Sunday, August 14, 2011

Walkers Haute Route Trek July 2011

Haute Route Trek July 2011 Days 1 - 3

July saw the first of the Mont Blanc Treks summer Haute Route’s a tough two weeks ahead covering more than 160 kilometres, ascending and descending over 7,000 metres and passing over 11 high mountain cols.
Col du Balme, Mont Blanc
Day 1- 11th July, Le Tour to Champex Lac: We started from Chamonix on a sunny Sunday morning and headed for the first of the cols , Col du Blame 2191metres on the French/ Swiss boarder and down to Trient before ascending more than 1400 meters to our second col of the day ‘Fenettre d’Arpette’ at 2665 metres. 21 kilometres later we arrived tired and weary in the beautiful Swiss village of Champex Lac.
Trient Glacier


Day 2- 12th July, Champex Lac to Cabane du Mont Fort: An easier day today as we descended from Champex Lac to Chable where we took the telepherique to Les Runnettes above Verbier and completed the short walk to the Cabane du Mont Fort at 2473 metres. We enjoyed fantastic views back towards the Mont Blanc massif and the Grand Combine over on the Swiss/ Italian boarder.
Heading towards Sembrancher
Early start leaving Champex-Lac
Cabane du Mont Fort 
Day 3- 13th July, Cabane du Mont Fort to Cabane du Prafleuri:  A tough couple of days ahead so and poor weather forecast getting worse after midday meant an early start in order to get to our destination before the heavy rain and low temperatures.  We were soon at the first of today’s 3 cols, Col du Termin 2648 meters via the Sentier du Chamois, the weather was better than expected and we even enjoyed views of the Grand Combin massif. From here we headed up steeply to the Col du Louvie at 2921 metres before descending into the Grand Desert a stunning expanse of moraine and glacial lakes that have been left by the receding Grand Desert Glacier. From here the weather turned cold and wet and we knew we had to get the Cabane du Prafleuri as soon as possible. The group were moving well as we climbed up to the Col du Prafleuri 2987 metres we arrived at the Cabane below the Col in a very respectable 6 hours from hut to hut. A well-timed day of high level trekking as the worst of the weather came in within 15 minutes after we had arrived. Heavy rain, hail, snow & strong winds took hold making it very difficult for those groups we had passed en-route.
Col du Louvie
Grand Glacier
Cabane du Prafleuri
More to follow.

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