first multi-day hike we’ve embarked upon in the last few years.
Level of destruction. We both wanted a challenge, some sense of accomplishment. But the feeling in your knees after you’ve run a marathon 5 days in a row? Nah you’re alright. We’re still on holiday and there needs to be some level of enjoyment for us both in that. Sorry Poggi, unfortunately we’re not at your superhuman, mountain goat level quite yet.
Schedule the route. Which days will you need a rest? No one wants a breakdown on day 2 of 5. Or for that matter day 5 of 5, though that’s possibly a little more forgivable. It’s time to study the map and schedule the legs. Ensure that ascent is taken into account as well as travelling, accommodation stops and any relevant sights you might want to see.
A night under canvas is great but tent means weight. It also means you’re bearing the consequences of any turn of weather that little bit more. If it rains and you’re drenched, guess what, it’s probably going to stay that way because tents are not known for their fantastic drying skills. This is the first multi-day hike either of us has done in a fair few years and a mountain refuge overnight seemed to be the best way forward. Not to mention avoiding the turtle look as you carry your home on your back. We booked our accomodation in advance and planned it based on our route, reviews and availability.
Hit the shops. It would be ideal before planning a multi-day hike if your trusty walking boots that took you up Kilimanjaro didn’t disintegrate and their sole drop.. oh wait. Em unfortunately suffered this fate and our pre-trip gear shopping list suddenly got a bit longer. Nonetheless, if you’re embarking upon a multi-day hike, you’re likely to have some sort of outdoor kit but perhaps not all. We consulted blogs, boyfriends, parents, colleagues and anyone who wanted to offer an opinion on how many layers would be apt for summer in Mont Blanc, the potential benefits of a walking pole and the need for a water bladder.
It’s super exciting to be going on an adventure! Feel the buzz, read articles, watch videos, stalk instagram, the whole shebang. It’s going to be awesome.
Feeling the hype? Have you got anything planned? Let us know, please, if nothing else to reassure us both that we’re not utter lunatics.
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