Argentiere and the Gorge d'Arveyron
The book we were using 'Mont Blanc
Trails' has hundreds of paths in it but little description and at first
was quite confusing but once you get used to how all the paths interlink
it becomes a very useful companion. You reach a signpost and can
instantly work out from the guidebook what is possible if you take any
of the alternative directions. For a nice light easy day we went up to
Chalet Floria passing a signpost on the Petit Balcon Sud to Argentiere,
looking through the book on the chalet terrace we realised that by going
back down to the Petit Balcon we could take a number of tracks towards
Argentiere, a village about 5 miles away from Chamonix, and then either
walk back along the river or catch the bus/train.
Many guide books mention that if
the weather is bad on one side of the Chamonix valley it is often better
either on the other side or further down the valley and with the
extensive network of footpaths and free tourist bus service it should
always be possible to find a walk somewhere.
Of course it is not always possible
to know which side the bad weather is going to be on until you are in
it, as happened to us on our way from Flegere to Lac Blanc.
We decided to get away from storm
and head back to the valley and explore some more of the paths that
follow the river out of Chamonix towards Argentiere.
At least we were able to swap the
thunder and hailstones for rain.
Not knowing where we were actually
heading to we followed signs from Les to the Gorge d'Arveyron through a
forest littered with huge bolders, relics of a time when the glacier
filed the valley before heading up to a viewpoint above the river. The
view, despite the rain was spectacular, the photo not really doing
justice to such an amazing place.