Sunday, July 12, 2015

Refuge du Plan Glacier (2680 m)

Another place from our "to do list". Last year we didn't have weather good enough to realize all our hiking plans so we must make it up this year. Refuge du Plan Glacier is not exactly a mountain, but it's situated in the heart of Alps, with such beautiful views on the valleys and glaciers around. We started close to Chamonix, so the area well known to us. At first the path was pretty mild, going mainly flat or with mild elevation gains.

Then we continued on a very steep, physical passage (but nothing technical) up to Col de Tricot. That was quite a work out! Up there - lots of amicable sheep craving for our lunch, lovely views and many tourists having a break.

From there on we continued in the direction to Plan Glacier refuge. Not many hikers followed our footpath as the whole tour from Gruvaz would be rather long and require a lot of stamina. That didn't put us off though! The landscape soon changed as vegetation left place to bare rocks and we approached the glacier. Did I mention I love glaciers? :)

At times it got technical but nothing scary in good conditions like that day.

And finally, the refuge. I was pretty happy we finally reached it, I was a bit worn down by this long ascent. We sat down under the shelter, ordered some local goodies, studied the map and ate some chocolate (thanks Arnaud!). The glacier was at my fingertips, really and every time I find myself in such a situation I just want to put on the gear and continue... I guess some day I'll grow to this and we'll start mountaineering. I think Arnaud had the same feelings because two weeks later he went on a trip with his friend and the route they covered was from Plan Glacier, to the next refuge (crossing the glacier) and up to the neighbouring mountain. But that required the gear and skills that we currently don't have. I'll put it on my "dreams wish list".

Stats: Length: ~20km, duration: 7h 45min, elevation gain: 1650m.

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