TMB to GR5

Leaving the TMB and croud’s behind – NICE AND QUIET on the GR5

I woke up to a massive headache combined with a bit nausea and feeling sickish. The last couple of days before i flew to Geneva, most of the Office had been sick, so i’m hoping it isn’t that, but what to do if.. and how do i deal with it… or should i go back down to the city… do i dare to continue… OMG! I can really mess my self up quickly!
20min, a couple of painkillers and a lot of water, and i’m almost ready to go.

I make breakfast and head to the loo, it’s a pretty cool loo, poo goes into here, pee goes there, and theres wood shavings to top it all off. It’s an eco-toilet! Just remember your headlamp.

Up with the daylight, ready to leave

The pack is packed, today’s food is within reach, fresh water directly from the stream and i’m on the gravel road toward refuge de la Balme, the weather is again perfect with a clear blue sky, i’m a happy camper.

As i reach the chalet, i’m happy that i didn’t end here yesterday, the tent site is on a small hill on the other side of the refuge and i guess that it would be hard to find a flat spot there. I’m still following the TMB, but at some point today the GR5 will keep going south, where the TMB will turn left and head to the east, i haven,t read the guide for today so i don’t know exactly where the trail will split up.

Right now my goal it to climb up to Col du Bonhomme, witch is about 700 m elevation and 10k away, and from there it’s 300 me and 2k to Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme where i will take a break.

Looking back to campsite, in the woods where the trail disappears

First things first, i have about 1000 me to climb! It’s a nice climb, and i take my time, a french dude stops me an asks about my backpack, at least that is what i think he asks about, he’s speaking french and don’t understand english or german. Further up a middleaged man stops me and asks about my backpack, he is from Washington and we have no problems understanding each other, we end up takling for about 20mins, it turns out he has section-hiked the PCT, hiked the trans New Zeeland and ect. Very interesting, and i would like to have hiked with him, he is so cool and composed, total relaxed.

While i have a small break near the Col, there are a heard of Ibex that crosses the trail in full flight, so awesome! To bad it’s 300m away, so i don’t get the Best view.
I also talk to a couple that are hiking the TMB, they are walking from town to town and get thar backs transported for them, that must be nice and easy!

Sheephearder at the top left corner

From the Col i can see the trail continues up on the left side and around the mountain, it pretty cool looking stretch and i can’t wait to get there, so only a short break and up i go. This is the best piece of trail so far, only a narrow trail leads up and over exposed rock faces, i’m loving this.

Around 12 i reach the Refuge, it has the best view ever! and i decide to have lunch there and at the same time get to charge my phone and powerpack. An omelet with bacon and cheese, it just tastes so good. After a bit of reading in the trail guide it turns out that this is where the GR5 separates from the TMB, it’s a good thing that i happened to read this now – otherwise i would have continued on the TMB, i can see where the GR5 continues up and onto the ridge, it follows the top of the ridge and is super exposed, with a massive drop on both sides… i like!

Yep, going to walk that crest line


The trail is just as spectacular as it looks to be, the views on both sides are awesome, and i enjoy this part even more than the last one, even thou i’m only 20min into the GR5 there is almost no people here, in both directions i can’t se more than 3 hikers, on the TMB i would be lucky if there where less than 20 around at any given time.
This i what i came here for!

It’s like walking on a knife edge, and i enjoy every moment of it, the sky is getting a bit cloudy and there are a few hairy moments when the Wind is gusting, i get passed by a couple of ultra runners on the way down to the pass Col de la Sauce, i have a small break at the Col and say hi to a young french man, and again… young frenchmen don’t speak english or german, this i really weird?
He is fast down the trail and even heading cross country at some points, i’m just going at my own pace, it’s a long descend and i end up taking almost 2 hours to get down to Plan de la Lai.

Down i go! allmost to the lake

It’s almost 4 in the afternoon and my plan is to continue 2-3 km further than the refuge – where there should be a good possibility to wildcamp, on the way i pass a small refuge just next to the road, didn’t even go inside! As i cross the street there is a sign saying that at the next refuge you can pitch your tent, that sounds very good, because the weather is beginning to look grim and i don’t want to hike in the rain, so i stop at the refuge and check the camp spot, it’s ok, but right next to the refuge! the refuge i super nice and cosy, the women are making jam in a big pot, it smells wonderful, they only charge 38€ for a night including dinner and breakfast, it’s a hard choice… NOT!

I get to choose my own bed for the night, as it is only me and the young frenchman that are staying here for the night, all my stuff goes onto the bed and i put the damp stuff outside to dry, but only for a short while, only a half hour later it is raining. I have a Big blister on my big toe, most of the skin i gone, i’m going to air it out, to speed up the healing process.
We are joined by a young polish man, he has been studying french in England! And are now working in Chamonix, he makes it possible to talk together and we end up having a lazy and cosy evening.
The food is very nice, soup, meat and cheese. We are of to bed at 9.

Drying oyt the damp sleepingbag

Cosy and warm, i’m the only one so far, so i get to pick the best bed

A look inside Refuge Plan-Mya