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Tour du Mont Blanc Stage 10: Tré le Champ to Chamonix (Ladders and Lac Blanc)

The final stage of the Tour du Mont Blanc leads from Tré le Champ to Chamonix. Here’s the exact location of the trailhead: Google Maps.

For those that started the TMB in Les Houches, this may be your penultimate stage. If that’s the case, read TMB Stage 1: Chamonix – Les Houches for your last stage. 

This is the Tour du Mont Blanc stage with the famous ladders. The ladder section is a protected route with numerous aids (fixed handrails, metal platforms, steps, etc…). These permanent aids help hikers safely ascend steep rock walls. 

In terms of difficulty, it’s relative. If you identify with us (and our hiking experience), then the ladders will likely be easy and fun for you. 

If, however, you have any fear of heights or suffer the slightest vertigo, it’s best to opt for the alternative route which starts close to Col des Montets and links back up with the main TMB route at Tête aux Vents. This alternative trail is summarized in Cicerone: The Tour of Mont Blanc.

The ladders become a bottleneck, so it’s best to start as early as possible to avoid the congestion. 

The TMB twists up the forest and then angles southwest across the northern flank of Vallée de l’Arve. After ascending the protected passage délicat (fixed ladders, railings, steps), the path steeply climbs up to the Tête aux Vents trail junction. From here, you can decide whether to follow the direct trail to La Flégère or the indirect trail via Lac Blanc.

Tour du Mont Blanc Ladders, France

Tré le Champ – Lac Blanc – La Flégère Trail Map

Tré le Champ – Lac Blanc – La Flégère Trail Description

Tré le Champ to TMB Ladders (1:15 hours)

Tre Le Champ to Aiguillette d’Argentiere ladders

The trailhead is located along the Route des Montets road (D1506), just north of Auberge la Boerne. 

The Tour du Mont Blanc twists up the forest and then angles southwest across the northern flank of Vallée de l’Arve. 

At the junction (40 minutes from the trailhead), bear right to Aiguillette d’Argentiere (35 minutes) and Lac Blanc (2:10 hours). 

The trail continues to rise and develops into a balcony path, which leads to a line of crags. The ladder section begins just past the base of Aiguillette d’Argentiere, crowded with boulders. 

TMB Ladders to Tête aux Vents (30 minutes)

Tour du Mont Blanc ladder trail, Chamonix, France

This protected section involves several metal ladders, fixed handrails, and metal platforms, and steps. 

The ladders aren’t continuous. There are stretches of regular trail in between the ladders.

After tackling the longest metal ladder, fixed to a sloping rock wall, the aided climb continues up the mountain to Tête aux Vents (2140 m), marked with a giant cairn. 

Tour du Mont Blanc ladder ascent, Chamonix, France

The views should be absolutely sensational. Low-hanging clouds obscured our views, but I can imagine how stunning it is.

TMB ladders handrails protected passage, stage 10

Tête aux Vents to Lac Blanc (45 minutes)

Lac des Chéserys, France

The main TMB trail continues directly to La Flégère (1:05 hours). However, you can take a higher trail to La Flégère via Lac des Chéserys and Lac Blanc

The trail ascends easily to Lac des Chéserys (2240 m). Wrap around the lake and follow the sign to Lac Blanc. 

Ladders to Lac Blanc, France

Climb up the ladder and follow the timber steps to Refuge du Lac Blanc (2352 m).

Lac blanc hike, Chamonix, France

Refuge du Lac Blanc

Refuge du Lac Blanc, Chamonix, France

Refuge du Lac Blanc is a privately-owned mountain hut with 40 dormitory mattresses. They only accept payment in cash. If you eat indoors, leave your trekking backpack outside to avoid scolding.

Lac Blanc is a popular photo motif and always crawling with visitors. From this point forward, you will share the trail with many people.

Lac Blanc to Refuge de la Flégère (1:20 hours)

Lac Blanc to La Flégère, Chamonix, France

The descent to la Flégère is beautiful, but busy.

Follow the obvious trail south/southwest and take in the grand sweep of the giant peaks and domes of the Mont Blanc range. 

Tarn, Lac Blanc trail, Chamonix

Along the way, you’ll pass a few tarns.

We took the Flégère cableway down to the valley and then walked back to Chamonix. By the time we got to la Flégère, my knees were really hurting. So, we decided to descend and not risk injury.

If you’re fit and energetic, keep hiking. Don’t descend early.

Refuge de la Flégère to Le Brévent (3:15 hours)

Rejoin the TMB and continue along the Grand Balcon Sud to Le Brévent. Descend to Chamonix with the cableways. 

You can also descend from Plan Praz (and skip the last stretch to Le Brévent). 

Stay in Chamonix

Top Choice – Midrange | Heliopic Hotel & Spa is located just steps away from Aiguille du Midi valley station, walking distance to the pedestrian zone. Stay here for the modern, beautifully-designed rooms, the gorgeous complementary spa (indoor pool, sauna, steam bath, herbal tea room, ice cave, and cold water plunge pool), massage services, and the amenities.

Midrange | Chalet Hôtel Le Prieuré is a centrally located hotel in Chamonix with splendid Mont Blanc mountain views, an exceptional staff, and lovely rooms (with tea/coffee machines). Expect a warm welcome and a great breakfast. 

Midrange-Luxury | Alpina Eclectic Hotel & Spa Chamonix is located on the bank of the Arve river in the center of Chamonix. This modern hotel boasts freshly-designed, contemporary rooms, impressive interiors, a spa and wellness area, two bars, a grocery store, and on site-restaurant (Le Vista). 

More accommodations: Hôtel de L’Arve (midrange) and Hôtel Mont-Blanc Chamonix (luxury)

Look for accommodation in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.

Tour du Mont Blanc Essential Info

Read our Tour du Mont Blanc Hiking Guide to start planning your trek.

Quick Facts

TMB Planning Resources

Tour du Mont Blanc Route Itinerary

The Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) is a captivating multi-day hike that circuits the Mont Blanc massif in usually 10-11 days, passing through France, Italy and Switzerland. Here’s our personal TMB itinerary.

European Alps:

Multi-Day Hikes in Europe:

Hut to Hut Hiking:

Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati

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