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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little book, 18 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
The first thing that surprised me (it may have been somewhere in the description but I didn't notice) was that this is a small book, like a handbook size which is actually really good as it will take up less space in the bag whilst out and about. We are not hardy experienced hikers so the cross section of types of walk for all abilities is good and there's a lot of useful supporting information about hiking generally, things to consider, what to wear, things to take, who to contact if there's a problem and so on. The proof I guess will be in the pudding when we return from the Alps later this year and will have used the book practically.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first guidebook to buy., 18 Aug. 2012
By 
Peter J. Neame "PJN" (Tampa, FL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
This is truly a "something for everyone" guidebook to the Chamonix valley.
The newcomer will find much helpful advice and the person who thinks that they know the valley well will find new ideas and many "I didn't know that was there!" moments. I first went to Chamonix in the early 1970s - it's changed a lot over the years (mostly more crowded) but is still a great destination, as long as the weather co-operates.

Chamonix is "the extreme sports capital of the world", justly so. Fabulous scenery, never too far away from creature comforts. There's a comprehensive network of mountain huts, an excellent weather service and the visitor can indulge in anything from bucolic nature walks to paragliding among the remarkably steep mountains.

This guidebook, written by a resident of the area who has had her own guiding business (trekking in the alps) based in the valley for over 20 years, focuses on ground-based summer activities.
Thus: walks, from the short (around 2 hours) to those taking a very full day; a section on trail runs (the author has completed the unbelievably grueling ultra-trail du mont blanc several times) a bit of alpinism, mountain and road biking; valley-based rock climbing and 2 via ferratas. Many of the walks are not immediately obvious from studying a map, and I found several walks that I would like to try on a next visit. For those walks that I have done, I found the advice to be exactly right.

I didn't have a clue as to how the mountain biking is segregated from the walking - this is discussed; clearly the local population don't want any bike coming down narrow path and encountering a walker moments!

There is also much good general advice, including the important issue of hut etiquette. And, speaking of huts, a list of hut (and other) phone numbers - vital if overnight stays are contemplated. To round things off, there's a brief glossary of useful French words. While most people will speak English, it's always polite to attempt to start in the local language!

Some of the itineraries would be best conducted in the low season as they get very busy in the height of summer - indeed a piece of advice is to avoid the first 2 weeks of August, when it may seem that the whole of France has descended on the valley.

Throughout, there are maps and pictures that whet the appetite, as well as side comments on the history, culture and flora and fauna of the region, all written in a light engaging style that bubbles with enthusiasm.

I certainly wish I had had this guidebook last time I was there- it's accurate,and stimulating. It would suit either the solo traveller or a family (dogs are also considered!)
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is absolutely excellent. So much passion, 12 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
This is absolutely excellent. So much passion, information, effort has gone into this book. The walks and advice are excellent. It is like having someone you really know and trust give you their very best tips on what to do in the area. Definitely a fantastic investment for us.

I would say though Hilary, you might want to look again at all the distances because we found most of them were a bit underestimated.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 2 July 2014
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Good read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Chamonix walks, 3 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
A Fantastic book on Chamonix. We have been there before and we are going again in 2014. What a pleasure to get there again
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good overall area guide, 28 July 2013
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This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
This is a very nice introduction to the different activities that can be done in the area. There are relatively easy yet enjoyable mountaineering and climbing routes
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first, and possibly only, book you'll ever need to enjoy the Chamonix Valley, 3 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
Most of us who come to the Chamonix Valley, do so in order to enjoy the stunning scenery, whilst pursuing at least one mountain activity. Whether this is your first visit or, like me you've been coming for twenty years, this book will have something for you. There are walking, biking and climbing adventures for all ages and all levels of skill, fitness and experience. There is also the priceless bonus of a beautifully written book. The author's deep seated love of the mountains is evident on every page and, combined with her experience and comprehensive knowledge can't fail to inspire the reader.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Chamonix Introduction, 3 Jun. 2012
This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
If you've never been to Chamonix this book will certainly tempt you into making the trip. As far as I know it's the only English language guide that caters for multi activities and reinforces the view that Chamonix, or at least its surroundings, really is a mountain paradise. I've been going to the Alps regularly for the last 15 years and there's ideas here for several more trips.

As this book amply demonstrates, the Chamonix area is far from being the preserve of the mountaineer and intrepid hillwalker - there really is something for everyone, from walks for the family (and dog) to nights in mountain huts, glaciated peaks, rock climbing, mountain and road biking and trail running.

Like all Cicerone books the information is presented clearly and there's lots of colour photos to whet your appetite for adventure. Each activity has its own section with a number of suggested outings complete with route maps, a description and other essential info. Local knowledge is always important and the author, Hilary Sharp, runs her own trekking company, Trekking in the Alps, from nearby Vallorcine. Her depth of knowledge and love of the mountains adds much to the route descriptions. A great introduction to one of the world's most popular mountain areas.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 1 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Chamonix Mountain Adventures (Mountain Walking) (Cicerone Mountain Guide) (Paperback)
Great reading. Thanks.
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