Wednesday night was clear and cold; a frost on the car Thursday morning. But the day was clear and sunny and soon warmed up significantly. We had chores, so had just a morning walk from the top of the Bellevue cable car in Les Houches down to Le Planet and back via Chalets l’Are to the station. The cable car was fairly full with many earnest mountaineers heaving bulging rucksacks and chatting about “unassisted soloing” and “genuine experience”. I wondered about their credentials when I saw them waiting for the Tramway that would take them just a short way further up Mont Blanc to Mont le Chat. I thought one could get a genuine experience by walking up! (The Tramway is not going to Nid d’Aigle this summer: leaves on the line, or something similar.)
Anyway, we left them pretty quickly as we took a stroll down the green nursery slope then up towards the new hotel, that still appears to be out of action. On the way I was really taken by the view from near the hotel showing a snow-bound Mont Buet in the centre with the Fiz on the left and Brevent on the right.
The path down to le Planet from just by the Hotel is through woods; steep and somewhat eroded in parts, but quite safe when taken slowly. At the chalets you turn left along a track in meadow and past a modernised, attractive chalet with a well-stocked vegetable garden, their courgettes and marrows wilted by frost. Once in the woods, this path climbs steeply and lengthily to bring you out just short of Chalet de l’Are, where there are good views up to Col de Tricot