Hiking the French Alps: Lac Blanc

Lac Blanc, Chamonix

Frosted mountain tops, mirror image of Mont Blanc topped off with a couple of mountain goats. This is what you get hiking to the Lac Blanc (White Lake), a glacier lake located at 2,352m above sea level in the very heart of the Aiguilles Rouge. It’s not a walk in park, but those with an average level of fitness, will get there… eventually.

Nice tried, Girls

After hours of drooling and speculating over possibly photoshopped pictures on Pinterest, me and my friend Nat decide to ‘investigate’ the lake ourselves. We arrive at the ticket office about 10.30AM, all packed with snacks, water and cameras. Unfortunately we learn, it’s a bit too late to start the hike and we are obligated to return back home.

According to the lady at the counter we couldn’t possibly reach the lake and return in time to get the lift back down. At 4PM the last one arrives, those who come late have to hike all the way down in the darkest of the night. Legit nightmare if you ask me. We decide to come back tomorrow and visit a picturesque village Annecy, instead.

Second Attempt

9AM sharp we arrive at the ticket office, same outfits, upgraded snacks. We are the first ones in line as the shutters open. The lady at the counter smiles.Yes mam, we are committed today! In about 15 minutes we reach the refuge, where the hike starts. It’s almost unbelievable but some prefer to bike back down that steep hill. Therefor it’s allowed to bring your mountain bike to the cable car. We however hike to the lake, all the way up, at a decent hight of 2000 something meters. It’s hard, I give you that. I’m out of breath and start sweating almost immediately. Oops. Nat starts her lunch at arrival, that’s how much the altitude messes with us at the start. I wonder if we’ll manage to drag ourselves to the top at that stage.

After a few intense minutes of getting back on track, we start to feel much better, the mountain views help. I stop every 10 minutes to enjoy the view, can’t get over this nature. I’m such a lucky gal being up here.We meet a few mountain goats on our way. How can they live up here, I wonder, how are they NOT out of breath? The jump effortlessly from one rock to another. 

Follow the Stones

The one thing that catches my eye is the lack of directions. At least the directions I’m used to. The way you follow your trail is by chasing rocks. That’s right, you’ll follow the rocks. It’s the cutest thing. No artificial manmade signs but all natural elements. It unites us with the raw, the pure. I’m loving the vibe… High on life.

Frozen Lake Swims

We reach the lake about 3 hours later. The almost completely frozen Lac Blanc is surrounded by rocks and a few smaller lakes. It creates a mirror image of Mont Blanc and a bunch of other surrounding snowy peaks. We eat our snack while we breath in the crisp air, in our T-shirts. Even though we have a freezing temperature, it gets super hot out in the sun. A tourist from U.K feels tempted to take a plunge in the lake. Unfortunately he forgets it’s frozen and lands on his head. Although it hurts, he swims around for a decent 2 seconds to get back out. His head bleeds, but it was all worth it, he laughs as he continues to get dressed. We almost immediately head back, cause the time is ticking away and we can’t miss that cable car.

On our Way Down

The way back is way more quick and pleasant to do. After 2 hours we find the place where we took off. There’s a newlywed photoshoot going on. I can’t agree more it’s quite spectacular to get your photo taken with THAT backdrop. I just hope that they make it to the last lift. Goin back down in a dress on high heels would be quite a pickle. We arrive back to our chalet in Chamonix, parched, red-cheeked and too exhausted to eat. But so furfilled. The endorphins (happy hormones from hiking) rushing through the veins, don’t let us sleep. Hiking is something I must to more often. Yet another 2018-resolution I’m committing myself to. 

Tips

  • The cable car is open from 01/06 to 01/11, according to snow conditions and opening of the lift. I went at the beginning of December and it was till open, so make sure you check the High Mountain Office.
  • Bring more snacks than you need, like bananas or apples, you’ll have cravings up there.
  • You’ll need at least 3 liters of water, you can drink from the stream upon arrival but that’s extremely cold water, no good for vocal cords. Also drinking heaps of water will prevent you from sore muscles the day after. (Downside: No toilets on your way and a lot of hikers passing you by. So you’ll only be able to pee in private at the lake, in a chalet)

 

 

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2 Comments

  1. Claudio
    January 28, 2018 / 3:36 pm

    You also went for a swim? Crazy guy 😁 fantastic pictures! Magical views 😍