An Autumn day in Chamonix

I woke up early and felt the cold nibbling my toes. Gone are the warm Summer mornings. The sun’s rays can’t climb over Chamonix’s giant aiguilles until midday these days. The valley lies in wait.

It’s the weekend and I’m going on a small solo adventure. After a fuel filled breakfast and a quick confirmation of today’s weather forecast (sunny), I set off and head for the Merlet car park, a great access point to the trails around Aiguillette des Houches in the Aiguilles Rouges National Park. South facing, on the opposite side of the valley to the Mont Blanc massif, this is a great area for trail running and hiking. Especially in the Autumn when the leaves turn various shades of red, yellow, purple, orange and brown and most tourists have returned home.

Packing fast and light, with only 1l of water, a banana and some dried fruit and nuts in my backpack, I hiked up the NW ârete to the summit of the Aiguillette des Houches (2285m). Looks like there’s some good ski-touring around here and I took a mental note of some steeper looking north facing lines. Once at the summit I devoured what little food I had whilst gazing at the stunning vista of the Mont Blanc range. I live here, I laugh to myself. Time to go. I began my descent by running along the traverse of the ârete Aiguillette du Brévent heading East, before following the trail back down to Merlet via Bel Achat.

Chamonix Aiguille du Midi
Aiguille du Midi
Chamonix Cloud Inversion
Autumn above the clouds
Mont Buet Chamonix
Mont Buet (3096m) – The highest peak in the Aiguilles Rouges
Chamonix Hiking
NW ârete of Aiguillette des Houches
Chamonix Hiking
Ârete of Aiguillette du Brèvent from left to centre
Aiguille Verte Chamonix
Aiguille Verte (4122m)
Chamonix Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc du Tacul, Mont Maudit and Mont Blanc (left to right)

Elevation gained: 1000m Distance covered: 11.3km Time: 2hr:15min

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