IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATIONDue to the high levels of snow currently on the trail, we recommend that you take crampons with you and consider an ice axe. Crampons are available to hire from Chamonix (a short bus/train/taxi journey from Les Houches). There are several shops to choose from, we suggest Concept Pro Shop or Snell Sports. Concept Pro: Open 8am - 7pm Tel: +33 4 50 54 21 43 Snell Sports: Open 9am-12pm/2.30pm-7pm Sun-Fri and 9am - 7pm Saturday Tel: +33 4 50 53 02 17 The weather forecast for the next few weeks until our season opens on the 14th of June is generally overcast with rain with temperatures above freezing at the level of the high passes. We expect the snow levels to improve slightly over the next few weeks. We will be monitoring the situation closely. Important: A great deal of care needs to be taken when moving on Neve (Snow), depending on the weather this can be frozen solid or slush and without crampons can be impossible to cross without slipping. It is essential that you make a risk assessment for crossing snow, look below and ask yourself if you slipped how far would you slide & fall? Could a slip or fall cause injury? If in doubt retreat back and descend. Walking poles should be considered essential in early season as they are of considerable help when crossing snowfields. I recommend taking walking gaiters to keep snow out of your boots and feet dry. 2. Weather & Bad Weather Alternatives Mountain weather can change quickly. Being in the high mountains in severe weather and/or poor visibility needs a good level of navigational skills and mountain sense to be able to safely pass over the cols. It is essential that you check the weather forecast each day, your accommodation should have up to date weather information. We suggest the following excellent online forecasts: Mountain forecast - Mont Blanc (2000m): http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mont-Blanc/forecasts/2000 Chamonix Meteo 5 Day Forecast: http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/forecast/morning/5_days_weather_forecast.php Bad Weather alternatives We have compiled a list of bad weather alternatives and alternative transport arrangements for each section of the TMB. If you require further information or have not received the list of alternatives, please get in touch. Some days there will be no alternative route therefore a decision needs to be made whether it is safe to start/continue or to retreat back to low ground and use alternative transport. Aborting the route / Alternative Transport If you make the decision to abort the route on a particular day you will have to take public transport to your next accommodation. Depending on your location this might be complex and require several changes of bus or train. See transport sheet for further information or ask in the tourist office or your accommodation. 3. Early/late season (June & September) Transfers/shuttles Many of the shuttles and some ski lifts only operate in July and August. The operating dates and times are detailed in your route description. You should either plan for the additional walking time or arrange a taxi, names and numbers of which are detailed in the transport sheet. 4. Trekking & Medical insurance You will need full travel & holiday insurance suitable for a trekking holiday that covers up to 2800m. It is essential that you have the correct insurance in case of a medical emergency on the mountain, as rescue can be costly. The cost of hospitalisation and subsequent care is normally the most expensive part of any accident. It is your responsibility to take out the correct level of insurance and we accept no responsibility for any costs that occur as a result of inadequate insurance. Travellers from the UK and EU should also carry their EHIC card. If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine Ltd for a quote by visiting their website or by telephone on 0844 826 2722.
INFORMATION TO MAKE YOUR TRIP RUN SMOOTHLY
1. Maps, guidebooks, pre-departure information & self guided trips Please ensure that you take your supplied Cicerone Tour du Mont Blanc guidebook, IGN 1:25 000 maps x 2 - St Gervais & Chamonix (which we suggest that you mark the route on prior to starting) and pre-departure information pack with you to the start of your trip. (If you forget these you can purchase the maps in Chamonix)As this is a self-guided trip there is no briefing on arrival, we offer only telephone support. Please ask any questions at the above webinar or before you leave home. Guide books, route cards, maps and any additional information supplied by us are for guidance only. When undertaking a self-guided trek you are expected to have a good level of navigational and map reading skills and be able to risk assess and make your own judgment to ensure your own and your groups safety. All information is supplied to the best of our knowledge, times and distances quoted are approximate & based on an average walking pace, they do not make allowances for different walking speeds and stop/rest time. All the information provided is intended as a guide and not as a substitute for mountain experience and navigational skills. 2. Baggage Transfer Baggage transfer is an optional extra on this trip. If you have booked baggage transfer it will be indicated as a line on your confirmation invoice. Please check this in advance of travel and contact us immediately if you would like to book baggage transfer for your group. If you have booked baggage transfer leave your bag (maximum of one 15kg bag per person) clearly marked with your name and the name of the lead booker at your hotel before 9:00AM on the first morning you start walking. 3. Extra baggage storage If you have booked baggage transfer we can store additional baggage and deliver it to your final hotel at no extra charge. Please simply book this with us in advance. If you have NOT booked baggage transfer and would like us to collect your excess baggage, store it for the duration of your trip and deliver it to your final hotel we can do this for a charge of £40 per party. This must be booked with us in advance. 4. Accommodation Your reservation is made under the lead bookers name and Macs Adventure. We do not supply vouchers and you do not need to supply them to the accommodation. Your accommodation is paid in advance and you will need to settle any extras directly with the accommodation. Make sure you carry sufficient cash as not all take card. Should there be a problem with your accommodation please try and resolve it directly and if it cannot be resolved contact us on either our office or out of hours numbers. As all accommodation is booked and paid for in advance we are generally not able to change your reservations during your trip. 5. Start slowly! It takes a few days to acclimatise to walking in the Alps and you will ruin your trip if you have such a demanding day on the first day of walking that you are unable to continue on the more demanding days which follow. On day 2 (day 1 of walking) we strongly recommend that you take the Bellevue Telepherique up out of the valley to Bellevue, which saves an uninteresting and demanding ascent. On day 2 (day 1 of walking) we strongly recommend that you follow the route via Bionnassay. Only the strongest walkers should go via Col de Tricot as this makes it an extremely demanding day. 6. We are here to help If you have any other questions following the webinar please do contact either Sarah (email@example.com ) or Erin (firstname.lastname@example.org) our TMB specialists. If you need our assistance during your trip you can contact us during office hours on our French number +33.(0)220.127.116.11.63 or UK number +44 (0)141 530 8886. In case of an out of hours emergency or problem (before 9AM or after 8PM French time Mon - Fri or before 10AM or after 6PM on weekends) that you cannot resolve you can call either of the above numbers and select the emergency option. You will then be transferred to our duty manager mobile. Alternatively you can call the our duty manager directly on +44 (0)7500 718 081. We hope that you will be able to join us for the webinar on Friday, but if we don't speak before you leave, we wish you a wonderful trip.