Statistics: mileage 10 miles ascent 2745′ descent 3205” 6 hours

We ate breakfast with new hiking friends before leaving this beautiful refuge. I took one last picture of this gorgeous spot in the morning light.

A bird’s eye view of the lake, La Flégére, far below as we descended on the trail:

A second boundary marker for Aiguilles Rouges, the rocky crags that had been lining the southern side of our trail for two days:

A lovely morning view of La Flégére.:

The trail crossed many more rocky areas on this portion of the mountains than we had previously encountered.

But we never tired of views such as this from this Grand Balcony Sud.

The trail wound along the contour of the mountain for sometime, occasionally ducking into a forest.

At times we were walking right on the mountain’s edge, overlooking huge drops to valley floors. This trail safety measure did not contribute to our sense of security.

Soon after our initial arrival in Chamonix we had ridden a cable car to a mountain top for a brief introduction to the mountains of the Mont Blanc area, noting the many paragliders who were starting their flights from the same mountain top. Now on our way back to Chamonix after completing the circumnavigation of Mont Blanc, we were to see more paragliders using that same area, but from above all the action.

Throughout the day we saw dozens (hundreds?) of paragliders.

Col du Brévant was in the midst of a mass of rocks. We had assumed that our climbing was over, but we had another hill to tackle and up we went once again.

The trail temporarily turned away from the Mont Blanc panorama to show us a view of a range of mountains to the south.

And, as an extra bonus, we had to tackle more ladders!

Finally, our last climb of the entire trek was done and the long downhill began.

We decided to break up the long descent back to Les Houches by staying at the Refuge de Bellachat, a somewhat rustic refuge, without hot water or showers.

However, Refuge de Bellachat had a direct, perfect view of Mont Blanc and the Bossons Glacier.

We gathered to recognize (sadly celebrate?) our last night on the trail in Bellachat’s charming, friendly dining room.

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