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Climbing and hiking in Chamonix

Ok, so we now have a new favourite place! We liked Chamonix so much that we spent just over a week there. The roads in and around Chamonix really have a 'wow' factor and everywhere you look there are people doing extreme sports. You don't get this one on the hazard awareness test...

We invested in a hiking map and climbing guidebook to make the most of our time in Chamonix. Having made the mistake of looking on Google images for inspiration on what hikes to do, we got a cable car up to start a walk to Lac Blanc. You can see what we were thinking it would look like here. However, we soon realised when we got to the top that it was going to be a slightly snowier scene than expected!

Hiking Chamonix, summer snow

We had our scariest moment yet when walking across this...

Just before I got to the other side, I slipped and started sliding down the mountain. Thankfully I came to an abrupt holt when one of my legs got wedged between some snow and the rock...

Although I haven't done much climbing outside, the small amount I have done gave me the confidence to hold on and work out how to climb out, but Sam managed to get down the rocks and helped to pull me out. I needed a little sit down after that! I didn't really want to hike anymore, but equally I didn't want to go back the way we had come, so we carried on to Lac Blanc. We joked on the way up that it might still be frozen over. Turns out, it wasn't a joke! This is the lake just below the frozen Lac Blanc!

Still, it was somewhere to have our lunch with views of Lac De Cheserys.

We were relieved to find that there was another route back to the ski lift. Turns out that was was MUCH easier! We met some Americans who were doing the Tour du Mont Blanc over five days and their guide had told them someone had died hiking there three days before. I told them about my fall and they said 'oh you must have been the person we heard screaming', whoops! We made the most of the safer route down and its stunning scenery and wildlife.

We also found the bit I had slipped on (the snowy bit in the photo below).

Ironically (given our parents' worries), the rock climbing we did over four days was a lot safer than our hiking! We climbed at Les Chavants (where we both did lead climbing), Servoz (where Sam did his first outdoors 6a), Le Fayet (where I did my first overhang) and Forestiers in Les Gaillands (where I did a 4c and Sam did a 30m 5b).

Our second hike was to Lac Vert. This one was a lot lower down, so it was snow-free!

Lac Vert Chamonix
Lac Vert Chamonix

The water was so clear...

Chamonix is the most campervan-friendly place we've been to yet. There were so many places we could wild camp, including some right next to climbing walls. There were also a lot of car parks (with toilets, woohoo) that we were allowed to spend the night in. Here are some of the places we stopped at and the views:

I also spent some of my birthday money in the centre of Chamonix on a cheese fondue at Le Monchu.

Le Monchu cheese fondue
Le Monchu cheese fondue

I loved the trompe l'oeil paintings on this building in Chamonix...

I could go on about our adventures in Chamonix, but this post is already way too long (sorry!) Needless to say, we will be back!

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