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We were back in Chamonix …

We wanted to do a bit of hiking, initially hoping to walk down from one of the peaks of Aiguilles Rouges (“Red Peaks”) – Le Brevent (2525 m or 8284 feet above sea level) down to Planpraz (around 2000 m or 6562 feet).

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But due to low cloud and fog resulting in poor visibility, we scrapped the idea and did not even bother to take the second stage of the cable car up to Le Brevent.

planpraz-4

Planpraz is the terminal of the first stage of the cable car and the interchange to the second stage.  It is essentially a small plateau, in the form of a shoulder of the Aiguilles Rouges, situated opposite the Mount Blanc massif above the Chamonix valley. A crossroad of sorts.

planpraz-2

Instead, we decided to hike Le Grand Balcon Sud (“Grand Southern Balcony”) which traverses one side of Aiguilles Rouges.

planpraz-6

This mountain path runs from Planpraz to the Col des Montets via La Flégère, just above the treeline.

planpraz-8

La Flégère is just visible from here.

planpraz-11

We used the télécabine to get from the valley floor up to Planpraz.

planpraz-1

But the téléphérique at La Flégère (1877 m) has stopped running since it was offseason … and we did not want to climb down to the valley. So we just did a loop and came back to Planpraz.


planpraz-7

Unlike the massif of the Mont Blanc, the Aiguilles Rouges have no significant glaciers, presumably due to the direction of its faces and local weather. But it is quite different on the other side of the valley.

planpraz-12

The Aiguilles Rouges offer a splendid view of all the peaks of Chamonix and the glaciers of Mont Blanc.

planpraz-10

The little refuge on the Le Grand Balcan Nord is just visible in the middle of this photo – that is the starting point of our previous “epic” hike, see earlier post here.

planpraz-9

We will come back and try either of the hikes again soon. Watch this space.

planpraz-3

 

 

 

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