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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hiking - L'Index to Lac Blanc

We woke up to a sunny day, the weather forecast called for the sunny sky to continue. That's enough to make us happy already.

Our plan for the day is to hike a Lac Blanc (White Lake), a popular destination featuring alpine lake and great mountain backdrop. Husband said this would be a long hour hiking trip, we probably need to walk for 4 hours to complete the loop (10.9 km).

After a simple yet "fantastic" breakfast (cup noodle + bread+ orange juice), we drove off to Les Praz Village at around 9 am.

From Les Praz Village, this cable car would glide us to the La Flegere Lift at an altitude of 1877m.

In about 10 minutes time, we were lifted up to La Flegere station already. Super fast !

Before we continue to ascend to a higher elevations, we took a short break at La Flegere.

Before we continue to ascend to a higher elevations, we took a short break at La Flegere. The mountain's at our side is very different from the opposite, but both looks beautiful.

Husband said we could walk up to Lac Blanc by this gravel road too. But he thought we should start the walk at a higher elevations though.

We then took a chair lift to l'Index, at an altitude of 2595 m.

Speaking of chair lift, this one is absolutely a thrilling and terrifying one to me.

Husband and I have watched a horror-thriller survivor movie called "Frozen" just a few days before our departure. The movie is so horrible that prompted us to make several precautions for this trip. Luckily we didn't let the kids watched that movie, so they could get to experience "chair life" in a positive and non-threatening way.

I have tried not to think about that movie the whole ride, like "should we have started our walk from La Flegere, we were on that trail below".

But to be honest, I was still very scared-to-death sitting in this lift chair.

While the boys seems enjoying the ride very much, I kept praying inside me that we would reach the upper station fast and save.

Gosh, this ride was a long one. When it's gonna be ended?

Feeling like ages long, finally I saw the station up there.

Thank God we reached here safe and sound. I think my face looked pretty greenish-pale at that time.

The mountain ranges at the opposite side...

the mountain ranges at our side...

From l'Index, we took the path leading off to the right to start the traverse across to Lac Blanc. Not need husband to tell me, I can see that ahead us is a rugged, barren terrain.

I looked back to the chairlift, and yet still felt the fear inside me.

Generally, it counts approximately 1 hr 30 min for the traverse across from a half way trip (l'Index to Lac Blanc) and 1 hour 15 for the descent from Lac Blanc to La Flegere.

But from on our past experience, we just need 4 hours for that, ok.

From where we started the walk...

to the unknown heaven.

I know some kids hate going for long-hour hike, but not these 2. I'm not saying that they like hiking very much, but they have never rejected it.

As we climbed, the view of the Chamonix Valley, Aiguille du Mide and Mont-Blanc open up.

Awesome !!

Husband said the rating of this route is "easy-moderate". There are several grades under this category, and this one is on the top of the list. That literary means this is the most difficult "easy-moderate" route.

Beautiful snow mountain as backdrop.

It's true this is a popular trail. We won't need to worry if we will lost our way.

It's either we overtook the people in front, or people overtook us. Most of the time, it's the latter situation.

As we moved on, the path becomes increasingly rugged too. We sweated a lot from here and on wards.

To the left is the views of the Aiguilles Rouge and to the right is the views of the Chamonix Valley and Mount-Blanc range.

Not just my sun glasses was lost in day 1, but my newly bought hat too. It's really very absent minded of me that lost 2 important things in 1 day, some more in day 1. So now, I have to expose myself under the bright-hot sun the whole day. Damn it.

This going-down part is not easy, we have got to pay many attention to avoid slip.

There we go, another ups again.

The boys are getting stronger and more durable this year. They managed the trip very well.

Mont Blanc Massif as viewed from Lac Blanc Trail.

Crossing more exposed, rocky ground....

The trail has such a great panoramic scenery that every second counts to the enjoyment factor.

From here, we have an unobstructed view of the Mont Blanc range that we can't appreciate from the valley floor.

We are slow hikers, meaning we take our time and make lots of stops to take pictures.

Ok, 1 hour had passed. Husband pushed us to walk faster.

Looking back, I could hardly see the gravel road we had passed by before.

As the weather was getting hot, some girls had stripped more and walked. Too bad I had nothing else to strip.

Son got his nature's call at this point...

Excuse me, having no toilet around, he just got to pee here.

The dying beauty.

Those hikers were very well prepared. It's true the sticks would help walking on this kind of gravel road.

Mer de Glacier at the opposite mountain.

Up again...

Mer de Glacier, stunning beautiful.

Up, up again...

Up, up, up again...

Really no kidding here.

The point where La Flagere trail meets with Lac Blanc trail.

In front over there is the point where La Flagere trail meets with Lac Blanc trail.

Since then, we have more hikers on the same trail heading to the destination.

It's not easy to find a shade like this along the path.

After some minutes, we continue to walk up...

The final stretch to Lac Blanc is quite steep, but husband guranteed us that it well worth the effort. Also, he said our destination is not far from here. This had motivated us to move on.

Yet after making several this kind of turns, our destination was still no way to be seen.

Looking up, I inhaled a deep breath in worried. How long would we need to walk exactly?

William was far in front of me by then. He kept asking me to walk faster.

Vincent was taking his rest when I walked up to here. He said he was waiting for me.

I stood here to take a short break with Vincent, looking down to where I came from.

Ok, fit to move up again.

We could see the chalet from here. It had motivated us to walk faster.

Getting closer and closer to the White Lake by now, I was really look forward to seeing it.

When I turned my head back, I was impressed to see this beautiful scene behind us.

A further 200m over a slight hill and the spectacular Lac Blanc suddenly appear before us.

Yes, finally we were here.

I checked my watch, the time was nearly 12 noon by then. We have completed the 1 hr 15 min trail in about 1 hr 50 min.

There is also an added attraction of a beautifully situated lake with a very pleasant chalet serving foods and refreshments.

Husband pointed at this chalet and said we would take our lunch here. We raised our 4 legs to his idea....


Juju said...

Your kids are really tough.. Hope to have such a family vacation one day ...

jessylee said...

Yes, my boys can be quite robust sometimes (haha...) We think, physically, they will overtake us very soon, maybe in the coming 2-3 years. Sigh, age really catching us up lo.

When there is a will, there is a power. I wish you will go for your dream vacation one day.

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