Day 30: 5 July, refuge de Moëde Anterne to Chamonix

The sun was shining when we woke up and the sky was blue. We had breakfast at the refuge, bread, jam and Corn Flakes.

The refuge in the morning

We walked down the valley, it was a nice walk, green and beautiful. We walked down to the river, crossed it and continued by climbing on the other side. It was quite easy in the beginning.

Looking back at the refuge from the other side of the valley

After a while it got more snowy and it became hard to stay on the trail, it was hidden in the snow and it became more and more steep. After a steep snowy, climbing we came up to a plateau on the top.

Anna and David walking on the top

We continued in the snow to col du  Brévent 2368m. The view was beautiful, we saw Mont Blanc glowing in the sunshine. We continued towards the highest top.

We had to climb on some metal ladders. It was not so difficult. The last part we climbed in the ski slopes to Le Brèvent 2525m. When we’d made it we were hot, tired and very happy! It was a exciting walk and we really enjoyed it.

We made it to the top, Le Brèvent 2525m. Anna, David and Ýrr, happy people posing in front of Mont Blanc

We stayed for a while at the top, took some pictures and looked at the beautiful view.

The view, Mont Blanc

The view

Then we took the cable car down to Chamonix. We had lunch at a restaurant. Davids cousin Rodorigo joined us, he had been waiting for David in Chamonix. After lunch we took farewell of David, his hiking holiday was over for now. We’d really enjoyed his company and we knew we would miss him. We went to the post office to pick up our poste restante package, bought a map for up comings days, went to a sport store and to a grocery store. After running all our errands we went to a camping, made dinner and slept!

Day 31: 6 July, Chamonix to Charlet de Nant Borrant

Not every day you wake up at the foot of Mont Blanc.

As we had to do some errands before leaving we got a late start. As Chamonix is off the GR5 trail we took the bus to Les Houches and continued up with a cable car.

There is some days we call transportation day, it is an expression for days when the hike isn’t that interesting and it can be walk on concrete roads, going down to and/or through villages etc.

Our goal is to have a nice hike, so if the possibilities exist we sometimes take help of other transportation. This was such a day.

In the afternoon we arrived to a nice refuge, Charlet de Nant Borrant. It was busy and we probably got the two last beds. The etap was part of the Tour de Mont Blanc, which is a trail around Mont Blanc which is very popular a specially among Americans.

We met a nice women, Lori, which hiked with her son, Alex. We sat and talked with them in the garden before making dinner.




Day 32: 7 July, Chalet de Nant Borrant to gite de alpage de Plan- Mya

We made breakfast outside the refuge, before we climbed up the valley. We had company with the people from the refuge, they where all doing the Tour de Mont Blanc, around Mont Blanc. We climbed up, about 800m to col du Bonhomme (2329m). We walked from green area to a snowy top.

Getting closer to Col du Bonhomme

We had lunch at the top with Lori, Alex, Kate and Karen.

Anna, Lori, Alex, Kate and Karen eating lunch at Col du bonhomme

We continued for about 15 minuets, then we got a little worried that we had missed a turn. The track was supposed to split from the Mont Blanc Tour. Kate and  Karen came up with the idè that they would continue a little further and give us a sign if we also were supposed to go up there. We waited for the sign and it was positive so we continued to la Croix.

Poles up! The sign for continuing

There was a refuge just 5 minuets from there. We went there to fill up our water bottles. It was a hot sunny day. Then we continued walking along Crete des Gittes on the top. It was beautiful! One of the highlights of the trip so far. With Panorama view! We really enjoyed it and took a lot of pictures on the way. We looked back at Mont Blanc and Col du Bonhomme.

Anna walking along Crete des Gittes

Crete des Gittes

Crete des Gittes

We came down to Col de la Sauce 2307m and after that the track led us down the valley. We walked down to Plan de la Lai. The refuge was next to a road, we didn’t like it. We continued up the hill go gite d’alpage de Plan Mya. Which was a wonderful gite. They also sold cheese and sausages. We bought a piece of cheese. Thei area is famous for the Beuffort cheese. We made dinner outside, lentils with vegetables

Day 33: 8 July, Refuge de plan Maia to refuge de Presset

The first part of the trail was really nice and easy, through green slopes with a slow climbing. Some parts was a bit muddy but the view was magnificent. In our back we had Mont Blanc.

At one place we left our backpacks and climbed an extra hill to get an even better view. Down below there was a lake and we still had a view over Mont Blanc.

