A full walking week with some good friends from the old days at Mansfield Brewery. My fellow walkers Bill McCosh, Darrell Stocks, Paul Handley and Hugh Wilson all survived the week despite one incident involving a ladder, mega quantities of Ibuprofen and Heinz tomato soup, plus unusually modest amounts of vin rouge.
Cable car to la Flégere 1877m and walk S.W. along the Grand Balcon Sud to Planpraz followed by quick lunch at the chalet.
TMB route up to the summit of le Brevent 2525m and cable car return on the Brevent lift.
About 4 hours walking in hot weather.
|Fresh legs! First day, heading for Planpraz on the Grand Balcon Sud, above Chamonix|
|With Hugh and Paul on the TMB route up to the summit of le Brevent|
|Summit of Aiguille Brevent, 2525m|
Circular walk to Lac Blanc from la Flégere. Cable car to la Flegere 1877m and walk to Lac Blanc via the main path. Lunch at Chalet du Lac Blanc 2352m, and return via TMB to la Flégere. Cable car back to Chamonix.
Again about 4 hours walking in fine weather.
|Setting off from la Flagere for Lac Blanc|
|Lunch at Refuge Chalet du Lac Blanc|
|Views from above Lac Blanc|
|On the TMB below Lac Blanc|
|Aiguille du Midi, photo courtesy of Garrondo via Wikipedia|
Splendid views of the glaciers, Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Blanc itself, Tour Ronde and the Grandes Jorasses…a highly recommended trip!
Walk up Val Ferret to Plancinpieux before traversing the slopes up to Refuge Bertone (1991m). Steep descent to Courmayeur and taxi back to Chamonix.
|Chamonix Valley from the Aig. du Midi cable car|
|View towards the Grandes Jorasses from Aig. du Midi|
|Mont Blanc, view across the crest of the Cosmiques Arête|
|The team on the summit of Aiguille du Midi, 3842m. Mont Blanc is behind us|
|Mont Blanc, the mountaineer's track from the Cosmiques Arête in the foreground|
|Start of the Helbronner telecabine crossing of the Vallee Blanch, looking toward Italy|
|Climbers descending from the Aiguille du Midi|
|Cosmiques Arête viewed from the south|
|Crossing the Vallee Blanche|
|Grandes Jorasses from the Helbronner telecabine|
|Mont Blanc du Tacul|
|Glacier du Geant|
|Tour Ronde 3792m, climbed in 2005 by moi...|
|Glacier views from the Helbronner telecabine|
|Tour Ronde and Mont Blanc|
|Mont Blanc from the west|
|Dent du Géant, 4013m|
|Approaching Pte Helbronner en route to the Torino Hut|
|Mont Blanc from Pte Helbronner, 3462m|
|On Pte Helbronner 3462m|
|View to the Vanoise from the Torino Hut|
|Mont Blanc from above Courmayeur|
|Mont Blanc from Val Ferret|
Cable cars/chairlift from le Tour towards Col de Balme. Easy contouring path with some slightly more exposed sections before ascent on lateral moraine bounding the Glacier du Tour. Final approach on moderately angled snow slopes, followed by a simple lunch at the Refuge Albert Premier 2702m. Return by the same route. Narrowly avoided being caught in a storm, which, fortunately, kept to the other side of the valley!
|Sunny start from the Col de Balme|
|The trail to the Albert Premier hut|
|Final snow slope before the Refuge Albert Premier|
|At the Refuge Albert Premier|
|Descent back to the Col de Balme...storm clouds gathering|
|Thunderstorm over the Chamonix valley...time to get off the hill!|
Planned ascent of Mont Joly 2525m. Cable car from Les Contamines to le Signal, then climbed to Aiguille Croche 2487m and on to ridge high above Megéve. Quick lunch on ridge before abandoning route due to towering cumulo-nimbus in all directions. Descent via same route, with storm breaking as we reached valley bottom.
|Summit of Aiguille Croche 2487m|
|Descent from Aiguille Croche|
Tramway du Mont Blanc from St Gervais to Bellevue (1786m). Walk down through forest and across the cascades issuing from the huge Glacier de Bionnassay. Then a climb up to Col Tricot (2120m). Drop to Chalets de Miage and final descent to la Villette. Total descent today c. 1000m.
|Starting day 6 on the TMB above Bionnassay|
|Crossing the Torrent de Bionnassy|
|Aiguille du Gouter, start of the 'Ordinary Route' on to Mont Blanc|
|Rest stop on the Col de Tricot, 2120m|
|Descent from the Chalets de Miage|
|Looking into the valley of les Contamines Montjoie|
|Tired legs! Only 1000m of descent today ;-)|