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Tour of Mont Blanc: Complete two-way trekking guide (Cicerone Mountain Walking) Turtleback – 21 Mar 2007
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'This well-presented guide is a must for those of you that are enthusiastic long-distance walkers.' (Living France) 'The guide is light and compact. The layout is excellent, it is clear and easy to follow, and is up to the usual high standards of other Cicerone guides. ... Kev Reynolds is without doubt one of the best writers of walking and trekking guides in the world. In this guide [he] has transferred his experience into thoroughness, his style of writing makes for real clarity. This guide is good value for money and will, without doubt, become the standard guide in English for the Tour of Mont Blanc.' (Graham Boswell, The Leader)
The Tour of Mont Blanc is one of the best - if not the best - of the world's classic walks. It circumnavigates the Mont Blanc massif in about eleven days. This new edition incorporates details of the new routes on the Italian section, as well as all other recent route changes and variants. The walk has all the excitement of the high mountains yet none of the worry of altitude sickness. It crosses numerous cols with stunning views of spectacular snow and rock peaks. Accommodation along the route is plentiful. The 'official' Tour du Mont Blanc follows an established route around the main block of mountains containing not only Mont Blanc but its principal allied summits. The author describes the tour both in the traditional 'anti-clockwise' direction and the 'clockwise' direction. There are several alternative routes that subsequently link, and these are also described. The routes, along with suggestions for alternative exploration, give what the author thinks is the very best perspective and appreciation of the whole region. At every opportunity recommendations are made that will bring the walker into closer contact with the area and enhance memories of the visit.See all Product description
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To me the text is long-winded and boring: there are places where there are no pictures for 5-6 pages. And the maps are poor, old fashioned sketch maps: modern walking books tend to use proper OS mapping (or the equivalent in the relevant country). And the maps should have numbered waymarks to connect them to the text - this makes directions easier to follow.
Walking books like this one are so dated. I like my walking guidebooks to be full of colour, be clear and concise. and have real maps. When I am walking I want more time to look around me than have my head stuck in a book reading pages and pages of text in order to be able to navigate a few miles.
It is a great shame as the Tour du Mont Blanc is one of the world's great walks. This book makes it look a bit average on paper. There is no excuse for that.
For each stage you are provided with a highly detailed description including estimated time, height gain and loss, transport options, accommodation, a map, as well as a step-by-step description of the trail itself (e.g. "cross the footbridge to a path junction and walk straight ahead up the steep slope..."). Alternative options for each stage are included in the guide (normally one is longer / harder or not suited to bad weather). You are also given some background knowledge for the towns / landmarks on the trail, and the history of the tour.
I very rarely (if at all) needed to use the separate map I took due to the detailed descriptions for each stage that are written in the guide, combined with the well sign-posted trails. However, I undertook the trek in summer - in Winter some of the trails would certainly benefit from bringing an additional map.
You can't pre book the campsites, but most of them have designated areas for TMB hikers which had plenty of space.
Some of the contact numbers are out of date. The descriptions were immaculate. This should be considered as a bible for anyone thinking of making this trip especially for people like ourselves who are relatively novice as far as hiking is considered.
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