As you may be aware, the Alps have had almost unprecedented levels of snow this past winter. As a result, we are fairly certain that a considerable amount of snow will remain on the high passes of the Tour du Mont Blanc until the end of June 2018, and quite possibly through July and August.
Please keep an eye on this page, where we will post updates for our customers travelling in 2018 as we have them (and of course it may assist anyone considering taking on the Tour du Mont Blanc).
Mountain Forecast (inlcudes freezing points which are a useful indicator of when the snow starts to melt): https://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mont-Blanc/forecasts/2000
Official Tour du Mont Blanc Conditions Updates: http://www.autourdumontblanc.com/en/index.cfm/general-conditions.html
Update by Minna Harshbarger (Macs Adventure representative in Chamonix): “The Tour du Mont Blanc season has kicked off and many adventurers have started hitting the trail. The last couple of weeks have been fairly warm and the snow has been slowly receding up the mountains. When crossing the high passes ( Col del La Croix du Bonhomme, Col de la Seigne and Grand Col Ferret) you still will be encountering snow and therefore come prepared with hiking boots and if you have available micro spikes.
The feedback we have been receiving so far has been very positive, with Col del La Croix du Bonhomme being the most straight forward, as most of your walk is an ascent over the pass. It is a tough days walking and adding some snow makes it a challenge, but many walkers will have blazed a trail in front of you so you can follow the tracks, and we highly recommend using the Macs Adventure App to help guide you as some of the trail markers will still be covered by snow.
Crossing Col de la Seige is equally as snowy as Col del La Criox du Bonhomme. The main difficulty with this walk is that you are descending for most of the day, and the first 2-3 hours will be on slushy snow, which can make for a slippery walk down and therefore we recommend to proceed with utmost caution.
Grand Col Ferret takes you along some hair-raising ridges, but the majority of the snow has completely melted on this trail and therefore if you would like to walk, it is possible.
Of course all of these passes are still a challenge, and I do not recommend embarking on them if you are not prepared and the weather is not in your favour. You will need to make the most informed decision you can, taking into the consideration of the various factors.
The conditions are being continuously reviewed and we will try and keep our travelers as up to date as possible. In true mountain style, conditions are forever changing. We are currently looking at a nice and warm week ahead of us, and we are hopeful that this will melt some more of the snow affecting the trail.”
The latest detailed update is now available on the official Tour du Mont Blanc website: http://www.autourdumontblanc.com/en/index.cfm/general-conditions/conditions-june-22th-2018.html
According to the latest official conditions, whilst the snow is beginning to thaw, significant amounts remain.
Safety tips include:
For the latest detailed update in full, visit http://www.autourdumontblanc.com/en/index.cfm/general-conditions/conditions-june-3rd-2018.html
The latest conditions suggest that the paths are clearing at lower levels, but at higher levels significant snowfall remains and is likely to remain into the traditional TMB season. We still foresee the suggested passes being affected, and are continuing to plan transfers for every customer. Please be assured we are monitoring the situation and will be in touch with each and every customer individually prior to their trip to ensure each itinerary is clear.
If you are booked with us already, we will be updating you shortly on necessary adjustments to your itinerary. Don’t worry, your trip can go ahead, but you are unlikely to be able to walk the high passes. We foresee these passes being affected:
We will be arranging free transfers for all of our customers affected, and offering details for alternative walks. Please look out for email correspondence. Don’t worry, we’re here to make your adventure safe and enjoyable, so we are working hard to ensure everything runs smoothly!
Our team recently broadcast some information, Tour du Mont Blanc preparation advice, and of course conditions updates via Facebook Live. You can watch a recording of the session below, or visit https://facebook.com/macs.adventure/
Can I change my Tour du Mont Blanc trip dates?: Re-arranging your trip to later in the year is unfortunately not an option as the trail is almost sold out for the rest of the season. It is unfortunate that these transfers will likely be required, but your safety is paramount and we strongly believe that this is the best plan of action given the circumstances.
I’m happy to cross the snow, will I need transfers?: Of course, there are some of you who have winter mountaineering experience and might wish to walk on these days. We strongly suggest you only plan on this if you have considerable experience walking on névé and in winter conditions. You will need to be competent using crampons, an ice axe and ropes. Even with this equipment, it is essential that you make a risk assessment each time you cross snow.
To view our Tour du Mont Blanc itineraries, visit our website. Please note that 2018 is (as of May 2018) very busy, with strictly limited availability, so if you are still interested in booking, contact our specialists on [email protected] as soon as possible. To get to the front of the queue, 2019 dates are now available for provisional booking.