Tour of Mont Blanc: Complete Trekking Guide (Cicerone Mountain Walking)

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9781852843588: Tour of Mont Blanc: Complete Trekking Guide (Cicerone Mountain Walking)

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. 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 such as Verte, Chardonnet, Gouter, Geant, Jorasses, d'Argentiere, Dolent and numerous others. 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, have been created on what the author thinks gives the very best perspective and appreciation of the whole region and provides the best balance of visual return for the physical effort required. At every opportunity recommendations are made that will bring the walker into closer contact with the area and enhance memories of the visit. This guide is in full colour, and has a good section on points of interest, accommodation details and natural history of the region.

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About the Author:

A lifelong passion for the countryside in general, and mountains in particular, drives Kev's desire to share his sense of wonder and delight in the natural world through his writing, guiding, photography and lecturing. Spending several months each year among various high mountain regions researching guidebooks, makes him The Man with the World's Best Job; a title he aims to keep by remaining active for another 100 years at least. Kev has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Cicerone since the 1970s, producing walking and trekking guides to the Pyrenees, Alps and Himalaya, as well as walking guides for Kent, Sussex and the Cotswolds and he has several more books in the pipeline. A frequent contributor to outdoor magazines, he also writes and illustrates brochures for national tourist authorities and travel companies. When not away in the mountains, Kev lives with his wife in a small cottage among what he calls 'the Kentish Alps' with unrestricted walking country on the doorstep. But he also travels throughout Britain during the winter months to share his love of the places he writes about through a series of lectures. Check him out on www.kevreynolds.co.uk

Review:

'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 TMB is one of the world's classic walks, providing in rather over 100 miles a spectacular circuit of this compact massif in which the lofty Mont Blanc, towering to almost 16,000 feet, stands majestic and serene among its 400 or so sister peaks, 40 glaciers and seven valleys. In 1977 Andrew Harper wrote the first English language guide to the route, one of Cicerone's earlier titles that eventually went into four editions. Harper died in 2001, but he had passed the mantle to Kev Reynolds a few months before, and in providing this worthy successor, Reynolds and the Cicerone team have taken full advantage of the advances in guidebook design and production over these 25 years. Harper's route description was only for the 'traditional', anti-clockwise and more popular direction, but the clockwise circuit certainly has its merits, not least the greater sense of isolation for most of the day, and whichever is chosen many will want to return again to walk the route 'the other way round'. Reynolds divides his book into these two main parts to provide equally well for both, so it is bulkier than Harper's, but as there is much complementary detail each will be worth reading en-route - removing the temptation to save weight by cutting out one part before setting off! Dividing them are chapters on the romantic story of the pioneering first ascent of Mont Blanc and its controversial aftermath, and some useful notes on the main places of interest. The Introduction covers the usual trip-planning questions including - as well as which way round - when to go, how to get there (very easy), gear, safety, waymarking (variable and the route has variants), maps (so you may need to use them, even if joining a led group) and a choice of style of accommodation (wide -from hotels through gites and dortoirs to camping, and refuges that vary from the almost luxurious to the eccentric and atmospheric). The Appendices include more accommodation details, useful addresses, well-focused bibliography and a French glossary, for this principal 'language of the TMB' in its three countries. The TMB is ideal for a two-week trip, allowing for a rest day, one or two minor detours hopefully planned!) and time in Chamonix. As no technical mountaineering is involved and there are less demanding route variants useful also in bad weather, it is well within the capacity of the long distance walker. Reynolds divides the anti-clockwise route itself into eleven sections starting from Les Houches near Chamonix, and ten clockwise, from Champex instead, to avoid encountering a steep and intimidating 4500 feet of ascent to the Brevent ridge on day one! Each section is illustrated with an elevation profile and a clear, uncluttered schematic map to show its main features and route variants, locating the huts, campsites, villages and towns, and transport options, so that alternatives to his sectioning can easily be planned. Many of the author's fine and well-printed photographs complement the text attractively.' (Paul Lawrence, Strider August 2003)

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Reynolds, Kev
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Kev Reynolds
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