When to walk it

Jubilaumsgrat, (Jubilee Ridge)

A long walk is a mind game - maybe one day in ten, I'll leave my tent to walk all day in filthy weather, and that tests ones motivation. I don't want to plan for a schedule of more than 15 miles walked per day. Doesn't sound like much, but most days I'll be climbing more than Ben Nevis, with a backpack and food. That means a trip of around 220 full walking days, plus maybe 20 days for rest, resupply and illness, or about 9 months in all.

The challenge then is how to accomplish this adventure non-stop. The main walking season in the Alps is July to September. Walkers in June can expect widespread snow underfoot. Walking earlier than that depends greatly on snow conditions and generally requires Winter skills. Any time from October onwards, snow may fall and settle, and from November the likelihood increases - a number of the high road passes in the Alps close from October for snow. At any time in the Summer of course, snow can fall, but doesn't usually last more than a few days.

My plan is to spend Winter in the Alps preparing, toughening myself up, walking around 800 miles to develop my snow skills and to set off from Monaco as soon as the conditions safely allow - certainly by Easter.

Depending on progress, I may still be walking in December, as the ski stations stir into life again. It should be a lot of fun - I can't wait!