Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Fenetre d'Arpette 18th & 19th August









Back in Chamonix, we are joined by Daniel and Bryony for the first week of their Mont Blanc holiday. We plan to do a couple of two day trips with them before they join up with Jonathan for the high mountain week of their trip.
For our first trip, we started from Champex in Switzerland so we could walk back to Chamonix using a section of the Tour du Mont Blanc. We walked through gentle Alpine scenery past gentle faced cows, through carpets of myrtilles then some scrambling over boulders, gaining height, to reach the high col of the Fenetre d'Arpette. The descent on the other side was steep but we were soon down in the valley following the stream to a point where we could cross just below the Chalet du Glacier.
The Tour du Mont Blanc has various alternatives and rather than continue down to Trient, we climbed back up through the forest to the little Refuge des Grands, our camp for the night. Just below the refuge, the path goes up the side of the cliff on an interesting, paved ramp. The refuge was locked although there was a shed that was left open but it was already occupied. We found a sheltered grassy spot nearby for our bivouac but went back along to the refuge to make use of the table and chairs! Supper was fun with Daniel and Bryony brewing up myrtille soup with the berries we had picked earlier.
The weather had been sunny with clear skies overnight so we could lie in the bivvi bags and look up at the stars and the full moon. The following morning wa s a bit more cloudy and windier too so some kind of change was happening in the weather.
We contoured round the hillside and back into France at the Col du Balme. The views over the Chamonix valley and Mont Blanc were amazing.
There are so many pictures from this trip it has been hard to pick just a few!

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