Note to self and future TMBers: Don’t save the Chamonix stretch for your last day of hiking.
I forgot that with all the cable cars from the Chamonix valley, on a beautiful, sunny Sunday, the trails would be swarming with day-hikers. Not that’s there’s anything wrong with day-hikers. I work as a guide on these very same trails and frequently bring groups of 20 slow moving people to block your way. I apologize now to all you TMBers trying to finish your grand adventure while passing large groups stopping for picture ops and taking off layers.
I felt a level of frustration today that I hadn’t anticipated, but all I had to do was look around at the all-pervasive beauty and get over it. Still, I wasn’t in my groove.
I was glad to get the opportunity to hike up to Brévent which was much rockier, technical and rougher than I had imagined. Springing chamois greeted me near the top, and it felt like I was taking pictures of the mountain goats I see in print when I read my weekly horoscope. Was I seeing a representation of myself, the Capricorn — steady, independent, free? I would like to think so.
The not-so-well marked trail descending from Bel Lachat to Les Houches was absolutely brutal on my aching knees, and I was forced to take it nice and slow down the steep, slippery slopes and walk with intention. I wouldn’t be making it back up to the Col de Voza in time to catch the afternoon train down to finish the TMB. Just before les Houches, the statue of Christ-Roi greeted me with his awesome grandeur and reminded me it was ok to wake up another day on the trail.
After a quick pizza, I put my throbbing knees to bed around 9 pm in hopes of an early start tomorrow.
Day 7 recap:
Le Tour to Les Houches
8.5 hrs hiking
Refuge: Hotel Chris-Tal, Les Houches