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Via / R 110 To R 124 Remarks Menu

This trip goes around the Mont Blanc, passing above Chamonix. Then to Switzerland; Champex and the Grand Saint Bernard Pass to Italy. The valley of Aosta, and up to Vlagrisensche. There across the French border again en then to the ski-resort Tignes. The Col de Leisse (2760m) is the highest point this trip along the beautiful Vanoise. And finally down to Modane.

From Refuge de Flegere view on the Mont Blanc

Sixt-Fer-a-Cheval

The Auberge at Salvagny seems to have a new owner. At E 40 (dorm, demi-pension) very good value for money.

Refuge Anterne

Beware of some errors in the GPS track, trust the road signs. By a concrete bridge in the valley, turn right across the bridge -where the GPS will tell you to go straight on.

Refuge de Flegere

La Flegere is a huge hut. (E 56 Demi-pension). Try to arrive early and lie back in one of the comfortable chairs and have a fantastic view on the Mont Blanc.

Refuge de Balme and the Mont Blanc

Refuge de Balme

There are many places with about the same name. Take the one right on the op of the pass, on the border.

The small Refuge de Balme (E55 demi-pension) is exactly at the border. The hut is about 100 years old and is hardly improved since. The old gardiens are suspicous at first, will not open the dorms before 5.30pm, and let you use the poop-hole outside the house until then. But later in the evening the lady gets friendlier and started telling me horrific stories about border patrols caught in avalanches. And about the guest in winter who popped out for a moment to see the Mont Blanc at night, and did not return. Search parties in the next days were unsuccessful. When the snow melted next spring his body appeared just behind the hut!

Before you leave to Switserland, look behind. Last view on the snowy Mont Blanc!!

The Gite d'Etape at Champex-Lac

Champex-Lac

From Balme (Swiss border) to Champex there are no money machines. But you will need no Swiss Francs, because all places will accept Euro's. (where 1 EURO = 1 CHF)

On Bovine, -which is a Farm with a huge terrace (meant for thirsty TMB hikers) you will have a splendid view on the Rhone valley and the Col du Demecre which we passed by during stage R106!

Bourg-Saint-Pierre

I stayed at Au Petit Velain in the dorm. Good value for money at CHF 55 Demi Pension. Walk around the village. On the south side there is a gorge with an antique and historical bridge, and a water-mill -run by volunteers. Hear the music from the bell tower in the evening.

Col Gd St Bernard and on the right the Hospice

Col Grand Saint Bernard

There is an Auberge and opposite is the Hospice. The Auberge is meant for tourists and the Hospice for pilgrims and hikers. The charge for the hospice is CHF 48 and includes 2 meals and 4 religious services, which are not obligatory. You can skip the museum (CHF 10) which contain some sleepy dogs and common artifacts, but be sure to visit the free treasury inside the Hospice! The dogs by the way, are evacuated to the valley in winter nowadays...

Saint Leonard

La Vieille Cloche (B&B) in St Leonard has only 3 rooms. For E 40 a good deal. A good restaurant near an ugly parking lot under a depressing looking viaduct -customs office. Once you get in it looks better, and they offer a really good 3 dish menu for E18. The money machine is in the lobby of the truckers-hotel above.

Hotel des Alpes at Cerellaz

Cerellaz

I would rate the quality of the gps-track as 'bad'. From Vens to Cerellaz as 'useless'', also the road-markings are not too good. So be very careful here.

Valgrisenche

I would rate the quality of the gps-track 'near to useless', and the description is missing needed details. There is a footpath from Cerellaz to Avise, but I could not find it. So I ended up walking down the winding motor-way... In Avise, cross the *new* bridge, not the old one! From Runaz onward the track is well marked.

In Valgrisenche stay at the 'Vieux Quartier' up behind the church. They have dorms for E 45 demi-pension. Good food. These are the old barracks of the former border police. The next day track starts right behind this place, *not* at the church. Ask the warden where exactly.

Lac de Saint Grat

Refuge de L'Archeboc

Do not skip out on the lake, because it is beautiful! Greenish water and the mountains rising up high from the borders of the lake.

Le Monal

Now that the Gite de Chenal and the Youth Hostel in Boisse are definitely closed, there is almost nothing between Le Monet and Refuge de Leisse. Perhaps in Upper-Boisse I saw some cheaper looking hotels, but in Tignes the few open hotels are very expensive.

Refuge de Leisse

I arrived at 6.30pm, wet, cold and exhausted because of a snow-storm, and was rejected! A group rented the whole place, and because they had a celebration they would not want a soaked hiker in the room! I asked for some tea before going on, had to pay E2.80 and went of for another 1h30 to Entre Deux Eaux, where I was very warmly welcomed!

Refuge Entre Deux Eaux is proudly owned by the same family for over 100 years. See the pictorial boards inside showing the history. Very welcome atmosphere by the elderly gardiennes, well recommended! Stay an extra day and go up the breath-taking beautiful Col de Vanoise (view on the nearby glacier) as a days outing.

Refuge la Sapiniere in Modane

Modane

Refuge de la Sapiniere is one of the cutest I have visited so far. It is located on the site of the municipal camping, isolated on a little mountainous hill. It is actually a garden-shed, rebuilt to feel like a mini-refuge. There are 8 double-beds, electricity, and even heating. For water and free shower you have to go down to the camping. Sitting on the balcony you have a beautiful view on the surrounding mountains and the Maginot fortress. Price is only E 18, for food you have to go to the station area, which can be reached through a narrow horror-tunnel.




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