Grand Balcon Nord : Plan de l'Aiguille du Midi - Montenvers
Difficulty : mediumOne-way timing : 2h15Distance : 6kmStarting point altitude : 2310mHighest point : 2310mElevation gain : 140mElevation losses : 523mGPX Track : DownloadPoint of interest glacier refuge with lifts
Mid to high mountain walks along the northern slopes of the valley. The starting
and ending points of the walks can be reached using different lifts. These routes
can all be hiked both ways but the following descriptions suggest the nicer way
to enjoy these walks (better views, not as steep, etc.)
From the cable-car station, drop down to the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille. Do not take either of the two paths going down to Chamonix via the Plan du Trois or the Pre du Rocher, but take the path going off horizontally to the right across la Tapia.
This takes you across the river and the base of the moraines of the Blaitiere and Nantillons glaciers. At this point, ignore the path on your left to Chamonix via the Alpages de Blaitiere. Carry straight on across the Torrent du Grepon. Above le Grand Chalet, it is worth taking a few moments’ rest to admire the impressive view of the Aiguilles de Chamonix: the M, Charmoz, Blaitiere, Plan, Aiguille du Midi and Mont-Blanc itself.
A little further on, at 2 071 m, there is a junction: to your left a shorter but steeper path leads to le Montenvers across steep gullies which can be dangerous if they are snow-covered (diff. : for experienced hikers only). Take the path to the right which winds its way up to the Signal inférieur des Charmoz, then to the Signal Forbes (2 198 m). The view changes dramatically: les Drus, la Verte, les Jorasses.
Go down a long winding path towards Mer de Glace, Montenvers, the hotel and
the railway station.
You can do this hike on the other way from Montenvers to Aiguille du Midi.
In summer time it's highly recommend to book the lift to Plan de l'Aiguille because the Aiguille du Midi lift is crowded.
Check opening dates and times of lift.
More information at the Tourist Office, High Mountain Office and in our hiking guide.
Careful : Tracks conditions may change, let us remind you to be well-informed before going.
Recommended period *
From 15/06 to 31/10.
According to lift opening.
Subject to favorable snow and weather conditions.