Three countries, 110 miles, one pair of walking boots
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