(A day late to upload this post since we had no wifi in the refuge we stayed at on the second day of our hike!)
We got breakfast another nearby hotel before starting our first day of hiking. None of us got in really good sleep after getting to Chamonix so late.
The TMB hike is usually 10-11 days for the full loop, but we are doing a 6 day hike since we don’t have much time in France. That involves a couple of busses, trams and skipping one of the stages on the hike.
We took the bus to Les Houches to take the tram up to Bellevue which was where we were going to start our hike.
The beginning was easy right up until we crossed the bridge with the waterfall. From there it was all incline. The ascend itself wasn’t too bad but with the large increase in altitude within 2-3 miles, that was what killed us. Our bodies didn’t have too much time to adjust to the altitude which made it super hard to catch your breath.
We decided to do a variant path of the hike which was a lot of steep hiking but the views were worth it.
At the peak we took a quick break to enjoy the view before descending down to the refuge for our next rest stop.
It was a long way down and I’m so glad we weren’t doing the hike clockwise cause the incline was probably the longest and highest I ever seen.
Once we descending down to the bottom, there was a refuge called the Miage where we wanted to get lunch but it was super packed and we didn’t have reservations. It was probably the most people we would see at a refuge because it was a starting and ending point of the hike.
We took our rest here by the water coming from the glacier. A quick and refreshing break before we continues our journey. Dipped our toes into the water too which felt amazing but the water was so cold that my feet started to hurt after a couple of minutes.
It’s amazing that after dipping your feet in the water, it basically feels like you just took a shower. It was a much needed refresh before it was our turn to do an incline hike.
It was a rough way up. So much sweat that I didn’t even bother to wipe my face cause it’ll just be full of sweat again. It felt forever but what drove us was that we were starving and there was a refuge there.
Once we got to the peak and arrived to the refuge called Auberge Le Truc, we were hit hard when they told us the kitchen closed… it was only 2:30pm. They did have a small cheese plate, desserts and cold drinks so we got that to keep us full until we arrived at Les Contamines-Montjoie.
We got the cheese plate, blueberry tart and a couple of drinks to share. I’m obsessed with this swapps drink which reminds me of halls cough drops – the citrus flavored ones!
We continued our journey from here and saw a shift in scenery around us. It felt like we ended up somewhere in the PNW with the trees that look like this.
There was a lot of decline from here on out to reach Les Contamines-Montjoie. I was started to feel the soreness in my quads and knees and tomorrow was going to be the day I’ll start using my hiking poles.
Les Contamines-Montjoie was the town we were staying at for the night. We stayed at a hotel called Hôtel Le Christiania which was quaint and cute. We had a nice view to wake up to as well! It was 5:30pm or so when we freshen up in our room and we starving at this point because we didn’t have a real meal all day aside from a tiny selection of bread, cheese and yogurt in the morning from our hotel in Chamonix.
We walked over to Casa Roca which was close by and was open. We thought they were serving dinner early but unfortunately had to wait a hour without food until the kitchen was open. It was honestly the best full on heavy meal we had so far on the trip since we didn’t get the time to do so in Paris.
We got 1/2 rack of ribs, white sesame salad which was BOMB AF, sliders, chorizo and this cheese thing where you dip meat, bread and potatoes in.
After dinner we took a stroll to the nearest supermarket to see what snacks we can bring on the hike the next day. We got some chocolate and crackers, nothing too special.
We ended our day early around 10:40 or so because we all needed a good night’s rest. Especially after feeling so sore after our first day and having less than 6 hours of sleep the day prior.
Day 1 is complete!