Navigation on the Tour du Mont Blanc

Tour du Mont Blanc navigation

The Tour du Mont Blanc follows a well-established trail through France, Switzerland and Italy and most of the pathways are sign-posted. However, parts of it cross through some wild and remote mountain areas and you should be aware that mountains can be hostile places.

Special attention must be paid to the weather. Rain storms, lightning, fog, mist and even snow are not common – but not unusual – and you need to be able to safely navigate in these conditions. Snow can be a particular hazard of early summer, where whole sections of the route at higher altitudes – particularly at mountain passes – may be covered winter snow. The possibility of collapsing snow bridges, or a slip that may result in a long slide, can both cause serious accidents. You should be confident that you can safely and competently cross snow; if you are not confident you should not attempt it and either take a different route or public transport.

You should take special care and attention if you cross any streams: these can quickly become hazardous, particularly if a rain storm is combined with early-season snow melt.

We will supply you with Route Notes for the trek but these must be used in conjunction with a good map and your own previous mountain experience. You should know how to confidently use and interpret a map and compass – particularly in poor weather.

Mobile phone reception is very poor or non-existent between the sections that go from Courmayeur to Les Chapieux to Les Contamines. In case of an accident, calling the mountain rescue in this area can be seriously delayed and you will rely on telephone landlines at the refuges that are located intermittently along the main TMB trail.