Introducing: 5 Days of Summer! Mont Blanc Day Hikes.

Hello trekkers!

Well, the Summer 2020 hiking season sure hasn’t turned out like we planned.  Here at Trenoza Treks, we’ve had to postpone our multi-day treks for next season.  What will we do in the meantime, you ask?  Take you out for guided day hikes! 

Welcome to our “5 Days of Summer” day-hiking session.  Has hiking Mont Blanc been on your to-do list? Get ready to check it off! Over the course of the summer, we’ll take groups out to five of the best day hikes around Mont Blanc.  This will be a great opportunity for locals to get out and see the best of what the Tour du Mont Blanc has to offer – without having to commit to a week (or longer) trip.   

Oh yeah, it’s also going to be (basically) free to you!  We just ask that, in return, you let us use photos of you from the day’s adventure, and that you leave a review for us on Google when you get home. 

We anticipate you’ll have some questions, so here are some answers in advance!

What are the dates of the hikes? 

The hikes will start in July - to coincide with the end of the snow on the trails - and continue through the month of September.  We will provide both a main date for a hike, and an alternate date in case of bad weather. 

We’ll list the hikes as events on our Trenoza Treks Facebook page, so please “like” our page and check back in for regular updates. 

Our first hike is scheduled for Saturday, July 4th, with an alternate date of Saturday, July 11th.  Other dates will be posted as the summer progresses. 

How do I sign up?

You can sign up at our Facebook page under the events section.  Don’t have Facebook?  No problem.  Just email us at Space is limited!

I don’t know if I can commit to 5 hikes this summer.  Do I have to do all 5?

Nope!  Each hike will have individual signups, so come to as many or as few as you like. 

How difficult are the hikes? 

On average, the hikes will include: 

Do I need to be incredibly fit to do these hikes? 

You don’t need to be a super athlete.  However, you do need to be accustomed to a moderate level of physical activity to be comfortable on these treks.  We won’t be racing to the finish of the hikes – the point is to enjoy the day.  But, we do want you to know that these will be challenging days if you don’t already maintain a decent exercise regimen.

What do I need to bring?

Each hiker should be sure to have the following equipment and apparel: 

Optional equipment includes: 

How do we get there/back? 

We will provide you with the meetup points for the hikes, but we will not be providing transportation unless special requests are made (and paid).  We encourage our participants to carpool where possible, and we will be able to take a couple of people with us in our vehicle (providing they can meet us in Annecy). 

Do I need to bring any cash? 

Some hikes will allow us opportunities to stop for coffees and/or pastry(!) at local mountain refuges.  As the refuges generally prefer cash, we recommend you bring some euros along to enjoy a treat.   

On some occasions, we may also use ski lifts and/or buses to get to the starts of our trails. We will notify you in advance if that is the case.

What if I still have other questions? 

Please email us at or send us a message on Facebook Messenger.

Trek Prep: What to do while you're counting down!

Now I'm in It

We know how you feel.  You’ve booked your summer trek and you’re counting down the days until your trip starts.  But, what can you be doing in the meantime to prep yourself for your summertime hiking adventures?   

Even when the trails are inaccessible, there’s plenty of conditioning you can do during the off season.  There are also some very specific considerations for multi-day trekking that you should incorporate into your exercise routine.  (Of course, before you engage in any new fitness activity, please consult with your doctor to make sure it's right for you.) 

Here are some tips for focusing your winter training for summer multi-day hikes.  This will be the first in a series of posts discussing training, so get ready!

Such Great Heights 

One question we always get from our hikers: do I need to train for elevation?  None of the vacations offered at Trenoza Treks require high altitude training.  However, our days average at a 3,000ft (1,000m) elevation gain/loss.  That means you need to get accustomed to working the muscles activated during ascents and descents: quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, abs, and hip muscles.   

So, how can you mimic this activity when you can’t get on the trails?  One option is stair training.  If you’ve got access to a stair machine or elliptical at the gym, these machines will target the hiking muscle groups.   

No gym membership?  Or, maybe you just don’t like those machines? (I mean heck, I think they’re tedious as anything.)  Try some outdoor stair training options.  This video gives you some great ideas on how to start stair training outdoors for hiking.   

Photo by Christopher Burns on Unsplash

Which brings us to our next common question: do I need to train with a pack? 

This Overload 

I remember being in the gym and seeing this guy on the stair stepper with a backpack full of dumbbells.  When I asked what he was training for, he said he was doing some massive, multi-week, backpacking trip through France and Spain.  He’d have all of his gear – clothing, camping equipment, and food – on him 24/7.   

Huh.  Well, that’s not how we roll at Trenoza Treks!  On most days, you’ll have full access to your luggage.  On days when we overnight at refuges, you’ll need to carry a change of clothes.  In general though, your day pack will include: 

For most people, this works out to 10-15 pounds of weight.  And the great news is, you can use your backpack in a very reasonable way to strength train for just what you’ll need!  This article provides instruction on incorporating your pack into an at-home workout routine.  Just please, please, PLEASE, do not start off with the pack filled with 15 pounds of weights!  Learn the moves first with zero/light weight, and gradually increase the weight over time. 

And yes, when you’re able to hit the hills again, hike with your pack at weight.  This will get your arms/shoulders/back/core adjusted to the changes in balance and strength you’ll need for your hiking days. 

Photo of girl wearing backpack
Photo by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash

I Would Walk 500 Miles 

At the risk of stating the obvious, walking is a great way to train for hiking.  And you can practice it every day!  Do you walk to work?  Walk in your boots.  Walking some local “easy” trails.  Yeah, still walk in your boots.  Walking from the store parking lot to the shops?  Get your boots on! 

