A tour around the Tour du Mont Blanc, Day 7, La Fouly to Champex
Today is going to be very different from your recent mountain experiences as today's walk is through peaceful pastures and old villages of the Swiss Val Ferret. Although there is still some ascent, the pace of today can be taken slowly to absorb the history and culture of the valley.
This is a realtively short day of fifteen kms and will take around four to five hours. Again not too much ascent, 420m or descent, 570m.
From La Fouly, you take the road down to the campsite. After crossing the bridge, it goes through some picturesque chalets then descends. Looking up to the left you see tantalizing glimpses of the Petit Col Ferret and the ever present Mont Dolent above.
Going through the campsite, the trail follows a mixture of tracks and paths making it's way down the east side of the valley passing below the Amône Slab and along an exposed section of path, complete with handrail, before descending towards the road down some beautifully wooded moraine of the Saleina Glacier. Bear left at the bridge and through both old and new chalets on the hamlet of picturesque Praz de Fort.
On the main road, turn right and then cross the bridge to the quiet road down to the hamlet of Les Arlaches and it wonderful collection of old chalets and barns all seemingly leaning against each other. Another ten minutes or so takes you to the hamlet of Issert (1055m) and the main road.
About a hundred metres down the road, the climb to Champex begins. The path takes a left fork up a track, then quickly a footpath, which ascends through the trees for about one and a half hours before arriving at the east end of Champex and its beautiful Lac.
The route today is relatively sheltered and should be ok in almost any weather.
Enjoy the relatively short day! Once you get to Champex the walk round the lake is beautiful.
A decision to be made tonight though as tomorrow has the possibility of a choice of routes and will be dependent on how you feel, the experience of your party and the weather, as one of the choices is the route over the Fenêtre d’Arpette and is a serious mountain crossing. Should you be thinking about this route be aware it is a physically demanding day with steep and exposed ascents and descents and should only be attempted in good settled weather.
Remember if you are thinking of doing this route our guidebook for the Tour du Mont Blanc is available on the iBooks store and on Kindle.
Available on the iBooks store and on Kindle.