The vertical KM is a really good route if you don’t want to be out in the mountains for the full day… you can make it longer with a route down, or you can simply hop onto the lift at the top (which is going directly above you for the route), and fly back down!
The vertical KM consists of 1000m of ascent over a 3.8km mountain trail… it burns your legs as much as you would expect it to. You really do just zig zag up beneath the ski lift, slowly making your way to the top.
You may be thinking that 3.8km is short enough to not suffer too bad, but it really is a challenging route, whatever your fitness levels! Towards the top of the route involves some climbing/ladders which overlook a rather scary drop into Chamonix – not the best when you’re terrified of heights!! Despite the fear, it’s a pretty cool route with some amazing views!
Argentiere to Lac Blanc is possibly the best route that I have done in the area so far. It’s a challenging route (especially if you are terrified of heights) with some scrambling/climbing, but seriously worth the effort! I wanted to do this route when I visited a month prior, but too much snow meant it wasn’t possible.
The route is seriously easy to navigate as it is incredibly well sign posted (if I can do it without getting lost, I’m pretty sure anyone can!)
It was incredible to find some beautiful lakes so high up a mountain… it really is such a dreamy place, and the perfect sunbathing/recovery spot before we made the descent back down!
Refuge de plan d’aguille
This route is worth doing for the café/refuge at the top… even the smell of it is enough to satisfy you! It’s the most beautifully located spot with the most delicious food ever… exactly what you want after a big week of hiking/running!
The route up isn’t too challenging in comparison to the others, and doesn’t require any scary parts of climbing, so it could be a good one to do at the beginning of the trip to ease yourself in, or as a slightly easier day (even though it’s still a lot of climbing!)
La vallee Blanche
We hiked here straight from Refuge de plan d’aguille to visit the ice cave in the glacier – apparently it’s super cool (no pun intended)! Unfortunately, it was closed, but thankfully the route was beautiful, didn’t involve too* much climbing, and was a really cool route down!
Mont Blanc Marathon route
This isn’t the full route as we used it as a training day and only got about 19 miles of it in… but still enough for me and a very long day!! I haven’t raced, but my Dad was glad he did this recce in prep for it, so probably a good idea if you have entered!