TMB day 8: Les Houches to Les Praz

After a stormy night of thunder and lightning we set off on our long and soul destroying 3.5 hour, 1500 metre ascent up to the Brevent cable car station.

It was chucking it down with rain when we left and the cloud was low so there were no good views. It was also pretty humid in the trees after the hot weather yesterday… rather unpleasant! Although our waterproofs meant we were were dry from the rain, we were still wet from sweating!

Finally, the trees thinned out and the views opened up and, by now, the cloud and mist was clearing. We then came across a section of trail protected by railings in the rock. Anne was rather worried by this and did really well overcoming her fears and getting past it. I was fine with this section but I struggled with the many sections of steps, which felt like never ending weighted box step ups for my little legs!

We stopped for a coffee at the Bellachat refuge before continuing the relentless climb to the top. The trail became rockier and the weather started closing in again. At least we saw an ibex!

We put our waterproofs back on and plodded to the cable car station. I was very cold and damp by now and pulled on a long sleeved top waterproof bottoms and gloves before we continued the trail.

My poncho was flapping around in the wind, which was annoying, but at least it kept me warm and dry. After a short time, we came to a section of downhill ladders. I tucked the poncho into my rucksack waistband to keep in out of the way and quite enjoyed the ladder descent.

Then it was hands and poles needed for the rocky scramble down to the Plan Praz cable car station. We had to change our original plans because, unfortunately, the La Flegere refuge and cable car have closed for maintenance, but we got a cable car down to Chamonix and, after a bit of a mooch around, caught the bus to our hotel in Les Praz… a trip we’d have to reverse the next morning to continue TMB. All in all, another good day, despite the weather.

Walk stats: 14.7 kilometres, ascent 1621 metres, 6 hours 20 minutes.

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