Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Le Lac Blanc

Tuesday. The weather forecast for the morning is good, a top of 27, with the possibility of a late afternoon thunderstorm. A good day for a hike.

We decide on Le Lac Blanc, the only glacial lake in the range. This is accessible via Les Praz, a village about 3km further along the valley from Chamonix. Walking along the river under the trees is a shady retreat from the sun. The river is fed by glacial melt and is swiftly flowing. Before long we are in Les Praz, a much quieter village than bustling Chamonix and this would be a good place to stay if you don't like crowds. From Les Praz a cable car takes us to Flegere at 2000m. Someone inside the car has had garlic for breakfast. None too soon we commence our walk.

The trail is a busy one and very steep in parts. It is a case of watching one's feet on the rocky path. But when you pause and look up the views are magnificent. We are on the opposite side of the valley to the Aiguille du Midi, where we were yesterday.

The barely visible Argentiere glacier has retreated significantly over the past twenty years. It used to occupy this rocky valley.
Richard taking in the view

Our objective - Lac Blanc
3/4 of the way up (and after three hours of walking), we admit our hips/knees/ankles aren't accustomed to the scrambling involved over the large rocks. We decide to beat a retreat to the cable car area at Flegere. The cafĂ© offers a welcome sandwich, baguette, coffee and tart. A group of American walkers settle at an adjacent table and order beers. When it arrives they raise their
glasses and heartily toast to a great reward for a great effort. Here here!

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