And today we are back into France! Where you will finally be rewarded with a view of the summit of Mont Blanc, which has kept itself hidden for the last few days. As you descend down at the head of the Vallée de l’Arve, you are slowly enveloped by the Chamonix Giants on both sides. This is a spectacular day, and is a great entry into the Chamonix Valley.
With a shortish day of around five to six hours and thriteen kms there will be plenty of opportunities for photo and coffee stops. As you will probably have gathered by now, we do like our cake stops!
From the Hotel du Col de la Forclaz, cross the road and head back up the path towards Chalet du Glacier for a short distance before descending to the right, crossing the road and arriving at Trient/Le Peuty.
At the south end of the hamlets, the path crosses some meadows before starting the climb to the Col de Balme which is reached after around two and a half hours. At the col, the vista of the Chamonix valley opens out below you with rewarding views of the Dru and Mont Blanc plus the obligatory refreshments at the Refuge.
Turning right at the Refuge, the path traverses below Tête de Balme and descends to the fairly open area of the Col des Posettes (1997m).
The walk down the ridge towards the Col des Montets is dominated by the magnificent views towards Aiguille du Chardonnet, Glacier du Tour, Auguille Verte and the main summit of Mont Blanc.
During the descent, the main path follows the ridge until dropping down to the forest and to the hamlet of Tré-le-Champ which is to the left when the path reaches the main road.
Bad Weather Options
If the weather is bad at the Col, it may be preferable to descend directly to Le Tour via the ski area (see below).
Make the day easier
Descent directly from the Col to Le Tour: From the Col de Balme, just to the left of the Refuge, there is a good path which descends to the mid cable car station. Either continue down the track to Le Tour or you can hop on the cable car.
To get to Tré le Champ, head down the road to Montroc, turn right the follow the signposted path.
And get ready for tomorrow, probably one of the most spectacular days you can ever have in the mountains!