Refuge Le Peuty – Refuge La Boerne
Thursday 20th August 2020
“Hiking is the answer, who cares what the question is”.
Everyone was up early and preparing backpacks which we have got down to a fine art.
We had breakfast in the yurt and reluctantly left Trient to rejoin the TMB trail at La Peuty.
The next three hours were a good steady climb, it was steep but not vertical like some of the others.
We eventually cleared the trees, entered an open hillside where we could see Swiss valleys below us and the Col de Balme above us (marking our return to France). It was another very hot day.
Eventually, we could just make out the Col de Balme refuge which now looked close but actually involved so much more upward climbing than we initially thought. Finally we reached the top of the Swiss-French border at 2191m.
The views from the Col de Balme, are spectacular and well worth the time taken to enjoy it!
The whole Chamonix Valley lay spread out before us with Mont Blanc dominating the skyline on the south side of the valley.
We found a perfect spot to relax for lunch and take in the views. Not only did we have this magical view of Mont Blanc but we also had an amazing view of Glacier du Tour, one of the largest on the massif.
The mountains seem alive. This is a special moment and one not to be interrupted. No photos can do this justice and it’s an experience to be ‘felt’ as much as it is to be witnessed.
There’s something special about this spot that makes me feel reluctant to move on. I feel at peace here.
The views in the other direction revealed Lac d’Emosson.
Forced from my spot as we needed to continue to hike we dropped slightly and then climbed to the highlight of my day, Aiguillette des Posettes.
The panorama before us was so appealing that it took discipline to pay attention to where I was walking.
This stone outcrop offers a 360° view of Switzerland and France with Mont Blanc obviously dominating but there’s plenty of other spectacular scenery.
While admiring Mont Blanc and the Aiguilles Rouges we spotted our rather intimidating route tomorrow as it zig zagged up the mountain.
Toward the end of the crestline, the path dove down the hill in a series of switchbacks.
The long, knee-grinding but fun descent on switchbacks (so they do know how to do these) brought us out at a road just above the small village of Tré-le-Champ and the flower-laden, 18th century Auberge la Boerne, our destination for the night.
We were warmly welcomed as we arrived at this cute, cozy refuge with little rooms tucked everywhere. Our bunk room had a door to a balcony with a convenient clothes line to do a little laundry.
Boot racks are available in each refuge, since boots are not allowed inside, it’s a welcomed relief to get these bad boys off!
Auberge La Boerne on a whole was unbelievably quaint. Each room was very cozy and dark, which made me feel like I was sleeping in the hold of a ship or even part of a Harry Potter movie! After organizing our gear, we ended up sitting in the lovely garden, enjoying beers/juice with a lovely dutch guy who we’ve met on previous stages of the trek before sitting down dinner.
As the sun begins to fall behind Mont Blanc the scene changes magically as transient shafts of orange and red sunlight subtly paint the few available clouds.
Then it was earlyish to bed as tomorrow would be our last day and it was meant to be a long tough day….I would not wish to end it any other way!