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Fitness
Hiking trail

Tré le Champ to Planpraz via La Flégère and Lac Blanc

Hiking trail · Rhône-Alpes
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • From this position, standing next to the Train Station, walk straight on towards the tunnel.
    / From this position, standing next to the Train Station, walk straight on towards the tunnel.
    Photo: Augustijn vanGaalen, Macs Adventure
  • Views as you begin your walk.
    / Views as you begin your walk.
    Photo: Augustijn vanGaalen, Macs Adventure
  • As you approach the end of your climb, you will be rewarded with some absolutely stunning views.
    / As you approach the end of your climb, you will be rewarded with some absolutely stunning views.
    Photo: Augustijn vanGaalen, Macs Adventure
  • In the distance you will see Chamonix, with the snowy white peaks towering above.
    / In the distance you will see Chamonix, with the snowy white peaks towering above.
    Photo: Augustijn vanGaalen, Macs Adventure
  • Lac Blanc and the Refuge Lac Blanc.
    / Lac Blanc and the Refuge Lac Blanc.
    Photo: Augustijn vanGaalen, Macs Adventure
  • You can take the cable car down from La Flégère.
    / You can take the cable car down from La Flégère.
    Photo: Augustijn vanGaalen, Macs Adventure
  • / Views of the snowy peaks as you walk to Planpraz.
    Photo: Augustijn vanGaalen, Macs Adventure
1500 1800 2100 2400 2700 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

This challenging day begins with a tough ascent from Tré-le-Champ to Lac Blanc, a gorgeous alpine lake, before descending down to La Flégère and further on to Planpraz, from where you take the cable car down to Chamonix. Unfortunately, the Flégère cable car is closed in summer 2019 for refurbishment.  

difficult
14.9 km
5:45 h
1346 m
641 m

This challenging hike will take you from the tiny village of Tré-le-Champ up to Lac Blanc, with beautiful views of Mont Blanc and other surrounding snowy peaks. Once at the top, you will walk by several glistening Alpine Lakes, with Lac Blanc, and the infamous Refuge du Lac Blanc (at the time of writing - closed for business). After a long climb, with some technical ascents using ladders and hand/foot rails bolted into the rock, and tough underfoot conditions, you will descend back down into the valley where you take the cable car back down to Chamonix from Planpraz.

Author’s recommendation

Lac Blanc is by far the highlight of this day as it not only represents the highest point of your walk, but also offers beautiful views of the snowy peaks and a serene alpine lake - the perfect spot to have a picnic lunch.

outdooractive.com User
Author
Augustijn vanGaalen
Updated: March 08, 2019

Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2355 m
Lowest point
1366 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

There are some ladders and parts where the path veers over some boulders, so sturdy hiking boots are essential and walking poles will be very useful for the ascents/descents. The ascent is steep, and if it is sunny, you will need plenty of water. Make sure to stay hydrated and pace yourself as you go up the mountain, as the climb is both steep and long.

Make sure you check the times for the various cable cars down and budget plenty of time, so that you don’t end up getting stuck on top of the mountain! Check the 'Getting there section' for more details. Operating dates and times can be checked: http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr/en/portal 

When descending, there are oftentimes multiple ways down. Make sure to take a safe route and look out for rockpiles, which help to distinguish the most accessible paths.

 

Equipment

Bring a jacket or windbreaker, as it can get quite cold at the top, and there will most likely be snow around the Alpine Lakes. Walking boots are essential for this walk, and walking poles are highly recommended, especially for some of the more technical descents.

Tips, hints and links

For this walk it is important to bring plenty of water, lunch, and snacks for the day ahead. We suggest bringing these from Chamonix as options are limited around Montroc. There are no other places to stock up on food (at the time of writing, Lac Blanc is closed for business) 

Points of Interest

Lac Blanc

Description

At 2352 meters, Lac Blanc is a serious trek away, but it’s worth every step – this alpine lake is one of the most beautiful in the vicinity.