If turn we we could see La Pierra menta, that looks like a tooth and can be recognized from 100 km distance.

We both where very tired this day. We have now walked for more than a month and we have not taken many rest day.

After climbing down into the valley we starting to turn up again. A heavy climb on rocky and muddy paths and in the end we climbed on snow. It felt as it never would end.

But we finally reached the top, col de Bresson at 2469 meter, with a rewarding nice view. from the top we could see the refuge de Passet, it had a great position and we decided to stay the night there. Hard to walk by the posibility to sleep on 2514 meter, not every day and the heighest point we ever sleept at.

The walk there was very muddy, snowy and slippery.

The refuge

The refuge was run by a family with two small kids and had a nice atmosphere. It had just opened and was totally renewed with a very tasteful design. Inside you could sit by a panorama window and you had a great view over the lake and the mountain behind it. At one point you could see a caravan of Chamois. It attract everyone at the refuge.

In the evening the weather changed from sun to rain and thunder.


Day 34: 9 July Refuge de Presset – Landry

Anna made pancakes for breakfast in the refuge. Then we left down the valley, it was a nice, we enjoyed the walk the first hour down to Refuge de la Balme.

The mud from yesterday ( it was about to get worse)

Looking back at Refuge de Presset, lovely refuge!

Nice valley


We saw some Marmuths on the way.

A Marmuth and a Marmuth baby


We continued down, the track was on a road, in a forest and in the end of the day through villages. It was muddy and wet in the forest. We never like the walks that takes us down from the high tops to a village, specially not in the end.

Anna in field of flowers


We came to Landry early in the afternoon and went to the store to buy some food, we had plans on continuing but decided to stay at a small camping behind the store. We were bascally on our own in the camping. We made delicious food, fresh spicy sausages and pasta with pesto and cream.

Ýrr frying fresh local sausages


It rained and was thunder for a while, but we were saved from the water under a roof at the camping.

Day 35: 10 July, Landry to refuge d’Entre-le-Lac

In the morning we found out that we had a lot of snails on our tent. It was also very wet after the rain the evening before.

We had breakfast, yogurt and roasted bread with Nutella. We packed and paid the camping in the shop. We hitched hiked up to the refuge de Rosuel. A trail mainly on concrete road we all ways try to avoid.

It was a beautiful valley. We started to climb and past a lot of waterfalls, at one part, we where surrounded by them.

When we reached a new flat valley with a stream we took a short break to dry the tent and dip our feet’s in the cold water. It was refreshing.

We continued and soon we came up to a big lake at 2155 meter. We passed a Danish family, two of them where brave enough to have a swim in the freezing cold water.

At the end of the lake we found the refuge d’Entre-le-lac. Our plan was to stay the night there. We had some bread and nice cheese in the sun before the weather changed quickly to heavy rain and thunder. We stayed inside the rest if the evening.


Day 36: 11 July, Refuge de Entre-le-Lac – Val d isére

We made pancakes with Nutella for breakfast, something we had been longing for! It tasted wonderful. Then we started climbing, it was a hot and sunny day, we had a beautiful walk in a valley.

Leaving the refuge behind us

Beautiful valley

Anna crossing a river

We stopped at refuge col du Palet close to the top and had a cop of coffee, then we continued to the top Col du Palet 2657 m the highest point on this trip so far.

Looking up at the top Col du Palet

We enjoyed the view and took some pictures before we walked down the valley on the other side of the mountain.

On the top of Col du Palet 2657 m


Walking down on the other side

It was nice and quiet but suddenly the view became different, we looked down at Tignes -le -Lac, we were not really impressed, it looked like a town with only big new hotels. The town was full of tourists playing golf, tennis and skiing on the glacier.

Looking down at Tignes-le-Lac

We passed through the town and continued for about one more hour down to Val d isere. The last part was really nice we walked in a forest and sometimes the view of the lake Lac du Chevrill appeared and in the end we walked along a river to Val d’Isère.

Almost in Val d’Isère

Almost i Val d’Isère

We went to the camping, put up our tent. Then we walked down town, I (Yrr) rented skis and then we went out for dinner in a restaurant,

Day 37: 12 July, Val d’isere

Rest day and arrival day for Christer (Annas boyfriend). Yrr went skiing in the morning and I took a slow morning in the sun and updated the blog. Yrr had a great ski, she had the whole slope all most by her self.

