Pointe de Vue
The Pointe de Vue hike is an easy Chamonix hike. You trek through the high alpine flowers to an astonishing viewpoint directly facing the glacier. From this vantage point you can hear it creak as it carves its ravine. Then explore Refuge de Lognan.
Buses run from all parts of Chamonix to Les Grands Montets ski area. Ideally, get a bus that stops at the lift station - some of them stop at the base of the car park leaving you a 200m walk up the hill to the lift. Take the Lognan lift.
|When to do|
July - Mid September
No, but there is Refuge du Lognan
Yes, at Lognan lift station and the refuge
Out and back
From the Lognan station, hike left up a wide track, signed “Pointe du Vue”. The track climbs steadily through high alpine flowers and shrubs, crossing small mountain streams at intervals.
After about 45 minutes, there’s a junction. The left path normally has a sign towards the Refuge de Lognan. At this point we prefer to head right and upwards and you will start to see the edge of the ravine containing the glacier. If you have children or dogs with you, keep in mind that it is completely unfenced and a vertical drop.
The glacier itself is a colossal mass of ice, constantly moving as it grinds away at the rocks containing it. You can walk out onto the edge opposite the ice fall and look directly up at the face. Keep walking up along the side of the ravine for different perspectives on the panorama – there is also a path further back from the edge (clearly visible) which still offers good views but is less worrying for parents of young children. Once you’ve explored the area, find a spot somewhere you feel comfortable and settle down to watch the movement – it is slow but it is constant, as fragments of ice come loose, from delicate showers to huge serac collapses. This is an ideal place for lunch, or at least a drink and snack.
Once you’re done marveling at the glacier, return along the path you came in by. After about 15 minutes come to an intersection and take the right-hand fork, normally signed towards the Refuge de Lognan.
The narrow path winds down through shrubs and streams, and then hits a clear wide track. Go left towards the refuge. You can stop in here for lunch or a drink, if it’s open, for true high mountain refuge ambience, good food, and a friendly atmosphere. If you don’t want to visit the refuge, continue along the wide path to the Lognan mid-station and take the lift back down to Argentiere.
If it’s running, you can take the lift from Lognan to the top station at Grands Montets. This trip is well worth it for the incredible views of Mont Blanc, the Aiguille Verte and the Argentiere glacier basin. You can often have snow up here in summer. However do note it is glaciated terrain and therefore dangerous to leave the lift station.
For a big (and very beautiful) walk, this can be combined via the Alpage de la Pendant and Le Prapator to Le Chapeau (walk 8) ending in Les Bois. Allow 4 hours minimum.
There is an excellent restaurant in the woods behind the Grands Montets base lift station - the Cremerie du Glacier (Advisable to call before turning up +33 4 50 54 07 52). Walk up behind the lift base for about 15 minutes, following signs to the “Cremerie du Glacier” or to the helipad.
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