Finally hiking! Up to La Flegere

On my second day in Chamonix, I started hiking up to La Flegere. I had spend the first night, pre-arranged online at Le Vagabond hostel. I seem to have good instincts. Even though I was on the left side of the bus and passed the hostel on the right, when we pulled into the “South Chamonix” bus station, I hopped off. I started walking and asked a fella where it might be – he was almost too enthusiastic, telling me it was just over the bridge and down a couple of blocks. It almost seemed like he was just giving me a line. Seemed like a tougher kind of dude. But…he had been quite right and considerate.

The hostel was just fine – it was their monthly BBQ night and it was full of Aussies and Brits having a bit of an expat reunion. Loads of great food – must post that pic but…

This entry is about the HIKING!

Here are a bunch of photos from the day. A marvelous day on the trail and attaining a lovely spot.

I spent the morning with a brit named James, from Kent, visiting the Maison du Montagne, getting a map and some intel. The fellow there indicated that the pass would be snow-free and my intention to Lac Anterne possible, though he was noticeably unenthusiastic. Like he was trying to dissuade me, but willing to respect my confidence.

Chamonix Town is delightful!

I fired off some postcards, got a baguette (for my cheese) and a pain au chocolat, and headed toward the trailhead.

This is an image of where I would be going…a loop in the upper left quarter of this image from La Flegere, over le Brevent col, north to the Lac Anterne, then back through the col the following day to cross the ridge around Col Cornu and to the top of l’Index, and down/over to Lac Blanc. Then on the Tuesday morning an early start for a 2.5h descent to Chamonix  to catch an 8:30 bus to Turino, to get a train to Rome. Yeah, that was going to be a heckuva day!

We passed the parapente landing area. I found this shot of the setting moon with three of the kites – one is actually in the image of the moon. Hard to get the photo w/ my trusty phone, but in real life was quite amazing.

James joined me to stretch his legs for a half hour and then headed back to town. He was heading to one of the Mont Blanc refuges and then up to the summit in two days time.

So I headed onward, taking the three hour hike which could have been a 10-minute teleferique. Passed a nice stream. Went through a road construction site. Saw some critters.

Ate some absolutely amazing wild strawberries. Seriously a satori. Amazing flavor.

Came across La Floride – a little cafe up the hill from town about an hour. Had a chuckle with a British couple that had passed me earlier while I was eating my pain au chocolat on the trail. I could see how people could find Chamonix a really fun spot to visit in retirement – if you felt active, you could hike all over the place. If not as much, you could catch these cable cars and rock up.

Started to see some of the serious territory as I ascended. This is also the ski-territory, which doesn’t get all the way down to town – you have to get up on the conveyances to the ski pistes.

Close up of those peaks at the west end of the Chamonix needles…

Finally, I arrived at La Flegere, where the cable car arrives and the ski lifts start.

I had a great beer. So cool to have these facilities in such a place.

It is a great spot, surrounded by beauty. Take a look:

Mont Blanc on the far right:

Aguile Vert – the Green Needle (snowcapped in the cloud, not the rocky thing)

I had a lunch break sitting on the quad chair of one of the lifts. Perfect seat.


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