We walk on average 8-12 miles (10-16 kilometers) each day on our treks.  So, you need to train your feet, people. 

Pointers on getting the piggies (and the rest of your body) ready: 

Photo of hiking boots
Photo by Emma Van Sant on Unsplash

Not for nothing, our biggest injury on the trails is blisters.  Remember, you have all day to finish a hike, but this means your feet are in boots for hours on end.  Hiking endurance is not just about strength or cardio fitness, it’s about common-sense preparation.  Make your feet a focus of your winter fitness regimen. 

The Way 

Thanks for reading this primer winter trip fitness prep.  Stay tuned for future posts targeting strength, cardio, and flexibility training.  See you in the mountains! 

Image of man looking at Matterhorn

Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Winter Hiking


If you’re anything like us, by now you’re starting to get a little twitchy. The siren song of the mountains is calling, and though it’s muffled by snow, you still feel you must go!

Lucky for us, winter hiking is a thing. With the right amount of prep, you too can frolic in the snow, happily stomping through the tracks of cross-country skiers and frantically scrambling across the downhill skier pistes. (DUDE, I am kidding! Geez, skiers, chillax a bit. Continue being your fabulous selves.) Seriously though, sharing is caring, and we discuss that in this post too. ?

Like any winter sport, winter hiking requires different preparation than its summer counterpart. Here are some tips to get started.


We can’t stress this first one enough. Know the snow before you go! Check conditions, and check them often.

If you’re unfamiliar with navigating snowy conditions – and by this we definitely mean knowing about avalanche danger – stick with routes that are known quantities. For example, ski resorts often have designated areas for those on foot. (Just remember that in any place where multi-sports activities are allowed, you should respect the trails/tracks of others and to keep your wits about for off-pisters.)

If you want to check a specific trail area for current avalanche danger, look online for local conditions. Users based in the United States can start by going to

Still feeling unsure?  Do lowland hikes and stay well below the snowline.  You might not get the elevation gain/loss you would up in the mountains, but the point is to get out and get moving.  Search your local area for tips on winter hiking trips.  (Washington State locals, here’s a great list from WTA!)


Snow’s one thing, but you should know the general forecast as well. Rain? Make sure you’ve got waterproofs? Snow? Layers (and see above). Sun? Sunblock, for sure!

Speaking of sun, make sure you know how much light do you have available during the day. Winter hikes can take longer than their summer counterparts, especially if you’re tromping through snow. Consider shorter treks in winter conditions to make sure you don’t get stuck out in the dark.

Temperatures, of course, are also very important. While you’re moving, you might not feel too cold. But if you have any stationary time planned for your hike (e.g. lunch break) make sure you’ve got extra layers to add while you’re at rest.


Not really jazzed to throw on your ratty hiking shorts for a winter hike? Yeah, we don’t blame you! Here are some bottom to top gear considerations for winter hiking:


As you finish your prep, don’t forget to throw some extra snacks in your pack. If you’re trudging through snow, you’ll be burning through energy quickly. Have a variety of snacks (that you can still chew after they’ve gotten cold) in your pack to keep your fuel reserves up.


With a bit of prep, you can have a fantastic winter hike.  Get out there and play!

*Photo by Dino Reichmuth

**Photo by Ales Krivec on Unsplash

Will I be the slowest?


You’re 9 years old, standing on the dusty baseball field with the rest of your classmates.  The team captains have chosen their players, and only two people – two athletically challenged, uncoordinated, and gawkish people – remain sans team.  You mumble to yourself, “Don’t be the last one picked, don’t be the last one picked.” 

You’re the last one picked. 

This creeping sense of self-doubt that you are NOT good enough to do an activity can tiptoe after you even into adulthood.  Our hikers are often worried they’ll be the slowest, and that the group will suffer for their sluggishness.  

We’re here to dispel that fear RIGHT NOW. 

This is a vacation. Not a race.

Oh sure, there will be people who have to be first, out in front of everyone else, every hiking day. There will also be people will long, graceful, legs that will seem to slide up the mountain with zero discernible effort. 

Don’t let that psych you out.  Shoot, I’m built like a hobbit and have never glided up anything in my life.  The point is this trek is going to be different for everyone.  Some days you might be in front of the pack, other days in the middle.  If you’re tired, you might hang towards the back of the pack.  That’s okay.  This is not a competitive sporting event; it’s a holiday!   

Oh yeah, that'll be me in the back.

We know how to adjust.

When our trail days are planned, our guides take into account a range of different fitness levels.  Yes, you need to be physical fit enough to do the trek (see our FAQ for trip challenge levels).  Yes, you should ask us if you’re worried about the difficulty of a particular trek and whether you’re able to do it.  (We love emails!)  But generally, the hike days are meant to be accomplished at a comfortable pace.  Most importantly, we want you to be happy and healthy on the trail – not fast! 

Journey before destination.

When you go on one of our treks, you’re going to see landscapes you’ve never seen before, wildlife you’ve never encountered, and flowers (OMG – the flowers!!!!) galore.  You’re supposed to take time to look around.  Suck up the sunshine and the alpine views: every second you spend out on the hill is one you’re not in your office!  Don’t rush the experience.   

So go ahead, BE THE SLOWEST.

Take it all in and remember that even though you’re moving, this is a getaway, a vacation, a holiday, a respite, a break.  Let it be.