Trip Report Rambling in the Alps

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Edgecrusher, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    I'm flying out of MEL on 15 June and landing in Geneva.
    5 nights based in Les Houches (Chamonix Valley) followed by 5 nights in La Palud (just up the road from Courmayeur), before heading down to Milan - Verona - Bassano del Grappa, and flying back on 6 July out of Venice.

    The plan is to get as much hiking in the Alps completed as possible, weather and conditions permitting. Many of the mid altitude trails are currently inaccessible due to the massive winter snowpack lingering well into June. Also, the Aiguille du Midi cable car is out of action after irregularities were discovered on the cable. The Plan de l'Aiguille - Montenvers walk is out of action.
    However, the aim is to utilise the Plan Praz and Flegere cable cars, and the Les Bossons chair to access some trails, as well as heading up to Le Tour.

    I'll try and post some pics and trip reports as I go.
     
  2. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Fantastic!

    Yes to pics :)
     
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  3. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    It hasn't helped that I pinged a calf last night right at the end of a run. Should be right though by the time I get there as it seems to be only a minor strain.
     
  4. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    i can take your ticket if it really hurts to walk
     
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  5. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Les Bosson chair?

    Is du midi out, both sections? Dang. Montenvers to plan du midi and hike down to town is totally possible

    Not a serious hike but the lake above vallocine is scenic AF
     
  6. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    This guy:
    https://www.lavormaine.com/index.php/en/summer/activities-trails
    Allows access to the cafe, and there's another hut around 400 metres higher. From there (provided there's not too much snow), you can hike to La Jonction at 2600m where the Bossons and Taconnaz Glaciers branch off. I doubt I'll be able to do this hike despite wanting to do it since I was there last in 2011.

    Du Midi is out in both sections. I've done the hike before but wanted to access The Void up at the Midi and then do the hike on my first day there just to loosen up.
     
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  7. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Well that's handy, I never realised it was there - I thought all that stuff was the defunct les Bosson ski area. Les jonction will be a great, great spot, really amongst giants and massive glaciers! There's an ok cafe in town named after it.
    Check out the big mountain brewery if you can, looks like decent beer has really arrived in cham.
    Shame I miss ya by a week! Enjoy
     
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  8. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local
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    Following!
     
  9. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Im thinking a hard earned thirst might need a big cold beer...
     
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  10. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    La jonction is a cracker walk. Did that in 99. I imagine some glacier retreat since then sadly
     
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  11. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    1100 vertical from the top of the chair, 1600 without.
     
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  12. mr

    mr Part of the Furniture
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    Yep i just went from cham campground. Back in the day when time meant nothing.
     
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  13. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Noticed this this morning, relevant. Lotsa snow!
     
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  14. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    I was hoping to hike up to Lac Blanc...might still give it a go but we'll see how I go. Anything over 2,000m I'll need to be very careful.
    I've been crossing my fingers for warm temps and rain for weeks.
     
  15. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    It’s low, good chance. Hopefully the refuge will be open!
    Lac du brevent is a nice option too
     
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  16. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    The cable cars and the hut are scheduled to open on 16 June when I get there. I was looking forward to walking up and enjoying some of the local cuisine!
     
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  17. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    We skied across Lac Blanc with The Carves. Awesome spot!
     
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  18. Kletterer

    Kletterer Still looking for doughnuts
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    Hellbroner cableway reopens tomorow.
     
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  19. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    Is there anything to see in Milan not available in some form or other in say, Venice or Florence or Rome, i.e. just more art and statues? or is it just the transportation hub one flies/trains into to get to northern Italy.
     
  20. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Just using it as a transportation hub. I've only been to the train station there but this time I'm staying a night and will do some walking around the city before departing. I guess there's the Duomo, and if you like motor racing, there's always Monza. For calcio fans, there's Inter and AC Milan, and the San Siro.
     
  21. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    Thanks @Edgecrusher . I'm looking at maybe three weeks with my son in September next year. I'm starting to think about it now as OG1 and I shall be having maybe four of five weeks in Europe beforehand and probably be looking at flights by October so want to have a bit of an idea by then. We are sort of thinking of some hiking in the Dolomites to start with and then Venice-Florence-Rome, but wanting to avoid getting art-galleried-out. He thought Milan but with those other three on his list I think Milan might be just something to transit through, hence my question.
     
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  22. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    You're welcome. While I've traveled through the Dolomites I haven't had the experience and pleasure of doing some hiking there. I hope to some day.
    Venice is worth a look, and Rome is awesome. I found Turin to be a nice city to visit too.
     
  23. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Hoping for some clearer conditions in the morning. Grand Montets cable car is open so I'm thinking I'll start there and walk from Lognan to Pointe de Vue to overlook the Argentiere Glacier. Perhaps come back down for lunch, catch the train up to Montenvers afterwards.
     
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  24. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Can't complain about the view while eating dinner
     
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  25. Apresski

    Apresski Pool Room
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    Milan is famous for Da Vinci's Last Supper and shopping. Best book for a visit to see The Last Supper, queues are legendary.
    Venice and Florence are awesome, I love Bologna and Lucca too.
    If you are a bit sick of art and churches and have a few days to spare, you could head over to the Cinqueterra.
     
