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Report 1047: Mt. Blanc Summer 2006

By Robert Rainey from California, Summer 2006

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Page 13 of 15: Les Houches to la Flégère

photo by Robert Rainey

Today we were to hike another 18 km, with a big climb of over 1500 meters, up to Le Brevent where the trail meets the ski lift that starts in Chamonix. Along the way we had more nice views of Mt. Blanc as well as the increasingly distant Chamonix in the valley. We did a short stop at refuge De Belechat, where two teenage keepers served us coffee, bread and cheese.

We needed to do a little navigating today as the route was a little ambiguous with a few missing signs (the sign posts were there; maybe they were re-doing the signs?) We again saw many people hiking with their dogs; one cocker spaniel was playing in the snow. We were buzzed by some low flying Para gliders at the refuge but could also see many higher up in the mountains. It must be a good view from them, but I will settle for the already fabulous views we had.

Lunch was at the restaurant attached to the ski lift. It was quite crowed with folks who took the lift up for the views. The restaurant was on a ledge with a steep drop, those with fear of heights should not attempt.

The way became very steep and rocky after the high point was reached. Steel ladders were in place at one very steep descent on our traverse of the Montagne de la Parsa. We continued to follow the mountain and cut across the rocky paths just before reaching le Flegere another brief section of uphill with ladders. La Flégère comes into view and is quickly reached.

Refuge la Flégère - beautiful views of Mt. Blanc across the valley. It is a very old refuge entirely made of wood which creaked as people walked down the hall. We had a room all to ourselves which was meant for five with two bunks and a single. It had not reached peak season, which is after Bastille Day. There were community bathrooms and showers. Very rich food, potatoes with cheese, salad and bread.

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