Le Prarion from Bellevue, Les Houches
Country - France
Region - Haute Savoie (74) - Chamonix Valley
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 8.0 km / 5 miles
Ascent - 460 metres / 1518 feet
Descent - 460 metres / 1518 feet
This high level promenade offers exceptional views over the Chamonix Valley, the north-west aspect of Mont Blanc and the impregnable limestone cliffs Rochers des Fiz and the Desert de Platé. It is possible to walk from Les Houches to Bellevue but it is far easier to use the cablecar to gain these 770 metres of ascent.
Shortly after exiting the cablecar upper station you are immediately presented with a fine mountain landscape as the name suggests. All the features mentioned above are in view and in addition you can see the summit of le Prarion (1967m) to the north-west. Turn right and follow the Tramway du Mont Blanc to Col du Voza. Here you continue climbing on the clear track to the Hotel du Prarion. From here a signed footpath leads on to the summit of Le Prarion. The ascent involves limited simple scrambling as you approach the summit. The view is better than the initial panorama enjoyed at Bellevue. If the weather is good then an afternoon walk would be preferable as the sun will light the whole of the western face of Mont Blanc whereas in the morning this side of the mountain is in shade.
After enjoying the view, retrace your steps back to Bellevue, perhaps stopping for refreshment at the small café at Col du Voza before tackling the last section of uphill walking back to the cablecar station.
For those of you tempted to make the journey to Nid d'Aigle (the upper station of the Tramway du Mont Blanc), please remember that reservations, although not obligatory, are essential as trains tend to ascend completely full.
- 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 - Saint-Gervais-les-Bains - Massif du Mont Blanc - 1:25000 Sheet 3531ET
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.
Mont Blanc Walks
Guidebook to 50 day walks in the Mont Blanc region near Chamonix and Courmayeur, plus outlines of 4 multi-day treks around both sides of the Mont Blanc massif. The walks range from 3km to 20km and cover a variety of terrains from easy valley walks to more challenging routes over boulders, scree and on via ferratas.
Walking in Corsica
This guidebook gives details of three long-distance walking routes in Corsica - Mare e Monti, Mare-Mare Nord and Mare-Mare Sud - which cross the island, and also describes 18 day-walks in prime spots both in the rugged mountains of the interior and the softer southern coastal fringe. Good local information.