05 - Refuge Bel Lachat, Aiguillette des Houches, Chalets Chailloux



A well observed elevation hike

From the parking lot, go up towards the park entrance where you will see ibex, chamois, marmots… in semi-freedom. Take the path on the left signposted “refuge Bel Lachat” which goes up in the forest along the park fence.

After 15 minutes, leave the trail to the left that goes towards the Chalets des Chailloux which will be taken on the return journey and continue the climb winding through the forest towards the refuge (TMB route).

After 30 minutes, cross the Lapaz stream and then take a rocky trail equipped with a handrail and some steps. The trail runs between the spruce trees and gives a stunning view of the Glacier des Bossons and the Aiguilles de Chamonix.

After 2h15, and a steep climb one reaches the Bel Lachat refuge (2,136 m) and its lovely terrace with panoramic views of the Valley of Chamonix and the Mont- Blanc range.

After a well deserved rest, take the path above the refuge on the left towards the Aiguillette des Houches (on the right is the path going to the Brévent). The trail full of cairns, then goes gently up amongst the short and wet grass of the Carlaveyron Nature Reserve, which is a vast wilderness.

After 3h15, one reaches the Aiguillette des Houches (2,285 m), the place is conducive for a picnic with a wonderful view facing the Mont-Blanc and at its feet the Bossons glacier. For the return loop, continue in the direction of the Pierre Blanche on the path which goes down on a tight ridge, with views over the valley of Servoz, the Fiz rocks and on the horizon Aravis, the Bauges and the Beaufortin.

A little before reaching the Pierre Blanche forest, turn left and take the path that leads to the pasture toward the Chalets de Chailloux. The pasture of the Chalets de Chailloux (1,923 m) is favorable for a nap whilst still facing the impressive Mont-Blanc, before starting the last part of the descent (45 min), by a forest trail which joins the Merlet park.

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