At noon we join to make some washing together in a landry. We dried the clothes in the sun outside while making some errands. We tried to find some gas to our stove, which seemed impossible. But we found it after long time off searching.

We also had some problems with the post office, it turned out that they didn’t have open on Saturdays. So our plan to repack our parcel with some supplies from Christer and send it further the next day failed.

In the evening Christer arrived. Yrr made some pasta and we had some beer with Swedish herring with Knäckebröd that Christer had brought with him. It tasted delicious.

Christer and Anna

Day 38:13 July, Val d’Isere – Bessans

It took time to get started. Going from being two persons to three meant changes in routines. We had a lot fo food to pack and we still had one destination to look for camping gas. We had looked everywere the day before,  we actually found the gas, which brought happiness to the group. We walked a couple of km to le Fornet and waited for a bus. The bus drove zig zag up the mountain to col de l’Iseran 2770 m the highest point on GR5! We sat down and ate french onion herring and ”knäckebröd” from Sweden that we had ordered from Christer.  I don’t think this swedish food had ever tasted as good, we really enjoyed!

French onion herring and knäckebröd on the top

Then we started walking down, it was steep and snowy.

Christers first hikingsteps on the GR 5. Walking down from Col du l’Iseran.



Ýrr and Anna reading the map

We had to turn back at one point since there was to much snow and impossible to walk. We took the road for a couple of km then we walked down the green valley Vallon de la Lenta and climbed up the mountain on the other side. 

Anna and Christer under a rock

We climbed for quite a while. Suddenly we realised we were a little of the track. We spotted a house down the valley and hoped it was a refuge, we were tired by now. We walked down to it but it was a farmers house and a restaurant. We bought Perrier water and sat down. The woman brought us some self made cheese to taste. It tasted of course delicious but we already had a big piece of cheese.

Looking down at the farmers house

We continued back on track and then we started walking down for about an hour to le Villaron, a small village a couple of km from Bessans.

Looking down at Bessans

First we went to the gite but it was full. Then we went to the camping, we put up our tents. It was to late to make dinner, around nine o’clock. We went to the warm and cosy camping restaurant and ate delicious dinner, ”La Tartiflette” with a glass of red wine. We were really hungry! Christer did a really good first day, he looked happy the whole day. In the evening he told us that he couldn’t remember ever being so tired in his life! Shortly after we went to bed a huge impressing firework-show started in the valley. It was a surrealistic experience.

Day 39: 14 July, Le-Villaron


The nice camping was a perfect place to have a rest day at. It felt like being at a farm, there was hens and gooses running around freely. They also made there own goat cheese, the best we had so far.



We had a very slow morning in the sun. Washed some clothes.


Christer and I took a walk in to another valley and had a beer at a refuge in the village.

In the mean time Yrr did some blogging and reading.


We made pasta with pesto and creme for dinner. It tasted delicious.


Day 40:15 July, Camping Le-Villaron – Refuge de Vallonbrun

We had to go to the post office in Bessans that didn’t open until 2 pm. We took a slow morning, waited for the sun to warm up the tents and the camping before we gat up.

The sun will soon reach the tent

We started to make breakfast but realised the gas I’d bought in Val d isére was not the right one… Puuha.   We had mūsli and milk, Nutella and crackers for breakfast and then we packed our stuff and walked for about two km to Bessans. We went to the supermarket and bought some food and I went on a new ”looking for camping gas” tour while Anna and Christer packed the food. This time I found the right thing! Anna and I also bought  new metallic cups in a sport store. We were tired of our plastic ones that never stopped tasting Pernod. 

Our new shiny cups

We sat down on the square close to the post office and ate lunch. We had bought delicious goat cheese at the camping, made by them selfs, it was one of the top three cheeses we’d eating on this trip.

Lunch in Bessans while waiting for the Post office to open (Anna is holding the cheese)

The post office opened and we sent our poste restante package to Ceillac. Then finally we could start walking. The beginning was an easy walk along a river. After about an hour we started climbing, it was a steep climb for about two hours to the refuge de Vallonbrun. 

Le Collet (1752m)

The only way is up…

The refuge only had two places left but we were allowed to put up a tent outside. Anna and Christer took the tent and I got a bed inside the refuge.

The lovely Refuge de Vallonbrun 2190m


We cooked pasta with vegetables, sausage and cream for dinner on the stow in the refuge.

The sunset seen from the refuge

Day 41: 16 July, Vallonbrun to Refuge plan du Lac

Nice feeling to sleep in a tent at 2270 meter. 

