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Capital Walkers’ Summer Adventures on the Alps Tour du Mont Blanc

Check out this month’s guest blog from Dr Moira Fraser at Capital Walkers, and read about her adventures this summer on the Tour du Mont Blanc…

Well that’s it. Over again for another year. The summer that is – and to my amazement we even got one. At Capital Walkers, our club for those in London who like to escape the city and embrace life outside of the confines of our offices, it was a welcome relief from a long and soggy spring.

My own big trip this summer was a trip to the Alps to complete the Tour du Mont Blanc, covering about 100 miles, three countries and around 10000m up and 10000m down in total. As high, as was pointed out, as Mount Everest, but thankfully not all in one go!

I booked the trip whilst having an adventurous moment sometime back in the spring and didn’t think much more about it. Well, it’s been a busy year!  About three days before departure, I realised I better pack  but still didn’t give it much headspace. And then, on arrival in Chamonix and seeing the full map laid out in front of me,  with a very long red line mapping our route and crossing  an awful lot of contour lines,  I thought oh blimey this might be a bit serious.

With my band of companions – 16 of us in all plus two guides, we trudged our way up and down, through a landscape which wouldn’t look out of place in The Lord of the Rings. I’m no botanist, that’s for sure, but as the snow had just, in mid-July, crept back to unveil the meadows beneath, a carpet of flowers had seized  their moment and were blooming for all they were worth – blues, pinks, purples orange and yellows as far as we could see.

The long days and the ups and downs took their toll on us all– if you’re thinking about doing this trip bear in mind that if your knees are at all dodgy, they will get even dodgier very quickly! But, with my trusty and slightly beaten up boots I made it through all ten days without a single blister and without ever letting in the wet. And this even on the day crossing the pass over the Switzerland – Italy border, through torrential rain and snowfields.  Bravo faithful friends, even if you do look like you might fall apart any day now. Having dosed them with Nikwax cleaner before departing, I have to say I’m impressed. The same can’t be said for my Gore-Tex jacket , which for the first time ever left me disappointingly slightly damp round the edges, but then  it hasn’t had the Nikwax treatment yet – so that’s the next job on the list.

So, as is traditional, one big trip is over and I’m  planning  the next one. I’m thinking the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Fancy it anyone?

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