Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hiking Mont Blanc (well, not really Mont Blanc)

We’re less than an hour away from Chamonix, the town at the foot of Mont Blanc, the highest peak (at 4,808 meters) in western Europe, and we had to go see it.  We are in the off-season so not all ski-lifts are running but most were, which allowed us to get up to high elevations and do some hiking.

On Monday, we chose a hike that would take us from the Aiguille du Midi (3,842 meters at the peak), a jagged rock outcropping a few peaks over from Mont Blanc.  A cable car took us up to the peak in two stages, and it was fantastic! 
The Alps stretching into Italy and Switzerland from the Aiguille du Midi
Parasailers preparing to launch from 3500 m
Mont Blanc with the Glacier des Bossons below
We took the cable car back down to 2,310 meters and hiked east just above the tree line along the Mont Blanc massif, from the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille to the Refuge Hôtel du Montenvers (refuges are like the overnight huts on the Appalachian Trail but on steroids; some are just dorms, some have bars, cafes, and spas but all are at high altitude throughout the Alps to accommodate through hikers.)  We hiked from glacier to glacier, from the Glacier des Bossons to the Mer de Glace.  We stopped for lunch and to take photos, so the entire hike took us three+ hours. 

Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille
Chamonix from the trail
Looking back on Mont Blanc (center) and the Aiguille du Midi (left)
Mer de Glace
Aiguille de Drus above the Mer de Glace

No comments:

Post a Comment