Summary

One of the greatest beauties of the Réserve Naturelles des Aiguilles Rouges, Lac Blanc is an alpine lake famed for its beautiful views over the imposing Mont Blanc, at the other end of the valley. The combination of endless views and extreme serenity make this a place that hikers often love to stop at. The Refuge du Lac Blanc, equally as iconic, is also famed for its hospitality and spectacular photographs, combining the remoteness of the refuge with the rugged mountain landscapes surrounding it.

Weblink (French):

http://www.chamonix.com/lac-blanc,46-195135,fr.html

 

 

This walk is included in the following itineraries: 

WFSCWMB

WFGRMC

Start

Montroc Train Station (1366 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
45.996586, 6.934511
UTM
32T 340055 5095742

Destination

Planpraz

Turn-by-turn directions

.0.00 km – At Montroc Train Station, standing parallel to the train track, and facing the tunnel, make your way onto the road on the right side of the train. You will see several parking spots. Walk down this road STRAIGHT ON in the direction of the tunnel.

0.10 km – As you approach the tunnel BEAR RIGHT onto the Via des Cutes. This soon changes into a small walking path and veers to your left.

0.55 km – BEAR LEFT, following signs to Tré-le-Champ.

0.60 km – BEAR LEFT, passing by some traditional houses. Here you will see the very first of many views of the snowy peaks, including Mont Blanc.

0.70 km – At the T-intersection, TURN RIGHT, following sign for the Col des Montets.

0.90 km – Ignore paths to your left and walk STRAIGHT ON. When you come to a main road, BEAR RIGHT and follow this road in the direction of the Col des Montets for approximately 100 meters until you see a walking path next to the road.

1.00 km - BEAR RIGHT on a walking path that runs parallel to the road.

1.10 km – You will see two walking paths. BEAR LEFT, taking the lower path, which will lead you to a parking area.

1.20 km – Walk through the parking area back towards the main road. Cross the road to where you see a footpath and walk STRAIGHT ON, following signs to Lac Blanc and La Flégère.

1.30 km – Immediately after you pass a wooden information board, BEAR RIGHT as you begin to ascend.

1.40 km – BEAR LEFT on the inclining paths, following signs to Lac Blanc and La Flégère.

1.70 km – Keep following the upper path and BEAR LEFT, following signs to Lac Blanc and La Flégère.

2.20 km – There is a nice viewpoint here just off the path to your left. Continue STRAIGHT ON up the mountain when you are ready to continue.

3.50 km – This is another great place for a photo. TURN RIGHT and continue on the same path, walking along the edge of the mountain.

3.80 km -  Ignore a small path on your right and continue STRAIGHT ON, following the main path. Be careful, because the path soon leads over a group of boulders which can be loose, so make sure to keep your balance and keep your eyes peeled for the safest route.

4.80 km – The path splits in two here. CONTINUE STRAIGHT on the main path, ignoring a path that veers upwards to your right. This route will take you right along the edge of the mountain and will give you great views of the surrounding landscapes.

5.00 km – At the signpost, TURN RIGHT, following signs for Lac Blanc.

5.20 km – At a large wooden signpost, TURN LEFT, continuing your climb.

5.70 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON to walk around the lake. There is also a path on your right, which will also take you around the lake, but you will get better views if you continue straight on.

5.90 km – TURN RIGHT up the mountain when you see a small signpost and where the lake turns into a small stream.

6.10 km – There are some narrow ladders that you must navigate to continue your walk. Be extremely careful when you climb this ladder.

6.40 km – Congratulations, you’ve made it to Lac Blanc. Don’t worry, from now on it’s mostly downhill! Enjoy a nice picnic by the lake, with beautiful views over Mont Blanc.

6.40 km – When you are ready to continue, find the path you came on and follow it until you find a bridge with a signpost to La Flégère. TURN LEFT and cross the bridge. There may be some snow here early on in the season, so be careful with your footing.

6.50 km – TURN LEFT, following a path that leads downwards and ignore the path going up.

