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Tour du Mont Blanc Day 2 – Les Contamines to Croix du Bonhomme

Man. Today was tough. Terrain and weather was unexpectedly challenging. Not to mention, the total elevation on this section is about 1500m. I woke up at about7.30 for some simple breakfast, which was crispy baguette with jam and tea. Then basically for most of the day, it was up, up and up. Nevertheless, the views… were totally amazing and out of this world.

The weather turned really misty and windy at about 2pm,. when I just arrived at Col du Bonhomme. it was beautiful, but a little scary at times. There were several sketchy paths that I almost went off trail from. Oh well, so glad to have survived.

Arrived at Refuge Croix du la Bonhomme at about 4pm, when it started to rain almost immediately after.Β  I felt so lucky to be in the shelter, soon after, the rain became snow. Beautiful, but I will not wish to be out hiking on slippery sketchy snow.

The refuge is nice though. Met a super friendly couple, Lien and Wannas, who remembered me on the trail earlier today. They are doing a section of the GR5, so we’ll be splitting paths tomorrow. Chatted with them about the TMB, because they’ve done it before already. Lien showed me her little trail diary, where she reviewed about the different refuges and their food, showers etc. Then, an old French guy joined us, and showed us his water colour sketches he did along the trail. Very cool and beautiful work.

Then it was dinner, my first refuge meal. We had a bean soup, a type of pasta/potato carb, stewed beef, cheese(really good btw) and chocolate cake.

Pretty impressive for a hiker meal, 2443m up in the mountains. They have helicopters to transport the ingredients. Amazing.

Then it was bed time at about 9pm.

Photos of the day (with captions):Β 

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The pilgrimage chapel of Notre-Dame de la Gorge.

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The climb of Day 2 began on this steep rocky path

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Took a little break by taking timer selfies!

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First sight of views on Day 2.

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A nice couple helped me take photos with the gorgeous view.

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There they are. So nice of them πŸ™‚

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Gorgeous, albeit overcast skies.

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Soon after the real ascend of the day started. I didn’t know it will soon turn out to be super steep and tiring. But the views were sure worth it.

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W.C mid- way! Didn’t have to use it though…

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Another TMB trail marker. Follow the red/white line!

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When tired, I took timer selfies. I always use huge rocks as tripods. Haha.

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Up and up we need to go!

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Tired but all smiles! But as you can see, I needed to pick up the pace as the clouds started to come in quick.

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Finally arrived at Col du Bonhomme 2329m! Had my picnic lunch there. The wind was so strong.

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Continue onwards to the higher Co de la Croix du Bonhomme 2483m

The weather became very erratic after, with stormy- looking clouds coming in and disappearing within seconds.

The ‘clear’ scene below became cloudy and misty within seconds as I was trying to take pictures. I was a little worried of visibility at that time. I tried to walk at a quicker pace. Then again, the beautiful views made the situation peaceful at the same time.

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I love cairns.

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Sign of the refuge nearby! I was elated.

 

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FINALLY. Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme 2443m. I was so happy and relived that I made it to my first hut on the TMB, safely. And avoiding the looming bad weather just in time. It turned stormy soon after I arrived in my cosy shelter for the night.

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Rustic and cosy, just as how I’d expected, and even better. A refuge in the middle of nowhere is a miracle.

 

 

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Drying area in the hut. But I was too tired to wash/hang up anything.

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Fellow hiker helped me with a photo of the crazy weather outside! Can you see anything beyond that whiteness? We certainly couldn’t. It was a snow storm.

Soon, it was dinner time. My first dinner in a hut! Everyone had their names to a table. For starters we had a bean soup, followed by pasta, beef stew, cheese and chocolate cake.

At first I was nervous to dine with the others but it turned out pretty fun! Getting to know them, asking them about their routes and encounters so far. After dinner, most people went to the dorms and I think it was an 8.30pm bedtime. I guess everyone was exhausted, including myself.

 

More TMB articles on site:

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