colazione in campeggio a Les Houches Italian Home
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Stage 8

from Refuge de La Flégère (1877 m, F) to Les Houches (1003 m, F)

Uphill difference of level / in height:: 710 m
Downhill difference of level / in height: 1580 m
Refuges on the way: : arrival of the cableway at the Col du Brévent (2363 m), Cantine de Bellachat (2152 m)

Average duration of the stage: 3h if descending from the Brévent by cableway; otherwise 6h

At breakfast the buffet is so rich and good that we are "obliged" to be the last to leave the refuge; we head for the tremendous Col du Brévent (2550 m). The path starts very gently, on the side of the mountain, with a wonderful view on the Mont Blanc and the Mer de Glace. We get at the arrival point of a chair-lift, where we rest a bit to be able to deal with the steep ascent to the peak of the Brévent. We make our way on the steep path until we think we have reached the level of the peak and only need to go on the side of the mountain; but the path reserves a terrible surprise for us: we are forced to go downhill for a hundred meters and go uphill again on an even steeper slope up to the top of the mountain.

The peak of the Brévent is overcrowded with tourists that comfortably got there with the cable-way from Chamonix. Despite the crowd and the quite unpleasant company of tourists, the most part Italian, certainly not very keen on mountain, we enjoy a wonderful view that takes our breath away.

After a brief lunch and a bit of rest some of us decide to take the cableway to Chamonix and then a bus to Les Houches, whereas Matteo and I descend on foot for 1600 meters until we reach Les Houches, almost dead. Fortunately the others have already montato the tents. There's nothing left to do than take a shower and go to the village to have something to eat; what we need then is a good sleep, before what will turn out to be the most fatiguing stage of our trip.

A paragliding over the Mount Blanc seen from the Col du Brevent Chamonix and the Mer de Glace from the Brevent
The top of the Mount Blanc from the Brevent