Which route to take to reach the White Lake?
Hiking to Lake Blanc is one of the essential walks when you want to discover the Chamonix Valley. Secured and well signposted, routes of average difficulty still require some effort, a thousand times rewarded by the magic of the places culminating at 2350 meters.
The prudence pushes the regulars to recommend to make this hike between June and beginning of November, in particular because of the weather conditions in Chamonix Mont Blanc.
The most accessible route, especially with children (from 8 years) begins with the climb from the valley by the cable car Flégère. From the terminus, your walk will last from 1h45 to 2 hours. Just follow the path to the lake. There are some short descents and the trail is sometimes steep but not dangerous. Along the way and especially if the weather is clear, everything is wonderful to start with the glaciers that we sometimes forget are so numerous. Soon, the Mont Blanc Massif aligns its prestigious peaks in front of you. The shores of White Lake will be ideal for a welcome break.
On return, the connoisseurs advise to take the path that will take you in 45 minutes to the beautiful Lakes of Chéserys by a descent sometimes abrupt but equipped with steps. Then follow the indications to reach the cabin of the cable car.
Some prefer to start their pedestrian route from the Praz de Chamonix, at the starting point of the cable car. In this case, the hike will take about two and a half hours longer but will keep the same level of difficulty.
You can also reach the lake from the index chairlift. At the foot of the facilities, take the direction of Lac du Fouet to the Combe des Crochues that will cross to reach the limit of the Aiguilles Rouges Reserve which is home to Lake Blanc.
Hikers who adhere to more technical and wild marches will choose the Col des Montets route. With a much higher altitude and steep trails, it includes a passage equipped with ladders to bypass imposing rocks overlooking the refuge and Lake Blanc.
Other routes a little less busy and longer like that of Tré Le Champ have several scales that sometimes require giving way to other hikers crossed.
The key figures of the hike at Lac Blanc
All routes have a different average duration:
- The climb from the Praz de Chamonix will take you about 4:15 with a drop of 1,560 meters while the course of Col des Montets and Tre Champ will take minimum 3 hours.
- The access by the cable car Flégère remains the fastest with 1h45 of walking and a difference in altitude of 570 meters.
- The descent including a detour to the lakes of Chéserys will last 2h45 if you take the cable car.
- You will travel a little less than 8 km and spend about 25 euros per adult by taking the cable car to and from, you will walk a little over 12 km return if you do not borrow.
Important news: the cable car is closed until December 2019 due to work on the field Flégère.
Lakes and glaciers for a breathtaking view
The more you walk, the better you can see the rough profile of the mountains of the Massif des Aiguilles and Mont Blanc. The imposing silhouettes of the Grandes Jorasses, the Aiguille Verte and the Drus impress as much as the calm environment. The panorama is breathtaking no matter what direction we take.
Is it the intoxication of altitude? When along the way appear the first glaciers, one is as stunned.
It is true that here all the most famous names in the field, those we learned in primary school, take shape: Argentière glacier, Tour, Grands Montets, Bossons glacier, Taconnaz and the prestigious Sea of Ice. We feel tiny in the face of nature and today helpless because we can guess their partial melting.
Finally, we forget about these concerns by discovering the White Lakes (a lower lake 3m deep and 9m higher) with incredibly transparent waters. It's very simple, we have more than one idea: to dive. But we abstain by realizing that at such an altitude, the coveted liquid must be a little cold. Some will slide their feet warmed, others will reap a few drops to refresh the face. Be that as it may, the purity of these waters and the light that dresses the lakes of whiteness under the eye of the surrounding peaks leaves an unforgettable memory. The shock passed, we can afford the luxury of a break at the refuge on a deckchair admiring the Mont Blanc.
On the way back, after having taken a ladder of metal, we walk along a series of delightful little lakes that offer us a saving break, the Lacs of Chéserys. From lakes to glaciers, and despite the tiredness, we have the impression of having discovered a new world ...