13 - Col de Balme, Croix de Fer, Col des Posettes



This is a walk over

At the ticket office, take a one way ticket to the Charamillon gondola + Autannes Chairlift and return Charamillon gondola.

At the chairlift (2,186 m), turn left on the dirt road towards the Col de Balme (2,191 m). The Col de Balme marks the Franco-Swiss border.

One can already see the Balme refuge which is only a few minutes above the chairlift arrival. Enjoy the view of the Mont-Blanc from yet another angle. Ignore the TMB on your right leading to the Forclaz Pass and on your left towards the Posettes pass, this trail you will follow later.

Head straight ahead beyond the Swiss border in the direction of the Croix de Fer.

One gets to a fork where on the left you ignore the path going down to the Catogne chalets visible below a steep incline, to follow on the right, a ridge that leads straight to the point of view of the Croix de Fer (2,343 m). Allow 30 to 45 minutes for a round trip to the Croix de Fer from the fork. From there, the view slips to the district of Valais, the Forclaz pass and the Rhone Valley.

Go back to the Col de Balme then follow the direction of Col des Posettes (1,997m) where you can picnic.

After climbing the ridge between the valley of Chamonix and Vallorcine valley, you reach the Aiguilles des Posettes (2,201 m) which offers an overview of 360°. The view flies over the Mont-Blanc range from the glaciers of Trient, the Tour and Argentière then the Aiguilles Rouges, as far as the Aiguille du Goûter but also up to Mont Buet and the Emosson dam.

For the return, one has several possibilities. The nicest and the shortest is the one that takes you back to the middle station of Charamillon, via the Chalets de Balme and down through the pasture of Balme and its herds of Hérens cows. To do this, follow the direction of the Chalets de Balme ignoring the TMB path towards Tré-le-Champ on your right.

From the Chalets de Balme, leave the path which goes down to the Tour and turn left 180° towards the middle station of Charamillon.

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