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TOUR DE MONT BLANC. KAYLEE WANTS TO DO THE WHOLE THINGS. LES HOUCHES WE ARE COMING

TOUR DE MONT BLANC. KAYLEE WANTS TO DO THE WHOLE THINGS. LES HOUCHES WE ARE COMING

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We woke up early. It was noticeably cold this morning. According to the weather app Chamonix had 9C at 6am so in our altitude it was just above freezing. This explains also why we kept our sweaters on and actually thought about getting the gloves out. The view on Mont Blanc was still hidden by clouds.

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Good timing. We were on the trail for maybe 15 minutes when it started raining. Our luck. We packed the tent dry and also had time to get ready and going before the rain. So the first stop to put on the rain gear. Downhill for the first couple of hours. The rain stopped and we changed to the “performance gear” again:

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We reached the valley floor again and our first escape point for the tour. To the left we could see Chamonix already and it would have only been two hours to town in the valley. But since it was only 8.00 o’clock no option at all. I still had the plan to maybe take down the gondola from La Flegere which would bring us right into the city center of Chamonix. And then Kaylee started investigating carefully… What do you think? Can we make it all the way? I said it will be a long day and a tough one. From the highest point on the ridge we had another 1.600m decent into Les Houches. And then she said it – “I really want to do the whole thing! Please, can we do it? I want to finish the trail!”. Well, what can I say. Not much was needed to convince me… 😂

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The mission was clear and that also changed our speed. Kaylee was relieved and started running up the hill. The beginning of our last long climb which would continue all day long up to Le Brevent. Kaylee flew up the hill passing all of the day hikers obviously being happy about the fact that we would do the whole thing. So up the hill, passing a few waterfalls and taking a few ladders up to La Flegere.

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We ran out of food last night. The last dinner but also the last piece of cheese and the last salami. We saved five granola bars for breakfast and counted on good food in the Rifugio La Flegere for lunch. When we arrived there for lunch we had to find out that the restaurant was still closed and only the snack bar was open. What a pity! Heineken beer from the tap and unexciting sandwiches… It was sad. Up in the mountains and only crappy tourist food. Well, we fueled ourselves for the last 15km and continued up to Le Brevent.

On the north-east slope there was still snow left. We briefly stopped on the top of Le Brevent but continued quickly afterwards. We still had a long way down and I was getting hungry again.

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1.600m straight down. No brakes. Unlimited switchbacks. It would have been the perfect opportunity to launch a paraglider and just fly down. But we didn’t have one so it was hiking again.

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Maybe an hour before we arrived in Les Houches we had to take a little break. Our last little reserve (half a block of chocolate) had to fuel us for the last hour. It was a steep section already below the tree line and not a lot of space next to the trail. We laid down on the ground and due to the slope leaves, pine needles and dirt fell on top of us. We looked like real hikertrash. No shower in four days. The same shirt. Sweaty and smelly. And now rolling in the dirt. It felt good to be back. And it felt bad to know that it was almost over already again…

We continued and reached the road. It was also the area of a game reserve where deer, chamois and capricorns could be seen. Since we were on an asphalt road I looked up into the reserve while walking because I wanted to spot one of the capricorns. And then it happened. Nothing for the past 4 days. No injury, no slip nothing stupid. But on the asphalt road one single big hole. And I stepped into it fell, rolled twice on the road, sprained my ankle and collected scratches on arms and legs. I am such an idiot…! 😂

A little shock but nothing serious happened. Fortunately. And then we arrived in Les Houches again. After 4 days, 2 hours and 55 minutes we were back. 165km and many passes later. What an incredible tour. Thank you Smiles for crushing miles with me 😘

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We took the train back to Chamonix and then fist things first:

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After an amazing evening out with Kaylee’s mom and her sister we decided to take the gondola up to Aiguille du Midi at 7am. An amazing start into a rest day 😂

tourdemontblanc-159The guy at the valley station just looked at me and said: “You know, it’s -2C up there?”. And I said “Why?”. “You are wearing shorts and a t-shirt. Just saying…”. 😂 I have to admit it was a bit chilly up there. 3.800m make quiet a difference in temperature. But really stunning views and weather. We saw all the climbers preapering for their summit attempt on Mont Blanc. Made me a bit jeallous…

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And then the first clear view on Mont Blanc since four days. And so close again!

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We went down to the middle station, had a great breakfast and traversed into the next valley. Stunning views, sunshine, blue sky and a lot of laughters and stories where shared.

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An “easy” day which ended at 17.00h in Chamoix again. Not what we expected as a rest day after the hard last day. The sun and missing clounds also didn’t help. Kaylee and I were – again – absolutely shattered. When we arrived back in the appartment we all took a two hour nap. We had another great dinner and it was a perfect end for such an amazing escape. So good to meet Kaylee’s sister, Beth and of course Kaylee again.

Short, intensive but more than necessary. Nine month after an incredible outdoor life it felt so good to be out again. The mountains are my element. #happytrails

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