Hiking the Alps: Tour du Mont Blanc

Long-time Floor Associate Pam went to explore the Alps:

I’m back in Chamonix again, sitting on my tiny balcony and looking out on to Mont Blanc, the Aguille du Midi, and countless pointy spires whose names I am unsure of. As I sip my wine and watch the parapenters glide and twirl their way down from midway up the Midi, I finally have a moment to contemplate my completion of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB), the 107-mile trek around the Mont Blanc massif. My four girlfriends and I did it unguided... it was a real challenge, as the vertical loss and gain in the Alps is like nothing we experience in the Colorado mountains. Nevertheless, the training available in our backyard is what made the trek possible for these old knees!

While each day offered new and different challenges, the jaw-dropping beauty, as well as the kindness and helpfulness of the local people served as a constant balm to our various aches and pains. That and the friendship and laughter of twelve days toiling together! I have travelled all over the world, but this is my first time (finally!) to the Alps, and they did not disappoint. An extra bonus was getting together with Pete Mason, who I used to work with at Neptune back in the early ‘90’s. He is now a fully certified IFMGA guide, living in Courmayeur, Italy, married and with two children.
My friends and I trained hard and well, and that included choosing the right gear for our adventure. From the bottom up, I chose the La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Mid GTX II, and couldn’t have been happier. From their sticky rubber to their robust support in a lightweight boot, it was the perfect footwear for me. Two of my teammates used the low-cut version, and were just as happy. Most mornings I started in my BD Alpine Light pants, which I would then roll up until I was able to put shorts on. I wore our fashionable Neptune logo polar tech top over a merino base layer plus a windbreaker when needed.
I highly recommend the TMB.....it’s a phenomenal trek, and it puts one smack in the middle of the birthplace of modern climbing and Alpinism. Not to mention amazing food and wine!

Use the code PAM20 online or in-store for 20% off off these select items used on this staff adventure until October 3rd:

• La Sportiva Ultra Raptor Footwear
• BD Alpine Light Pants
• Neptune x NW Alpine Black Spider Hoody

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