An exciting final day of walking from the Refuge de Moëde d'Anterne to the summit of Le Brévent at 2525m.
Starting from the Refugde de Moëde d'Anterne, begin your day with a gentle descent down the hillside on grassy rocky paths following red and white markers that although aren't as fresh as the markers yesterday, they are still there to reassure you of the path. Although you shouldn't worry as today's path is very straight forward with little chance of going wrong!
Arrive at the Torrent de Moëde river and marvel at the fast flowing waters as they cut through massive boulders and rocks. From here, it is a constant but steady ascent to the Col du Brévent. The path is initially very easy going being a grassy and stoney trail passing waterfalls and picturesque chalet ruins. Once close to the Col, the path changes in character and is mostly made up of slabs and boulders. It can be narrow in places and care should be taken, particularly if it is wet. The path zigzags up the rocky mountain-side, follow the markers carefully to stay on track, but do admire the views of the surrounding rocky peaks. Reach the Col de Brévent and admire the views to the Mont Blanc Massif in front of you. You are now in the Aigulles Rouge Nature reserve and this is also where the GR5 meets the famous, and busier Tour du Mont Blanc trail. From here, continue to follow the path as it ascends to the summit of Le Brévent. Although only 45 minutes away, the path to the summit is serious and you have a feeling of taking on true Alpine hiking as you scramble, climb metal ladders (2 with 11 rungs each) and use metal footholds and handrails that are bolted into the rockface.
Upon reaching the summit, actually a manmade summit, it's time for celebration and awe. Le Brévent is considered by most to be the best view point for observing the Mont Blanc summit in all its glory. Even if the weather is not clear enough to see it, browse the information boards and enjoy the feeling of satisfaction knowing you have completed the first Alpine section of the GR5. When you are ready to move on, it's time to take the cable car down to Chamonix, the perfect reward for all your hard work!
You will need to change cable cars at Planpraz to continue down to Chamonix. At the time of writing, you cannot buy a ticket at either Le Brévent or Planpraz, but the people operating will obviously let you on, trusting that you will buy a ticket at the bottom in Chamonix. The system is a bit flawed, and will surely be rectified at some point in the future!
The sections of the path leading up to the Col du Brévent and then to the summit of Brévent are exposed and should be avoided in bad weather, particularly the section from the Col to the summit. If you arrive at the Col and do not want to continue, just take the path descending to Planpraz (about 40mins) and take the cable car from here. If you need to skip the Col and the Summit, please see the 'How to get there' section for more details.
There are no water refill points today until you reach Le Brévent. Make sure you carry sufficient water with you.
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.
Good waterproof boots are a must and walking poles are highly recommended. Make sure to bring plenty of water and a snack or packed lunch. You are going to the highest point of your walk today, (2525m), do not underestimate the changeable nature of the weather and make sure you have some warm dry layers with you.
This walk is quite exposed so be sure to bring a hat and sunscreen on hot days.
There is no food available en route. Make sure you order a packed lunch from the Refugde de Moëde d'Anterne upon your arrival at the hut. These cost approx. 12 euros and typically consist of a sandwhich, a piece of fruit, 2x energy/cereal bars, apple compot, crisps and a cake.
Points of Interest
1) Aiguilles Rouges Nature Reserve - a nature reserve since the 1970s. One can find typical mountainous plant and animal species, such as Alpine ibex, chamois, rock ptarmigan, golden eagle, Rhododendron, and heather. Multiple lakes are situated within the nature reserve, including Lac Blanc, Lac Noir, Lac Cornu, and Lac du Brévent.
2) Le Brévent Summit - at 2525m, the Brévent is considered one of the best places to view the Mont Blanc massif and a fantastic place to finish your walk. Accessible by cable car since the 1930's, it is popular with advanced skiers in the Winter, as it is surrounded by 'pistes noirs' and in the Summer with tourists looking for a fine view of the Mont Blanc.
If you can't walk today due to illness, injury or weather, please contact us and we can advise you on the best way to proceed. The section leading up to Col de Brévent is quite exposed, as is the section to the Brévent summit and these should both be avoided if thunderstorms or snow/ice are forecast. From the Refuge de Moëde d'Anterne, you can descend by foot into to the valley to the town of Servoz, where you can take a train to Chamonix. Check https://www.sbb.ch/ for timetables.