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  26. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    A couple of quick snaps from a post dinner walk...I needed to walk off the biggest calzone I've ever seen. Eyeing off the La Jonction walk, I walked up to the chairlift line.

     
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  27. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Clearer skies this morning :D
     
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  28. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Change of plans this morning. Decided to head up the Planpraz telecabine instead. Tried to hike up to Col Cornu, that was a saga. Seriously long day, finally got across to Flegere, went up the L'Index chair, too much snow to get across to Lac Blanc but will have a look tomorrow hiking up from Flegere.
    I'll post a TR and pics a little later, just winding down after a BIG day. The above probably tells the story.
     
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  29. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    As I wait for my dinner, here's how today panned out:
    After stuffing myself on the buffet breakfast and figuring all of those Danishes would be needed as fuel for the day, I left the hotel before 8. I'm staying down the Les Houches end of the valley and the closest railway station is Taconnaz, some 700 odd metres up the road. The next train wasn't for another 45 mins so I hoofed it.
    Some great scenery with the rising sun and clouds over the massif accompanied me


     
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  30. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    I made it up to Les Pelerins and caught the train up to Cham's main station then walked up the hill to the bottom of the gondola
    The surging Arve

    The gorgeous Gare de Chamonix Mont-Blanc with the first stage of the Aiguille du Midi behind (I saw the cabin being tested today while it remains closed. The Aiguille came out of the clouds later in the day).

    The cliched shot of the Eglise St Michel et Prieure with the gondola behind


    At the foot of the gondola. The first time I've felt a touch of vertigo on these things. Crazy Frenchies were hoofing it up the zig zagging path underneath. 1,000 straight vertical.
     
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  31. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    After following a British couple up the wrong path for twenty minutes, I retreated and then went across a snowfield in search of the path up to Col de Cornu and Lac Cornu. There's a lot of snow still above 2,000m over here, and evidence of slides in the Aiguilles Rouges. I came across and had to cross a few of these, one of which was enormous, with debris at least 2.5 metres in height. I made it up as high as the top of the Cornu chairlift before giving up my goal, the cloud and deep snowpack forcing my retreat back down to a lower altitude. I'm grateful for investing in good boots and poles, otherwise I'd be badly injured I think. After leaving Planpraz at 9:20, I made it to La Flegere by 1:40 for a baguette.
    On part of the path over there'd been a landslide and the path has been recut. In another section all of the trees have been snapped off about a metre from the ground.
    I came across a young Ukrainian woman that was out hiking in nothing but a bikini as well. Sorry, no pics of her, but she certainly had a body worth showing off. Probably the strangest sight of today's wanderings.
     
  32. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    After lunch I headed up the L'Index six seated chair up to 2,400m with a hope of finding the trail to Lac Blanc. Up there it's well under snow and I decided to come straight down and take the cable car down to the valley. After a decent walk back through the trees and along the river, i caught the train back down the valley and made it to my room after 5.
    The forecast looks good for the next few days, so tomorrow I'll go up to Grand Montets and then try the other way to Lac Blanc and Lacs des Cheserys and save La Jonction for Tuesday, which is forecasted to have the best weather for my time here. The snow appears to be patch lay up there above around 2000m based on what I've seen, so I'll see how high I get before the snow makes things too unsafe.
     
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  33. oldgeezer

    oldgeezer Addicted

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    Personal impressions and experiences always make for great trip reports and no exception here @Edgecrusher but the pics are amazing too.
     
  34. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend
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    Fantastic stuff Edge!
    Wonderful days and I can’t wait to do it at some stage.
     
  35. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    I'll post a few more from yesterday
     
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  36. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    won't be just Frenchies... folk will be out and about training for this including a bunch of aussies on tour with one or other trail running group/coach.
     
  37. Slalom

    Slalom A Local
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    Sorry had to be done.
     
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  38. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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  39. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Oh don't worry mate, I'm sitting there thinking "Big Stein's got to have his Calzone."
    And: "what do I know about cooking a shirt?!"
     
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  40. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    True. The marathon is on here soon.
    What's humbling is standing on the side of a mountain in the Alps and trying to speak French. A few of them thanked me for trying.
     
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  41. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    Pardon je suis un touriste australien et je m’excuse pour mon très mauvais français... pouvez-vous m’aider s’il vous plaît ?
     
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  42. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    There's a pic in this group of one of the slides. By the time I made it up to the Cornu chair the cloud made it impossible to try and locate any semblance of a trail.
     
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  43. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Year round too. Look out at 9pm middle of winter and there'll be a few headlamps bobbing back and forth on the switchbacks.
    I guess they don't get insanely fit by watching.
     
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  44. piolet

    piolet Found anything yet?
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    Just stay off sunny slopes and off any if it gets particularly warm, don't trap yourself by needing to cross a slope to get home in the arvo
     
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  45. Majikthise

    Majikthise Sage
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    not to mention all that phoquing
     
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  46. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    Not even that level. LOL
     
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  47. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    They're a different breed
     
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  48. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room
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    Nothing like a trip to Cham to make you feel insignificant and inadequate!!!
     
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  49. Edgecrusher

    Edgecrusher Pool Room
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    True although it has made me realise all the weeks of training I did beforehand weren't for nought.
     
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  50. GS

    GS A Local
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    Enjoying the TR, and just a tad envious.

    How accurate are the posted walking times? Assuming the track is clear.
     
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