6.60 km – BEAR RIGHT to continue onto La Flégère. Don’t forget that there is a nice lookout point here!

6.80 km – At the signpost, follow the directions for La Flégère and continue STRAIGHT ON.

7.00 km – TURN LEFT, following the direction to La Flégère. In this descent there will oftentimes be several different paths which merge and then separate from one another. If ever in doubt, look for large piles of rocks that are meant to signify the way.

8.60 km – After a small house you will come up to a signpost with an arrow pointing to Lac Blanc – where you just came from. BEAR LEFT here and follow the path down.

8.80 km – You will see La Flégère in the distance – there are multiple routes up to it, which you will be able to see. For the easiest and most accessible way TURN LEFT and follow the path upwards.

9.30 km – You have arrived at La Flégère, unfortunately, the cable car is not operating in summer 2019. Continue to Planpraz cable car for the descent. 

9.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON with the restaurant on your left. lk on the left hand side of the cable car and you will see a small path. BEAR LEFT on this path and ahead you will see the trail. Follow this for about 100 meters.

9.50 km – You will get to a fork in the path. Follow the path leading up and BEAR RIGHT, following signs for Via Des Evettes.

10.30 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON, ignoring a path on your right that leads upwards.

10.40 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON on the main path.

10.50 km – Where the track bends upwards to your right, BEAR LEFT and you will see a path. It can be slightly unclear, so make sure to look out for rockpiles to help guide you to the path.

11.40 km – Take either of these paths, they are one and the same.

11.50 km – When you get to a crossroads, continue STRAIGHT ON, following the sign for the Croisement du Sentier.

11.70 km – At the crossroads, continue STRAIGHT ON, following the sign for Planpraz.

12.40 km – TURN LEFT here and you will see Planpraz in the distance.

12.40 km – Immediately thereafter, there is a small walking path that diverts from the main road. BEAR RIGHT to follow this path.

12.80 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON, following the sign for Planpraz.

13.30 km – Ignore the left turn and walk STRAIGHT ON.

13.40 km – Follow the path STRAIGHT ON as you continue to climb up towards Planpraz.

13.50 km – Continue STRAIGHT ON, and you will slowly start to see Planpraz in front of you.

14.00 km – Walk around the Telecabines. Remember this is not Planpraz, this is another Telepherique (La Parsa). Make sure to walk all the way around it towards a large clearing.

14.40 km – BEAR RIGHT and follow a path that descends. At the crossroads, continue STRAIGHT ON down this path as it descends for another 300 meters or so until you reach the Planpraz Cable Car. If you are confused which cable car to take, make sure you ask a member of staff and they will make sure that you take the right cable car.

14.90 km - From here you can take the cable car directly back into the heart of Chamonix.

Public transport

This walk can only be done during the operating dates of the Planpraz cable car as the Flegere cable car is not operating for the summer season 2019. First of all, take the free Chamonix valley shuttle bus (no.02) from Chamonix to Montroc Train Station, where the hike begins. See https://www.chamonix.net/english/transport/bus  for more info.

At the end of your hike, return to Chamonix by cable car. At the time of writing the Planpraz cable car operating dates and time are as follows:

From 08/06 to 12/07/2019, daily between 8.50 AM and 4.30 PM. From 13/07 to 25/08/2019, daily between 8.20 AM and 5.30 PM. From 26/08 to 15/09/2019, daily between 8.50 AM and 4.30 PM. Subject to favorable weather.

Check https://www.chamonix.com/planpraz-brevent,82,en.html  for UpToDate timetables/changes. Be sure to allow plenty of time to catch the last cable car down to Chamonix at the end of the day. Otherwise, the steep descent will need to be tackled by foot, adding at least an additional 2 hours onto your hike. If you are travelling outwith these times, there is an alternative walk; the Argentiére Valley Walk.

 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
14.9 km
Duration
5:45 h
Ascent
1346 m
Descent
641 m

Statistics

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 km
 m
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Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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