We had the highest of hopes going into this, but the weather just refused to cooperate. The rain had been falling for days, and according to the 7 day forecast, had no plans of stopping. The standard TMB trekking guide had us listed at two additional days, going north of Chamonix and descending south into Les Houches for the final leg. Most walkers had already called it quits and were taking buses from stage to stage. For whatever reason, we refused to quit, and ignoring the weather report for the day, made our way up to Col de Balme.
It probably wasn’t the best decision we’ve ever made, as the rain fell harder and colder than it had on any previous day. The uphill was a swirling mist of misery, but paled in comparison to the downhill portion. From Col de Balme, we decided to take the safer alternative route to Le Tour instead of the higher altitude route to Aig des Posettes. The trail was a slip-n-slide. The mud was more water than dirt, and a foot deep in most places. The ground had been whipped to mush by hikers moving day after day in falling rain. If I closed my eyes, I probably could have envisioned I was on a sky vacation, but unfortunately, it was only my hiking shoes sliding over the never ending see of mush that sat before me.
It took us a considerable amount of time, but we finally made it to Le Tour and then Argentiere. It was here we decided to pull the plug on the other alternative stages and make our way to Chamonix to finish. The weather was just too miserable, we hadn’t seen a mountain in days, and with a forecast of more rain, it was the prudent thing to do. Fortunately, upon our arrival in Argentiere, the sun broke through for an hour or so, and a few mountain peaks showed their faces. It didn’t last long, but it was enough of a goodbye to leave this trek with a positive outlook.