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Les Chapieux/Refuge des Mottets to Courmayeur via Col de la Seigne and Col Checrouit

· 2 reviews · Hiking route · Rhône-Alpes
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  • On the ascent to Col de la Seigne
    On the ascent to Col de la Seigne
    Photo: Sarah Stone, Macs Adventure
m 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 20 15 10 5 km Refuge des Mottets Rifugio Restaurante Maison Vieille Col de la Seige Cabane du Combal Hotel Bouton d’Or

The Col de la Seigne (2516m) lies a steep 750m above the Refuge des Mottets and is where you leave France for Italy. Just wait until you see the view! This tough option climbs via Col Chécrouit to Courmayeur and is a wonderfully scenic ‘balcony’ route.

Distance 23.6 km
8:33 h
1,169 m
1,808 m
2,509 m
1,173 m

The Col de la Seigne (2516m) lies a steep 750m above the Refuge des Mottets and is where you leave France for Italy. Just wait until you see the view! Stupendous! The trail descends through high alpine meadows past Refugio Elisabetta into the Val Veni. This tough option climbs via Col Chécrouit to Courmayeur and is a wonderfully scenic ‘balcony’ route. The section via Col Checrouit is unadvisable in poor weather conditions.

This is a tough variant and should only be walked by the strongest walkers and in good weather conditions. For easier options today please see separate route; ''Les Chapieux/Refuge des Mottets to Courmayeur via La Visaille'

Profile picture of Sarah Stone
Sarah Stone
Update: June 23, 2022
Highest point
2,509 m
Lowest point
1,173 m

Track types

Forested/wild trail 31.99%Path 60.89%Road 3.44%Unknown 3.66%
Forested/wild trail
7.6 km
14.4 km
0.8 km
0.9 km
Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Cabane du Combal
Rifugio Restaurante Maison Vieille

Safety information

Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains - always be prepared and carry appropriate clothing; warm as well as waterproof layers, hat and gloves etc. Please see your information pack for a detailed packing list.

Tips and hints

 Points of Interest

La Casermetta

Just below Col de la Seigne on the Italian side you will pass La Casermetta Museum. Inside is a scale model of the Mont Blanc massif and information panels which explore the environmental, historical and cultural significance of the Mont Blanc region.

More information available here:

Rifugio Elisabetta

Stop for lunch at Rifugio Elisabetta , which overlooks the lower Vallon de la Lee Blanche, it is located in the municipality of Courmayeur, at the bottom of the Val Veny, in the Graian Alps, at 2,195 m. 



For bad weather transport options, please see our guide (in the "Docs" section of your Macs app, and in "My Documents" in your Macs account online)

Shuttle bus from Les Chapieux to Les Mottets

The shuttle from Les Chapieux to Mottets operates from approx. beginning of July to the end of August. Specific timetables are not available until the start of the Summer season. For more information, please visit the following website closer to the time of departure:  click on « voir les Horaires » 

June/September: When the shuttle is not operating, you should plan on walking. Alternatively, Taxi Besson are now offering a shuttle service between Les Chapieux and Les Mottets, by reservation. Call them the night before or ask your accommodation to do this. Places are limited and payment is directly to the driver: Taxi Besson: /  Tel : +0033450936207

Cable Car / Chairlift from Col Chécrouit to Courmayeur

You can avoid the long steep descent from Col Chécrouit to Courmayeur by taking the chairlift and cable car.

The timetables for the lifts will be available at the start of the summer season and can be found here:  

A one-way ticket costs approximately €10 for the cable car and €5 for the chairlift.


Les Chapieux or Refuge des Mottets (1,868 m)
45.737100, 6.779400
45°44'13.6"N 6°46'45.8"E
32T 327242 5067236



Turn-by-turn directions

Start climbing the switchback path that heads uphill from Refuge des Mottets and away from the river coursing through the valley. At 1.2 kilometres you must bear left to cross a stream, following the sign to Col de la Seigne, and at 1.8 kilometres there is a second stream to cross; bear in mind that stepping stones may be slippery when wet.

As you near the top of Col de la Seigne (2,516m), a startling view to the Mont Blanc summit will appear, framed by the craggy Pyramides Calcaires. Straddle the col with one foot in France and the other in Italy, and then begin your descent into the valley. At 5.2 kilometres you will pass La Casermetta (see ‘Points of Interest’ section). You descend all the way to the river that threads through the valley in fractured channels, while the mountains appear to grow in stature around you. At 7.9 kilometres you will pass Rifugio Elisabetta on your left, set against the backdrop of a glacier.

