Grand Balcon du Sud
Chamonix July 8, 2013
After a stop at Boulangerie Saint Herbert to buy a baguette for lunch we headed off to walk the UTMB KV (a trail race that follows a path which rises exactly one kilometre in altitude) to the Planpraz refuge (2000m) and then towards Refuge Chalet de la Flagere. These two refuges are joined by a path referred to as the Grand Balcon Sud, the Great South Balcony trail that offers great views of the north side of the valley and Chamonix town below.
We again had great weather, a little warm with a white haze covering much of the valley and the surrounding peaks. It took us around two and half sweaty, glute busting hours of to rise one kilometer in altitude. The warmer air released a wonderful sweet berry smell from the forest surrounding much of the climb.
It was lovely to stop and pick wild strawberries growing along any surface that had sun exposure. They had the most intense flavour. I still have to pinch myself – the landscape is so picture postcard perfect, it is almost unreal. At Refuge de la Flegere the orientation panel was made out of engraved ceramic that had incredible detail. A work of art.