6 August

"My journey out was pretty slick really. I was able to get a train from the station about 4 miles from home, direct to Manchester Airport and go out to Geneva no problems. Better yet, my suitcase also arrived! The relief at seeing it on the carousel was substantial as to lose all my hiking gear before the trek started would have been a disaster.

I got a lift to Chamonix with Mountain Drop Offs @mountaindropoffs who provided a very prompt and prefessional service.

Hotel l’Avre in Chamonix is lovely, with a great view of the mountains over Chamonix. But, I couldn’t spend too much time admiring views; the first job was to rearrange all my gear so that I had the right stuff in my rucksack; then there was the briefing for the trek where I met the other members of the group – there was to be seven of us altogether, plus Alex the guide.

Everyone seems very nice, and we’re a pretty diverse bunch, covering France, Canada and the USA as well as the UK. It was also great to meet Sara, the owner of Mont Blanc Treks.

I went out for a bite to eat and - thankfully – got back in before the mother of all storms hit! It absolutely pelted it down. Then a good night’s sleep before the first day of the Haute Route (which looks like a reasonably challenging hike – there is no easy way to start!)"
Ian Price