Two years earlier, we had begun the Tour de Monte Rosa, but poor weather and fatigue left us having hiked only the first three stages (of a total nine). Therefore we decided on this trip to try and complete the remaining ones.
The TMR circumambulates Switzerland’s highest mountain, the Monte Rosa. It is equally split between northern Italy and the Valais district of Switzerland. While the trail is often steep, frequently rough and occasionally exposed, no special equipment is required beyond perhaps for a small stretch of glacier between Zermatt and the Theodul Pass. Unlike long treks in the Sierras in California, the TMR passes through a number of small towns and villages. One therefore does not need to carry tent, sleeping bag, or a multiple-day supply of food.
The TMR is typically hiked as a 9 day trek. Both of our stints on the trail have been in mid-September, although in retrospect, late August might be a better time, so far as weather (rain and snow) is concerned. On the other hand, the TMR is a popular route, and as we found, going later had the advantage of having the trail largely to ourselves.