Guided Walk With Donkeys Overview! (Groups Only)
The Tour du Mont Blanc with a difference! Spend 5 days walking with donkeys .You’ll have opportunities to take control, as well as learn how to care for these loveable creatures. Learn useful skills such as putting on and removing a pack saddle, attaching essential equipment and carrying out daily health checks.
How this unique experience began
Duncan, your guide on these trips loves animals. In 2017 while recovering from a spinal injury, Duncan spent some time learning how to care for donkeys at the ‘Sidmouth Donkey Sanctuary’, a British Charity. During this time Duncan had the idea to combine his mountaineering knowledge with his love for donkeys – hence the guided walk with donkeys.
Alpine Walks currently work in partnership with a local french family, Eric and his daughter Ti Phane, who breed and look after donkeys, to provide a unique experience akin to the ancient ways of journeying.
Day 1 – Arrival at Chamonix
We start this family adventure by arriving in Chamonix and meet your guide. Receive an outline of the journey, weather brief and kit check.
Day 2 – Chamonix to Le Champel
Take a short bus ride to Les Houches to meet the donkeys. We then climb to the Col du Vosa, with stunning views back across the Chamonix Valley. Continue via Bionassay village to our first Refuge (Hut) at Le Champel.
Day 3 – Le Champel to Refuge Nant Borant
Traversing around Mont Verassay, we pass though Chelet Miage, take a coffee stop below the Domes du Miage and the glacier, before a descent into Contamines. Walk to the end of the valley and the Gorge de la Notre Dame. From here a short climb brings us to the Refuge Nant Borant and the home of Oggy the cat (one of the donkeys best friends on the TMB).
Day 4 – Refuge Nant Borant to Refuge Croix du Col du Bonhomme
Today we climb to the Col du Bonhomme pass, 2329m. You are now in one of the most remote areas of the Grand Tour. From here we traverse around the mountainside to the Refuge Croix du Col du Bonhomme.
Day 5 – Refuge Croix du Col du Bonhomme to Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini
A short 45 minute walk brings us to the Col du Fours, joint highest point on the tour at 2665 metres. We descend to the Refuge Mottets for lunch before climbing 700 metres to the top of the Col du Seine, before descending into Italy and a hut , Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini.
Day 6 – Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini to Courmayeur
We descend by track as far as the Glacier Miage lateral morraine before climbing up on to a balcony route, offering staggering views of the more rugged side of the Mt Blanc massif, including the Dent du Geant (the Giants tooth). We follow the path which finally takes us on a big descent into Dolonne and Courmayeur where our tour ends with an overnight in a Hotel (family run 2-3 star).