L’Index to Planpraz via two high Cols

 

Saturday had a good forecast and I planned to repeat a walk to Lacs Noir above Flegere and return by a new path for me down to Planpraz. I caught the train/bus to Flegere, arriving around 10 to find, even at this late stage in the season, a small queue at the ticket office; not a problem for someone like me with an annual lift pass (smug or what!). Up the top of the L’Index lift it is a short walk down to the track that takes you over right to the Combe Lachenal with a walking sign post stating Col de la Gliere, the first destination. Views from the Lachenal down into Chamonix are always stunning.
The route is not well waymarked but it is very clear on the ground where the path goes, across scree slopes in places, and up to the Col in the distance
It took me an hour to get to the Col (2461m). The last section of the path involves a stretch of about 30m of fixed ropes with a fair degree of exposure. At the top it is worth taking a look back down and having a breather.
The path to Lacs Noir continues off to the right with more climbing I started off on this to get a different view of Lac Cornu with Pormenaz behind it and le Fiz to the right
and a view of the Col du Lac Cornu, my next destination, with Mont Blanc in the background.
I decided to skip the remainder of the climb to Lacs Noir and start the crossing to Col du Lac Cornu. After returning to Col de la Gliere I took the well-marked path which mostly crosses boulder fields. It seems as though most people take this walk the other way round because suddenly there were loads of people coming the other way, although maybe they were not all going down the way I came up. The Col du Lac Cornu offers lovely views across to Le Fiz
as well as down Charlenon; a good red skiing piste
and down towards Planpraz, my eventual destination.
The walk down has a steep descent to start with but then becomes a very gentle path across the hillside, it took me about an hour to come down. Thence, after a brief stop to watch the many parapenters preparing to launch,
I took the cable car down to Chamonix and walked over to the station. All told, including some stops for photos and drinks, it took me roughly 3 hours and for once I actually kept pace with the marker post timings!
This is a great walk, making full use of the lift facilities to get high up in the mountains. There are a few tricky sections but nothing very serious, or really hazardous when taken slowly.

 

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