Today’s hike from La Fouly to Champex-Lac was supposed to be easy. It was only about 10 miles (16.1 km), so less than half of yesterday’s trek. Plus it’s ranked the easiest stage in the TMB. It did live up to its billing, but it still was a challenge.
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The four of us slept in, then ate breakfast at 8:15, which is on the late side for this hike. We then went to the local grocery store to buy some provisions. OK, so maybe it was mostly Swiss chocolate, beer and wine. And a tiny hiking shoe for my keychain. But they were all necessities. Really.
We struck out around 10 a.m. It was sunny and warm. Perfect!
Bye, Bye La Fouly
The first few miles were relatively flat, and followed a glacial stream or meltway. Then the path became quite rocky, although nothing too insane. Then the temperature warmed up and the path got hilly and narrow. At one point, there were chains in the rock wall because the other side of the trail was a steep drop-off. But it wasn’t scary.
Around lunchtime, we came across a small village. Someone had a roadside stand offering food and drink, so we supplemented our lunch by dining there. It was fun to walk through the village, with its charming Swiss architecture.
After leaving this town, the trail began to climb. Oh, my. I guess if you’re hiking in the Alps, you can’t expect to have a flat day. But we had it in our heads that this would be an easy day. And it was, compared to the others. Still, these last few hilly miles were quite difficult.
Making Our Way to Champex-Lac
While hiking uphill – sometimes rather insane inclines – we did delight in the wood-stump carvings that dotted the trail. We also found a large cave at one point. Eventually we reached Champex-Lac, a tourist town famed for its beautiful lake.
Tonight we’re staying at the Hotel du Glacier, right on the trail. The weather was sunny and warm, so we did laundry in our rooms and hung it out to dry on our balcony. (The laundromat is closed, as it’s Sunday.) We caught up on work, then had dinner in the hotel, as we’d purchased half-board. It was a tasty trout meal.
Rain is in the forecast for the next few days. Boo!
Tour du Mont Blanc Miles Today: =10 (16.1 km)
TMB Miles Overall: 73.5 (118.3 km)
TMB Miles to Go: 36.5 (58.7 km)