FAQs about the TMB (Tour du Mont Blanc) — Answered!

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My husband and I just returned last week from our amazing trip to hike the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB).  I definitely recommend this trek to anyone who loves hiking, mountains, or cornflakes.  For a recap of our eight-day self-guided itinerary, check out my recap post.  For a list of the gear we took with us, see my gear post.  This post will fill in some blanks and provide some helpful information if you are interested in learning more about the TMB or if you are planning to do it!

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Tour Du Mont Blanc (TMB) in Eight Days: Our Itinerary and Recap!

IMG_2728My husband and I just returned from hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc, a loop trail that goes around the Mont Blanc massif in France, Italy, and Switzerland.  I will have separate posts for what we packed for this adventure, as well as some FAQs if you are interested in more tips about the TMB.  But this post is my recap:  where we went, where we stayed, what we ate, and how long this thing took us!  We decided to do the trip in eight days and book it all ourselves — not using a hired guide company or trip planner.  So here it is — our eight-day self-guided TMB itinerary!

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Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) Packing List — What to Bring and What to Leave at Home

IMG_2673My husband and I recently completed the Tour du Mont Blanc, an approximately 100 mile hiking loop around Mont Blanc in France, Italy, and Switzerland.  This is a popular route, and I benefitted greatly from reading the packing lists and blog recaps of other TMB hikers.  Here is one of my contributions — our packing list!  I am also posting a recap of our eight-day TMB itinerary and some FAQs about the TMB, in separate posts.  Enjoy!

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Weekend Adventure Recaps: Skyline Traverse, Bierstadt Summit, Snowy Grays and Torreys Summits, Boulder Trail Runners Church Run

IMG_1396I am finally getting back into a groove after my move to Colorado and weeks of home improvement tasks.   I even when to Orangetheory this week for the first time in way too long.  It was tough — way tougher than when I was going regularly — but it was so, so good to be back.  Definitely planning to go more often, especially as we have these rainy and colder days of fall.  Maybe I’ll even do Hell Week this year… Anyway, the purpose of this post is to recap some (but not all!) of the fun running and hiking adventures I’ve had over the past several weeks: (1) completing the Boulder Skyline Traverse (previously mentioned  here); (2) summitting Mt. Bierstadt (our 2nd 14er); (3) summitting Grays and Torreys Peaks (our 3rd and 4th 14ers); and (4) joining the Boulder Trail Runners for one of their infamous Sunday “Church” runs.  Also don’t forget you can stay up to date on these adventures and much more on Instagram.  Let’s dig in…

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Top 10 Tips for Your First Backpacking Trip

img_1970This summer, I developed a strong desire to spend some time in the wilderness.  Real adventure that gets me out of my comfort zone.   (For the record, I had done one real, adventurous, very legit camping trip in Alaska when I was in high school, but I was along for the ride with some camping experts and didn’t do any of the planning, so it didn’t feel like that counted.)  So bought a bunch of stuff at REI, researched online, and planned a short, beginner backpacking trip for my husband and our dog in Shenandoah National Park.  Of course it rained on the planned weekend and we had to cancel our adventure.  A few weeks later, I did some camping in Wyoming at formal campsites and really loved sleeping outdoors, but I didn’t want winter to arrive without having done a real backpacking trip.  So I somehow persuaded my wonderful husband to head out in much colder weather than originally anticipated (it was now October instead of August!) for a backpacking trip.  We survived!  Even with just one little weekend trip, I’ve already learned a ton, and I wanted to share it with other aspiring adventurers.  Without further ado:

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Top Tips for Visiting Yellowstone and Grand Tetons (After Running the Mesa Falls Marathon)

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As I reported earlier this week, I recently completed the Mesa Falls Marathon in Idaho (no, you da ho).   But that was just the beginning of the fun.  The race was conveniently located near Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, so of course I had to check them out.  Especially because the National Park Service had just celebrated its centennial!  Woohoo!

I LOVED these parks and they each had unique vibes and attractions.  Here are some of my top tips for when to visit, where to stay, what to eat, and what to do in Yellowstone and GTNP.  Oh, and a few notes on things to do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming during the summer.

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Quick Update: Training at Altitude Beginning Soon!

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Hi all,

I have been totally delinquent — too busy watching the Olympics (eventing!!!) to blog.  Oh, and running and hiking (Billy Goat, Old Rag) and sleeping and OTF-ing and reading some awesome books (Into Thin Air (read it twice in row…), How Bad Do You Want It, A Walk in the Woods) and listening to the Ultrarunner Podcast and watching awesome documentaries (Meru and Sherpa) and modern dancing and trying my darnedest to eat reasonably healthy.  Busy busy but mostly good stuff!  Training is going well for Mesa Falls, and Chicago is just around the corner so I am working on my A-race mentality and getting all the pieces in place to give myself the best shot at a PR/BQ.  Oh AND I entered the Big Sur lottery.  Slim odds, but as they say, if you don’t play you can’t win.  But the BIGGEST update…

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