Chamonix – Les Houches
Tuesday 12th August 2020
“When you see someone putting on his (her) Big Boots, you can be pretty sure that an Adventure is going to happen, AA Milne”
We start our hike from the outdoor capital of Europe. From Chamonix we take the Plan Praz cable car to the Col de Brevent pass at an altitude of 2368m where our trek begins.
It boasts magnificent alpine scenery with breathtaking views over the snowcapped Alps.
The trek is known to be difficult in places climbing over 10 mountain cols (mountain passes) and descending into seven valley floors.
The cumulative ascent and descent of Mont Blanc is close to 10,000m – that’s equivalent to climbing Mount Everest (if you take out the altitude sickness of course but let’s not mention that!). So its a pretty impressive walking tour.
With a little trepidation, partnered with nervous excitement, we began to follow a dusty path of loose gravel up behind the lift station, gaining height with each forward step.
As we start to head all the way up to the summit of Brevant Peak (8,287 feet) we were soon engulfed by the tall sides of the nearby mountains.
After taking in the scenery, getting some pictures we start the long and continual descent down to Les Houches.
Mont Blanc and the major glaciers came into view. Wow. I’m readied for the full challenge ahead, eager to keep moving and excited to begin to discover what the path will bring…just genuinely grateful to have this freedom once more.
Continuous accessible beauty that you can never tire of was all around, everywhere you looked. We had flowery meadows, bell ringing cows, villages of perfect timber chalets, high peaks topped with snowy domes…it just goes on and on!
Soaking it all up, breathing in the views alongside the clean, fresh air of the high mountains, I appreciated this moment.
Mother nature is in her glory and I thanked my lucky stars that I was here right now…it had been a close call if we were going to be allowed to travel or not right up until the very last minute.
We cross the rise and drop into the village of Les Houches .
Les Houches is one of the larger villages in the valley, around 4 miles from the centre of Chamonix.
It feels a little more chilled out than Chamonix itself and full of wonderful charm.
It looks modern but there is an abundance of traditional old chalets and chapels that give it a traditional feel that fits in with its alpine surroundings.
Then it’s time to face the music! We have to hike out of this village straight up to Col du Voza with gradients of at least 25% in places. Temperatures are high and the hike is open and straight up. These guys obviously don’t know about switch backs in the Alps. It goes up and up and up, relentlessly. Just when we all thought we couldn’t go anymore we were hit with a very welcoming sight.
Our accommodation, Refuge Du Fioux which is located 1320metres above sea level at the foot of Bionnassay glacier….and from here we get a different view again of Mont Blanc summit.
This is when you are rewarded for all your efforts and the hardness of it all is instantly wiped away.
What a spot to stay, secluded, with hardly a soul in sight and getting to see Mont Blanc as we dine on the seats out front well let’s just say we couldn’t have wished for better and feel lucky.