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Hiking trail

Trient to Tré-le-Champ (Argentière) via Le Tour

· 2 reviews · Hiking trail · Martigny
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Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
m 2600 2400 2200 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 12 10 8 6 4 2 km Refuge Col de Balme Charamillon Top Station Col de Balme Tré-le-Champ Bus Stop Charamillon Gondola … )

This alternative route goes to the French border at Col de Balme, before descending to the valley floor and the village of Le Tour where it continues to Tré-le-Champ/Argentiere. You may be staying at Tré-le-Champ, Argentiére or Chamonix; please check your accommodation details.
moderate
12 km
4:42 h
1000 m
858 m
From Trient, climb to reach the French border at Col de Balme (2191 m). Where you can then take the lower route to the valley floor and onto the village of Le Tour, then Tré-le-Champ. The walk can be further shortened by taking the telecabine.  We would not recommend this variant except in poor weather as you are descending through a ski area.
outdooractive.com User
Author
Angus Smith
Updated: February 11, 2020

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2205 m
Lowest point
1291 m

Safety information

There are several river crossings. There are always stepping-stones available but these may be slippery, and especially when wet. Take extra caution on these crossings.

Some of the path is along rocky steps; be careful as these may be slippery, especially when wet.

There are some exposed edges; be sure to read instructions carefully, stick to the main path, and don’t wander close to the edge. Use handrails where provided.

In early spring/summer there may still be patches of snow. Walk around where it is possible, and otherwise place your feet carefully and use walking poles if you have them.

This route is above 2,200 metres so bear in mind you may feel a shortness of breath and additional muscle fatigue associated with the altitude.

Tips, hints and links

Food and Drink

Between Trient and Tré-le-Champ there are few opportunities to buy food or drink, so be sure to bring enough provisions with you.

Basking in the beautiful view atop Col de Balme after 5.9 kilometres is Chalet du Col du Balme, from where you can enjoy refreshments.

 

Transport

Optional telecabine to Le Tour; The telecabine and chair to Autannes operates from mid-June to the third week in September. Opening hours change slightly during the season but are normally 09:00 – 16:30. A single ticket for the chair and gondola costs around €25.

In the Chamonix Valley, all the lifts are operated by Compagnie du Mont Blanc and up to date opening hours and tariffs are available on their website here: http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr  

Bus from Tré-le-Champ to Argentière or Chamonix (depending on your itinerary- please check your accommodation details). There are regular buses to Argentière and Chamonix from Tré-le-Champ, just make your way to the bus stop on the main road, which has a bus timetable attached.

Chambus from Le Tour to Argentière/Chamonix. (Line 02)There are regular buses to Argentière/Chamonix from La Tour, just make your way to the bus stop opposite the lift station, which has a bus timetable attached. Or check online for details: http://chamonix.montblancbus.com/en  

Start

Trient (1290 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
46.054300, 6.993641
UTM
32T 344796 5102037

Destination

Tré-le-Champ

Turn-by-turn directions

From Trient Bus Stop, just below the prominent church, begin walking upriver towards the mountains ahead. Ignore two bridges, and then after 450 metres, bear right across the bridge to walk through La Peuty, following signs to Col de Balme. At the campsite, the road becomes gravel and begins heading uphill. It will soon become a narrow footpath, lunging from one switchback into another through the woods. After emerging from the trees, the Chalet du Col du Balme is visible, and the path heads straight for it.

After crossing Col du Balme go left (south) of the refuge, then bear right at the signpost to descend a good path cutting down the centre of the slope to the middle station of a gondola lift (Charmillion) before continuing to the Le Tour lift station. 

Continue walking down the road, through Le Tour to Montroc, a small village. Cut off along the signed path on the right which crosses the railway tunnel and ascend to Tre-le-Champ

If there is no bus coming soon, you can walk to Argentière which takes about 40 minutes and the path is well-signposted. Full bus schedules available here: https://chamonix.montblancbus.com/en/bus-lines 

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Optional telecabine to Le Tour.

The telecabine and chair to Autannes operates from mid-June to the third week in September. Opening hours change slightly during the season but are normally 09:00 – 16:30.

A single ticket for the chair and gondola costs around €25.In the Chamonix Valley, all the lifts are operated by Compagnie du Mont Blanc and up to date opening hours and tariffs are available on their website here:

http://www.compagniedumontblanc.fr

or here:

http://www.chamonix.com/telecabine-le-tour-col-de-balme,48-156934,en.html

 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Equipment

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.


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Reviews

4.5
(2)
Sandra Fusco
August 07, 2019 · Community
We hiked from Trient to the Col and the first portion was uneventful. On the way up, we enjoyed views looking back on the valley and the town of Trient. What started out as a drizzle, turned to hale and wind as we approached the Col. Visibility was very limited. The Refuge was packed with people, all of whom were stripping off wet layers and replacing them with dry ones. We had planned to take the gondola down because one of the members of our group was having knee issues. At first, it was not moving though. Fortunately, it started up and they let us on the chair lift and allowed us to pay at the end. We bought a ticket for the chair lift and then gondola to Le Tour for 24.50 Euros each. Money well spent. We were so relieved to get down off the mountain quickly.
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Kate Frewin
July 24, 2018 · Community
We hiked to Col de Balme and then down to Charamillon as my buddies legs were very sore. The view from the top is so worth the hard hike to the top. A wonderful way to end or trip
show more
Tuesday, 24 July 2018, 3:55 pm
Photo: Kate Frewin, Community

Photos from others


Reviews
Difficulty
moderate
Distance
12 km
Duration
4:42h
Ascent
1000 m
Descent
858 m

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