Take your next step now …
The main village is Beaufort, accessed from Albertville via a twisty road following the banks of the Doron river. The tour starts and finishes in the village of Beaufort,at the heart of the Beaufortain. We will be staying our first and final nights in hotels and the remainder in mountain refuges with spectacular views and a special ambiance. The Beaufortain is a great view point to view Mont Blanc, the highest peak in Western Europe. There is a great abundance of wild flowers following the melting of the winter snows. Marmot can be both heard and usually seen scurrying to their burrows having spent the winter in hibernation. Enjoy a week?s walking in the shadow of Mont Blanc. Don?t forget your camera!
Molliessoulaz – Refuge des Arolles
Duration: 6h30; Ascent: 1200m
After a short transfer from our hotel we zig-zag up to the hamlet of Molliessoulaz. The path now climbs steadily through pine woods before arriving in some alpine pastures where the tinkling of cowbells may be heard. From here we gain height to arrive on an impressive ridge close to La Roche Pourrie. The view over the Combe de Savoie and the Basse Tarentaise spreads out before us with the ridge running up to the summit of the Mont Mirantin and then away towards La Grande Journee. Our route loses some height before continuing in a rising traverse to the aptly named Col des Lacs. Time for a pause to drink in the view. The route now passes close to the Lac de Lavouet before joining a track and path that leads to the Col de la Bathie. Mont Blanc’s white bulk is visible in the distance. From the Col de la Bathie we look down towards the village of Areche. The refuge is set just above the trees.
Refuge des Arolles – Refuge Econdu
Duration: 6h30; Ascent: 1050m
The route traverses below the massif of the Grand Mont and the Pointe du Dard before reaching the Chalets des Rognoux. Lac de St Guerin’s turquoise waters beckon below and we descend gently through pine woods and pastures to it’s shores. The path now leads up steadily amongst the alpages to reach the refuge below the Cormet d’Areche.
Refuge Econdu – Refuge du Presset
Duration: 5h30; Ascent: 1200m
Leaving the refuge we pass the Lac des Fees (fairies) before arriving at the Cormet d’Areche. From here we follow a track and then a path to the Col du Coin (2398m). Time for a break to take in the stunning view. The famous Pierra Menta to our right; a dramatic rocky peak that also gives its name to an annual ski-mountaineering competition. Lac de Roselend’s azure waters sparkle below. Our route descends slightly with the Pierra Menta standing sentinel above. Our next objective the Col du Bresson (2469m) that hides our next stop; the Refuge du Presset. The refuge nestles beside a small lake with mountains all around
Refuge du Presset – Refuge Croix de la Bonhomme
Duration: 6h 00; Ascent: 930m
Skirting the lake a short climb leads to the Col du Grand Fond with the the Aiguille de la Nova dominating the skyline and the Combe de la Neuva stretching out below. The route follows the valley with mountain ridges standing sentinel to either side; terrain for chamois or bouquetin! We reach a small water intake where we pick up a track that contours the hillside to the Cormet de Roselend, one of the celebrated cols of the Tour de France and part of the “Route des Grandes Alpes”. The road to the left leads back down to Albertville and to the right to Bourg St Maurice. Traversing the road we pick up a track that soon peters out as we pick our way up to the Col de la Sauce (2307m). We now follow close to the crest of the Crete des Gittes on a path hewn out of the rock by soldiers during the First World War who left testimony to their endeavours with engraved stones. Our nights stop is now insight; the Refuge du Col de la Croix du Bonhomme a large modern refuge that also serves the Tour du Mont Blanc.
Refuge de la Croix de la Bonhomme to Col du Joly.
Duration : 4h 00 ; Ascent : 430m
We share our route with that of the Tour du Mont Blanc passing the Col du Bonhomme before descending towards La Balme. Before reaching here our path now diverges passing below the Col de la Fenetre and the Aiguille de Roselette with opposite the satellite peaks and glaciers of Mont Blanc dominating the skyline. We soon reach the Chalets de Roselette and our overnight stop below the Col du Joly with the valley of Les Contamines and its tiny chalets dotting the valley below.
Col du Joly – Haute Luce
Duration : 6h 00 ; Ascent : 595m
We soon quit the broad Col du Joly for a path that clings to the hillside below the Aiguille Croche and come out on the ridge again near the Col de Very. Our route now goes via the Mont de Vores and Mont Clocher following the broad whale back ridge overlooking the Val d’Arly and the valley of Haute Luce. Soon we descend on the track of an ancient path to the village of Haute Luce and the end of our tour. Transfer to hotel.
Due to the nature of this tour baggage transfer is not possible. Baggage not needed on the tour can be left at Pralognan until you return.
Dinner in the refuges is a set menu. It is typically soup, a main course and dessert.
Packed lunches: these can be reserved in advance. There are no shops or other refuges where you can buy food.
What’s NOT included:
The price indicated is for the group.
1 – 2 people: Euro 1500
3 – 5 people: Euro 1800
6 – 8 people: Euro 2400