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TMB Day 9: Trient to Tré-le-Champ

Snakes and Views

September 10, 2020

sunrise through the window

TMB Stage 9 Anti-Clockwise

14 km
980 m
GPX File
Map map of the hike

Day 9. Back to France day. Back to horrendous signs. But waking up and opening the blinds was in itself fantastic. That’s a great way to start the day.

After breakfast, we headed out and bid farewell to our friends. We started walking towards the Col de Balme. Fresh and energized, we walked up in about two hours.

The Col de Balme is at the Swiss-French border, and the first thing I smelled when reaching it was sauerkraut. I love sauerkraut. I am going to buy some when I get back home. We enjoyed the French landscape for a bit before walking down to Col des Posettes. The signage was already super confusing, and even though we ended up in the right place, it did not feel right. Other hikers seemed confused as well, and some reached the Col des Posettes using an captionernate route.

On the ascent to Aiguillette des Posettes: on the left you see the Aiguille du Chardonnet (3824 m) and the Glacier du Tour, and on the right the Aiguille Verte (4121 m).

From Col des Posettes, you can either go directly to Tré-le-Champ or, better, hike to Aiguillette des Posettes (2201 m). The latter is strenuous because of the rocky terrain, but the flora is beautiful. And the views. Astonishing. Terrible signage, you’re already forgotten. We reached the top just in time for lunch, under the bright sun. Don’t forget to put on sunscreen.

lunch time
Hikers enjoy lunch at the top of Aiguille des Posettes while admiring the surrounding mountains. On the left, we can see part of the Aiguilles Rouges.

This part of the TMB (from Switzerland back to Les Houches) is one of the most scenic of the Mont Blanc Massif. It did not disappoint.

mont blanc
On the way down from Aiguille des Posettes, we see the Mont Blanc and Dome du Gouter behind the clouds on the left, and part of the Aiguilles Rouges on the right.

After lunch, we resumed our walk. It’s all downhill to Tré-le-Champ from now on. Unfortunately, on standing up after lunch, pain shot through my wife’s thigh. We figured out later that it was the start of a muscle strain, similar to what I was having with my heel.

Interestingly, the hillsides have thick vegetation that hosts some interesting flora. See for yourself.

When the sun is hitting hard, cold-blooded beasts come out for a tan. I did not manage to identify the snake. It might have been a viper.

Fortunately, we made it to the inn, but at a slower pace (comparatively to the swift previous day). After checking in, we enjoyed cakes and herbal tea while taking care of our sore muscles. In the evening, the tiny (certainly not COVID safe) dining room made socializing super easy. We were seated with French folks that had started the trek at the same time but from Chamonix. It was nice to finally have a chat with people you see every day on the trails.