We left the nice refuge around 8.30. The sun was shining and we had a nice start walk on narrow terrace paths, sometimes on rather steep slopes, slightly downhill. Crossing many streams, seeing and hearing Marmots. 

We past a nice unstaffed refuge. Perfect place to stay at, but it was to early for us to stop for the night. We had lunch and dried our tent, the nights tends to be very moistery. 

At Pre Vallant (1980) we started to climb, first through forest where we saw some Alp Clematis. Soon we came up to an open landscape again. 

After reaching the top we continue walking along terrace paths with a great views.

Later we past a carpark and lake before reaching the refuge plan de lac. Nice place. We had a beer in the sun before taking a warm a nice shower and to do our daily washing of clothes.

While the rain was pouring down outside we had dinner, warm nice soup, lovely chicken with couscous, cheese and a cake with plums. It felt nice for a change to have dinner not made by ourselves. 

We had an early evening.

Day 42: 17 July, Refuge Plan du Lac to l’Arpont

We took a slow morning, made breakfast outside the refuge and started walking. We continued to walk in the Vanoise national park

After about half an hour we left the track to buy cheese in a farmers house.

5 minuits to buy cheese

Then we started climbing. The sun was shining and we were really hot. We took a break at the end of the climbing and ate bread with cheese and some sausage.

Anna and Ýrr walking and talking

Anna and Christer climbing


Then we continued and the landscape changed it became more stony and there was a lot of snow. Also the weather changed, it started raining, we stopped to put on a raincoat (we hadn’t had need for that for more than a week). A fox stopped by and said hi.

We continued and the landscape became more and more beautiful. We walked on striped stones and looked at the glaciers de la Vanoise.

Stripy stoneman

Anna, Christer and Ýrr posing in front of Glacier de la Roche Ferran


It stopped raining for a while and then it started again. We came to refuge de l’Arpont (2309 m) in the afternoon and found out it was full. It was raining quite a lot by now. We decided to make food and then look for a spot to put up our tents. We made couscous with satay sauce and vegetables. We ate and then we left in the rain. We didn’t find a good place for camping, the grass was high and very wet. But we found a chapel, we decided to sleep on the floor. We ate some chocolate before we went to bed.

Day 43: 18 July, l’Arpont to Refuge de plan Sec

The night past well, our temporary home had given us a dry shelter and a good night sleep. Even though Christer wished he had a warmer sleeping bag.

The weather was still a bit unstable.

We packed our things and climbed out. We walked for about half an hour before making breakfast. Other hikers past us. We recognized some of them from the refuge de l’Arpont.

All of us had great energy and where enjoying the walk, mostly through terrace paths, not much climbing and with great views. The whole day was above 2000. The weather made us move fast with just one break to have lunch.

The landscape changed between green and more soft to more stony and rough, Dolomite like.

We arrived early  to the Refuge de Plan Sec at 13.00. We had a cold ”shower” and made some lunch in the kitchen, omelet and soup.

We had a nice and relaxed afternoon in front of the warm fireplace in the restaurant, had some wine and wrote on our blog.

At 19.00 it was time for dinner. A couple from Israel joined us, Omri and Orit. We had a nice evening with them talking about hiking, traveling and a lot more.

Finally some dessert! (Creme brûlée on fire!)



Day 44: 19 July, Refuge de Plan Sec to Refuge de l’Alguille Doran

The last day in the Vanoise national park. Our plan was to leave the Gr 5 track and take a higher level track that would bring us up to above 2900m, but it looked cloudy on the high mountaintops and consider to the weather broadcast the weather was supposed to be unstable. We decided to follow the GR 5 Omri and Orit took the high level route unfortunately we didn’t meet them again so we didn’t get a report of what we’d missed. We walked along the lake Plan d’Amont to the other side of the valley. Had lunch, bread and Humus at Col du Barbier looking at the beautiful view. It was cloudy but sometimes the sun peaked out between the clouds. We walked along the mountain to refuge de l’Alguille Doran. We had view over the valley and the mountains on the other side.

Looking down at Modane and to the other side were the GR 5 continues.

in the end we walked in a forest sometimes with big stones.

It was a nice day as all the days in the Vanoise national park. We put up our tents outside the Refuge and had a hot shower (we hadn’t had that for two days), made pasta that we ate inside in  the refuge restaurant. We bought a blueberry cake for desert mmmm…! Lovely refuge with very nice staff.