Preparing for the TMR

Due to a series of never-ending exams I haven’t been hiking as much as I’d like recently… But that’s all about to change- this time 2 weeks the TMR will have started!!

As of today there will be six of us on the trip: four of whom were with us last year. My friend Alice (who is Irish) will be joining us, as will Luca’s friend Keith. We have all booked flights to Milan, where we will be driving from, and we’re giving ourselves 9 days to complete the Tour, plus an extra day in case of emergencies.

We start at Alagna Valsesia, in Italy, and the route is 133km around, with 9 thousand metres of ascent. The route passes around Monte Rosa, which is the second-highest peak in the Alps, and it also passes through the Europaweg (from Grachen to Zermatt).

The route!

The route, with Alagna on the bottom right

The Tour de Monte Rosa seems a little bit tougher than the TMB- yes it’s shorter, but the ascent each day is much higher, and the trail is less well-walked. This might be an issue as we’re going at the end of June, so there’s still going to be a lot of snow on our route!

Also, this year we have to traverse a glacier! We’ve decided to do it with a guide as none of us know the first thing about crevasses… This will be a learning experience for everyone!

Here is a link to a live webcam of some parts of the route, which show a lot of snow…

We’re planning the same system as last year- carrying everything with us: tent, clothes, sleeping equipment, stove, food etc. We’ll be staying in at least one hut on our way, as it will be too cold to spend the night at such an altitude (3,300m). It’s called the Theodule Hut (Rifugio del Teoduloand will be the highest place we have ever spent the night! Luckily it’s a couple of days into the Tour so we should have acclimatised nicely by that stage… Fingers crossed!

We have bought the Cicerone book  (of course!)  which was tricky enough to find, and getting maps was a whole other issue! We had to buy 6 individual maps to cover the whole route, and they were not cheap (typical Switzerland) but we’re hoping for some nice TMB-style rock markings to keep us on the right path.

Back to study for now! T-12

Photo from here: www.wallpepper.wordpress.com/2007/09/27/dawn-on-the-monte-rosa-alps/

Monte Rosa! Photo from here

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