The next adventure has begun! Over the next week, our group of intrepid adventures will be exploring the absolutely stunning vistas of Mont Blanc. Located on the border of France and Italy, this iconic mountain is the highest point in the Alps at 15,777 ft, and the second highest mountain in Europe (after Mt. Elbrus).
Our home for the next week is a traditional mountain chalet, named Chalet Chocolate, located in the beautiful town of Chamonix, France in a narrow valley at the base of the mountain. The chalet hosts, Neil and Marta, warmly welcomed us after a long, tiring journey to get here. True to the chalet name, Neil presented a delicious homemade rich dark chocolate cake, making us feel right at home.
Our group of 13 includes 10 Americans representing Virginia, New Jersey, Michigan and Illinois, and 3 Brits hailing from Plymouth and London. Our guide, Aglia, will lead us on 5 different hikes in the days to come. She hails from a mountain valley a little further south.
After a good night’s rest and a nutritious breakfast, we all made our lunches for the day ahead. Marta set out baguettes, a variety of meats and cheeses, some pasta salad and fruit. Needless to say, we had a tasty variety to choose from for our trail lunches. We took a local bus to the next town to begin our first hike for the week. After a short 30 min ride, we hit the trail for our 10 km hike that featured a rugged 850m ascent to the top of Aguillette des Poisettes (2201m). Our effort was rewarded by the clear blue sky and unobscured views of the Alps all around us.
After enjoying our lunch at the peak, we headed down… which always seems longer and harder than the uphill part. Luckily there was a small mountain stream at the end to soak our tired feet… what a refreshing feeling! Our trip back to Chamonix was on the Mont Blanc Express train, a nice way to wind down and begin our recovery for tomorrow’s hike.