At 11.2 kilometres the path will fork with the TMB and Courmayeur signposted on the right footpath that heads uphill,  leave the gravel road. This path will head steeply uphill through alpine meadows, exploding with wildflowers, revealing increasingly beautiful views across the valley and towards Mont Blanc as you gain elevation. Along the climb, you will pass a series of derelict alpine huts.

At 12.5km as the path flattens out, high on the grassy slopes of the valley, you can be said to have reached ‘the balcony’. Like all good balconies, there is a wonderful view, with jagged mountains and the Glaciers de Bruillard and de Fréney just on your left. At 13.2km you reach the high-point of today’s walk which also happens to be a stunning viewpoint, and then the path descends a few winding turns before flattening out and heading in the direction of a ski-lift.

At 14.1km, ignore the vague path off to your right and continue heading slowly downhill. There are some steep slopes to your left throughout this section so walk with care. At 16km, the path enters the tree-line, crosses several ski pistes, and passes below Lac Chécrouit.

At 17.7km you can enjoy refreshments at the Refuge Vielle at Col Chécrouit before the descent begins. From here the trail gets a little confusing with several routes to Courmayeur signposted. For the main TMB path bear right from the restaurant towards a crossroads. At the crossroads, continue straight on, passing just to the left of a ski lift and following the sign for Rifugio Le Randonneur. After 500 metres, bear left onto another gravel road to pass through the buildings that make up the refuge.

Immediately after passing Rifugio Le Randonneur, ignore a set of gravel tracks heading downhill, but then after 20 metres, turn right onto a gravel road signposted to Courmayeur that passes just to the right of a ‘Snack Bar.’ To the right of this snack bar is a small footpath, with an upright rock marked ‘TMB’. This narrow footpath will twist and turn downhill, and then walk parallel to a gravel road on your right.

After ignoring a narrow track leading to the Dolonne chairlift and Courmayeur Gondola stations at 19.5km, this path begins winding steeply downhill with one switchback lunging straight into the next. This path is narrow with exposed edges and can be dusty and slippery when dry, so walk with care. Walking poles will be of great assistance throughout this section.

At 20.6km, the woodland path emerges onto the corner of a gravel road, but turn left to head continue heading downhill on a footpath. As you reach a paved road turn left to head towards Courmayeur, but first, you will pass through the quaint village of Dolonne, characterised by narrow streets and quintessential Alpine houses. At 22.4km, bear left through the no-entry signs to walk along the narrow street, and then after 200 metres, just before passing a church and post box, turn right onto Strada-Route Dolonne – Courmayeur. At the stop junction with a major road, turn left to head downhill, across the bridge and then up into Courmayeur. There are yellow ‘TMB’ signs and arrows to guide you throughout this section.

At the roundabout, take the third exit signposted to Centro, and then bear right as the path immediately forks. After 100 metres, bear left at the zebra (black-and-white road markings) crossing, following the sign to Centro Pedoni. At the next ‘Stop’ junction, bear left then bear right to finish in Courmayeur in the pedestrianised centre. This is your first stop in Italy that offers a real opportunity to try some Italian food; why not find a Pizzeria or Focacciaria to replenish some of those spent calories?




all notes on protected areas


45.737100, 6.779400
45°44'13.6"N 6°46'45.8"E
32T 327242 5067236
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Such is the way of Alpine hiking that you need to be prepared for all seasons and weathers; sturdy hiking boots, warm clothes and a waterproof/wind-break layer are all required, as is plenty of sun-cream and a healthy respect for the sun.

Walking poles will be a big advantage on some of these ascents and descents.

Ensure your phone is fully charged; if you doubt the battery will last throughout the hike, it might be beneficial to bring a power bank.

This walk is isolated with few opportunities to buy food or water so be sure to bring enough with you.

Questions and answers

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C.G. Moore
June 28, 2019 · Community
The high route, via Col Chécrouit, is excellent. The walk from Refuge des Mottets took us 9 hours, but we took breaks at Col de la Seigne, Ref. Elisabetta, and Plan Chécrouit. Still, it's a long walk. The gondola into Courmayeur doesn't start until July, and the walk down from Plan C. is steep, dusty, and hot.
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Looking toward Pré Pascal, along the high route
Photo: C.G. Moore, Community

Photos from others

23.6 km
8:33 h
1,169 m
1,808 m
Highest point
2,509 m
Lowest point
1,173 m


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