A mid-altitude walk along the northern slopes of the valley. The start and end points of the walks can be reached using the ski lifts. Our description covers the nicest way to enjoy this route (the best views, ease of climb, etc.)
From the cablecar station, head down towards the Refuge du Plan de l’Aiguille. Do not take either of the two paths that do down to Chamonix via the Plan du Trois or Pré du Rocher: instead 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, and carry straight on across Le Grepon torrent. Above Le Grand Chalet, it is worth taking a few moments 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 (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 to reveal les Drus, la Verte and les Jorasses.
Go down a long winding path towards Mer de Glace to reach Montenvers, the hotel and the railway station.
You can do this hike the other way round, from Montenvers to Aiguille du Midi.
In summer time it's highly recommend to book the lift to Plan de l'Aiguille because the lift gets very busy.
Check opening dates and times before setting off.
More information at the Tourist Office, the High Mountain Office, and in our hiking guide.
Careful: path conditions may change - remember to check the latest information before setting off.
According to lift opening.
Subject to favorable snow and weather conditions.