The Argentière Glacier from la Croix de Lognan
Country - France
Region - Haute Savoie (74) - Chamonix Valley
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 6.0 km / 3.8 miles
Ascent - 370 metres / 1221 feet
Descent - 370 metres / 1221 feet
Time - 2.50 hours
This short walk offers excellent views over the Argentière Glacier and takes you very close to the ice. Perhaps after this walk you might have a different view of glaciers. Often seen as white and pristine, the close encounters with the ice will emphasise the way the ice is eroding vast quantities of material from the landscape over which it passes. Glaciers are in reality dirty and unromantic.
Take the Grands Montets cablecar to the middle station - la Croix de Lognan. If you are intending to go to the summit later, it is cheaper to purchase a return ticket to the summit and break your journey at the middle station to do this walk. Exit the cablecar station into an area spoiled by a large number of ski-lifts and other skiing infrastructure. Just above the station is a signpost - take the path to the viewpoint of the Argentière Glacier.
The broad path leads across the mountainside gaining height easily. The views across and into the Chamonix Valley are good. You pass the Chalet Militaire de Lognan, below on your right, and from here the path continues to reach the viewpoint in about 20 minutes. The viewpoint is close to part of a hydro-electric gallery and you are able to face to face with ice and its load of rock debris. The ice is jumbled into cliffs, crevasses and seracs as it 'falls' into the valley below.
You may continue higher by taking take the path just to the left of the gallery. This climbs a further 160 metres to offer a wider view of the glacier. Opposite are the crags of the Aiguille de Chardonnet and behind is the Glacier des Rognans backed by the Aiguille des Grands Montets. Overall a very impressive scene of rock and ice. The return route follows the outward path although you might wish to visit the Chalet Militaire for some refreshments especially if the weather is fine. If continuing to the summit station of the cablecar, you can look down towards the viewpoint you have just visited.
- Carte de Randonnées "Sheet A1 - Pays due Mont-Blanc" published by Rando Editions. 1:50000 scale - Sheet A1
- Map of Mountain Footpaths in Summer - 1:40000 - Published by the Office de Tourisme
- IGN Carte de Randonnée - Chamonix - Massif de Mont Blanc - 1:25000 Sheet 3630OT
French IGN mapping is available in digital format by area and 'cut your own' maps. For more information and availabilty go to the Anquet website.
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