Day 8: Les Houches

A shorter day today, although not necessarily easier: we still had a 1000 meter climb ahead of us.

We left the refuge around 8:30am down a trail that went down and down–we dropped as much as a 500 meters–until we crossed a little bridge; then we climbed up an up again. Overall the grade wasn’t bad, but at times it was steep!

Eventually we reached the Col de Brevant (2368 m) and had a break. It was busy, as the summit of Brevent can be reached by cable car and many people hike from there. The guidebook told us that from the summit it was a 1500 m descent (that’s altitude, not distance) over a “long, steep, rugged trail”. Since I don’t do descents very well at the moment we had decided to telepherique (yes, that is a verb) down to Chamonix instead and take the bus from there to Les Houches, just a few miles down the road and the official end point for today.

From our lunch spot at the Col du Brevent we had to decide whether to walk down to the half way station to tlepherique, or up to the summit of Brevent (2525 m), which looked a steep and scary. Both Roy and I have a fear of heights. However, climbing up is less scary than climbing down we agreed, so up we went. And it wasn’t bad at all. The trail took us around the back of the mountain, not the steep side we had seen from our lunch spot. 50 minutes or so later we were at the summit enjoying a great close up view of Mont Blanc, and celebrated with a beer. The ride down was fun too–although the thought of a day and half of climbing being undone with a 20 minute gondola ride felt a bit anti-climactic. Once down, we figured out where to go and which bus to take and got to our hotel without a problem.

I’ve scouted out the boulangerie in town and plan to drop in there before heading out tomorrow morning. My toe is also doing much better–I think the brioches au sucre are helping a lot!

Sent on the move