LE BOSSON GLACIER HIKE – (LE MONT TO CHALET DU GLACIER DU BOSSON BUVETTE)
LEVEL – MODERATE, STEEP, GOOD TRAIL, UNSUITABLE FOR BUGGIES
TIME – 1 HOUR UP, LESS DOWN (PARK IN HAMLET OF LE MONT)
Whilst the valley of Chamonix can be daunting with it’s incredibly steep mountain terrain, there are still plenty of easy family hikes to some incredible view points.Despite the last minute ditch by Winter to smother the valley white, the Spring sun is hotting up and all of the lower trails are now bright green & snow free. Prime for biking and hiking. The beauty of visiting in May is that it’s inter-season. Whilst other ski resorts shut down, Chamonix’s no ghost town in inter-season. Yes, the high altitude trails are still inaccessible and yes, the lifts are out of action until mid June, but May is the perfect month to visit to take advantage of rock bottom low season tariffs, share the streets with locals rather than tourists and explore the lower mountain trails. Glacier des Bossons is the easiest hike up to a glacier from the valley floor in Chamonix. In Summer you can even take a chairlift up to the buvette (snack restaurant) to get to the most amazing view (above).
I’m recovering from my recent knee op, so sadly, the trails are out of bounds for me. Today, I look back at one of the pretty amazing kid friendly trails we took in December up to Europe’s longest glacier at Les Bossons. We were ripe then with anticipation for the season ahead and eagerly waiting for the first snow dump. After teaching the girls about glaciers, how they work and why they are retreating, we hiked up to the Les Bossons glacier in Chamonix to see one up close and personal.
Glacier des Bossons is an impressive hunk of ice descending from Mont Blanc. It’s impossible to miss on a visit to Chamonix. You drive right past it on the way in and out of the valley and I, without fail, always ponder it with awe. In the 17th century the glacier extended so far that it touched the village of Les Bossons and it’s said that bishops were called to exorcise the demons from the glacier.From Chamonix drive up through the village of Les Bossons to the tiny hamlet of Le Mont, nested in the glacier’s shadow. Park in the tiny car park & pick up the trail, clearly signposted. This side of the valley is north facing and gets no sun in December so wrap up warm if it’s early Winter. May though, it could be blazing sunshine, rain or even light snow!
The trail is clearly defined and starts as an effortless climb through forest. The path does get steep higher up but it’s easy to navigate and my girls managed it easily. If you have very young children carry them in a back carrier as although the trail isn’t difficult, it’s not buggy terrain.
We already know from looking up our facts on glaciers that the reason that glaciers looks so blue is that the ice is so dense. From our dark shady outcrop looking up at the pinnacle of rock lit up in sunshine and the fat tongue of ice slithering down we feel incredibly small and humble.This is a brilliant hike for families – not too long, varied terrain and lots of things to keep interest AND a magnificent glacier at the end!