Lac Blanc, 2352m ~ Hiking the Grand Balcony Trail

Chamonix Travel Blog

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Boisson glacier seen from the Felgere lift

There are so many excellent hiking trails in the Chamonix area above the tree line. What is even better is the availability of the various cable cars, lifts and tramways that would bring one up from the in just a few minutes, hence avoiding that few hours of hard walk up through the woods.

As it was a warm and sunny day, we chose to do the Grand Balcony Trail from Plan Praz (2,000m) to La Flegere (1,877m) and onwards up to the mountain-ringed alpine turquoise lake, Lac Blanc (2,352m).

The highlight of this trail was not only the dazzling views of many of the highest peaks in the Alps, such as Mt Blanc, Grandes Jorasses (4,208m), Aigulle Verte (4,122m) and Mt Dolent (3,823m), but also the outstanding views of the various glaciers such as the Bosson Glacier and Mer de Glace.

Flegere Station

The view of the Bosson Glacier and Mt Blanc Glacier from the Plan Praz station was overwhelming. There were also quite a number of paragliders in this area. Gosh, it was actually quite scary to see them running off the edge of the slopes right into the steep valley before taking off into the air.

Generally rather flat walking from Plan Praz to La Flegere, there was a lot of ascent and upwards walking on the trail thereafter to Lac Blanc. The weather could not have been better and the spectacular natural theatre of the mountain and glaciers that run alongside the trail was breathtaking. We finally reached Mt Blanc at about 2.30pm in the afternoon and were quite disappointed to see instead of a turquoise lake a murky lake due to the mineral content in the water.

On the from Flegere Station to Lac Blanc

After a quick coffee and rest, we hurried off on our way back as we wanted to make it back to town before 6pm in the event. Instead of walking downwards back to La Flegere station with lots of people hurrying behind us, we trekked across the mountains to L’ Index cable car station at 2,385m instead. We pushed on without any rest until we reached the station.

Reaching Chamonix in good time for the start of the Mont Blanc Ultra Trail race, the atmosphere in town was sensational with lots of race participants and supporters cheering them on. This was an inspiring event involving a 155km run around the Mt Blanc Massif spanning France, Italy and Switzerland with a total accumulated altitude of 8,500m. There were 2,700 participants and the eldest participant was a 72 yrs old man.

The mountains and the trails
The maximum race time was 46 hours.  If you actually think about it, a marathon on flat grounds is only 40km. This race is up and down the mountains with a total height gain of 8,500m, to be completed in almost four days.

The entire village center was filled with people. One guy even brought along a bell for the cow which was dated 1917 to cheer his friends participating in the race. It was an emotional moment too when the music “Conquest of Paradise” from Vangelis was played when the race started.

After seeing the race participants off, we went off for an authentic Savoy cheese fondue dinner. It was great to try but was too cheesy and heavy for my taste as the mix was made up of four different cheeses and white wine. 

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Boisson glacier seen from the Felg…
Boisson glacier seen from the Fel…
Flegere Station
Flegere Station
On the from Flegere Station to Lac…
On the from Flegere Station to La…
The mountains and the trails
The mountains and the trails
Paragliders
Paragliders
The beautiful trails
The beautiful trails
On the winding trails through the …
On the winding trails through the…
Aguille National Park
Aguille National Park
On the upwards trail to Lac Blanc
On the upwards trail to Lac Blanc
View of the majestic Aiguilles a…
View of the majestic "Aiguilles" …
On the way to Lac Blanc
On the way to Lac Blanc
Putting a stone on the cairn
Putting a stone on the cairn
On the way to Lac Blanc, 2352m wit…
On the way to Lac Blanc, 2352m wi…
Chamonixs majestic Aiguille Verte…
Chamonix's majestic Aiguille Vert…
Enjoying the sun and a drink at Fl…
Enjoying the sun and a drink at F…
Ultra Trail Tour du Mont-Blanc 200…
Ultra Trail Tour du Mont-Blanc 20…
Chamonix
photo by: mountaingirl