Three coun­tries, 110 miles, one pair of walk­ing boots

The Daily Telegraph - Travel - - COVER STORY -

Sarah Bax­ter marks the 250th an­niver­sary of Europe’s favourite long-dis­tance hike: the Tour du Mont Blanc

The rock was perfect. Flat-topped, smooth, an­gled just so: Mont Blanc loomed straight ahead. But the Monarch of the Alps wouldn’t join us at our pic­nic ta­ble. While we ate hunks of bread and nutty alpine cheese, the moun­tain’s upper flanks re­mained veiled by a stub­born crown of cloud. The rest of the sky burned blue, save for a few wisps of cir­rus, and the other peaks and crag tops were bathed in sun­shine. But not The King. We munched slowly, lis­ten­ing to melt­wa­ter trickle and mar­mots scream. The cloud shifted, ed­died, tan­ta­lised – but it sim­ply would not break.

That day’s walk – day two of our Alpine hike – gave us plenty to en­joy: wa­ter­fall-soused val­leys; gul­lies

Cour­mayeur, left; Val Veni, right; and a tra­di­tional dish from the re­gion, be­low

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