Tour du Mont Blanc - Day Seven (La Fouly to Champex Lac)

If there is a day that people choose to skip on the tour then it is this one. The route from La Fouly to Champex is said to be the most unentertaining/easy section of the hike that can quite simply be bypassed by taking a bus from one town to the other. For us, skipping a section wasn't an option, we wanted to walk the whole way.

La Fouly - Issert

Heading out from La Fouly after a poor night's sleep in the pouring rain we were definitely tempted to pursue a bus but after warming our rain jackets in the dryer on site we felt ready to start another day. The route continues through the campsite onto a wooded, downhill track that gradually winds down to the valley floor. Good views are to be had here but continuing poor weather conditions meant that all we could see was cloud. Continuing along a well trodden path which eventually leads to a road is one of the more exciting sections of the walk. As you head towards the town of Issert, it's fun to stroll amongst the quiet houses admiring the piles of logs everybody has accumulated to heat their homes in the winter months.

 Issert

Issert

Issert - Champex-Lac

 Reach the rabbit and you're there. 

Reach the rabbit and you're there. 

Walking through Issert is one of the only sections of the trail then can be slightly misleading. Signs disappear momentarily and you are left second guessing whether to continue through the town or take one of a series of left tracks uphill as described in the guide books. Ensuring you stay on flat land through the town will lead you to a path on the left just beyond the last buildings of the town. After a long walk from La Fouly this is not an easy climb to Champex. It can only be described as a steep forest path that seems to be endless when you are carrying a large backpack. Notes of interest include wooden sculptures to keep the mind occupied that are situated every few hundred feet up the path (when you reach the large carved rabbit, you have made it to the top!) We met 6 elderly gentleman half way up the track who had a combined age of well over 550. Despite the fact that they were seasoned hikers, I was determined that there was no way that they were going to overtake us on this steep climb.

Champex-Lac

Champex is a popular ski resort with as the name suggests; a large lake. Entering the town you can tell it's Swiss, mainly because the menus on the street inviting you into the restaurants offer hamburgers for the meager price of 28CHF! If you are looking for camping then continue to walk along the edge of the clear, blue lake and on to the other side of the town. The campsite is the last of a group of buildings on the right hand side of the road and it cost a gigantic 30CHF a night for two people with one tent. The campsite itself is a three tiered, lush grass lawn and it is comfortable to sleep on. The amenities are ok and there is a drying room which is a savior in wet weather. Camping in Champex can save you a few pennies, especially if you are planning on eating in a restaurant where you will spend no less than CHF20 for a main course.

 Champex-Lac

Champex-Lac