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Grand Balcon Sud

Intermediate
 5.0 (4)

A stunning trail across the nature reserve and ski areas with jaw-dropping views.


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Map Key

8.4

Miles

13.6

KM

Point to Point

6,968' 2,124 m

High

4,800' 1,463 m

Low

3,393' 1,034 m

Up

1,569' 478 m

Down

11%

Avg Grade (6°)

69%

Max Grade (35°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

Most of this trail is relatively flat, easy, and very pleasant, but you won't believe it from the start! From the parking area, grind up the obvious switchbacks looming in front of you - nearly 2,000 vertical feet with not much of a break!

Once on the plateau, you'll be justly rewarded with incredible views of the entire Chamonix valley and likely see ibex that like to hang around here. Continue undulating up and down with nonstop views, trending downhill until you get to the Flegere ski area after rounding a major corner.

The ski area has bulldozed and manipulated the hills quite a bit, which is a shame, but the views remain as good, or better than, before. You could take the Flegere lift down to Chamonix here, or continue on to the Planpraz ski area.

Continuing on to Planpraz, you are now directly across from Aiguille du Midi in all its glory. The trail is well-signed with only minor difficulties, including a steep staircase. The trail has an inglorious ending in the ski area, where you can either hike down or take the lift like the vast majority of folks. While here, looks for paragliders, wingsuits, and BASE jumpers taking off from the Brevent lift high above.

Flora & Fauna

Being in the Reserve Naturelle des Aiguilles Rouges, there are many ibex and particularly good wildflowers in the first section (before getting to the ski areas). Once in the ski areas, marmots abound.

Shared By:

Nick Wilder

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 4 votes

#1

in Argentière

#387

Overall
  5.0 from 4 votes
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Trail Rankings

#1

in Argentière

#1

in France

#387

Overall
67 Views Last Month
6,019 Since Aug 4, 2016
Intermediate

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Photos

Ibex in the Flegere ski area.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
Endless view of Mont Blanc.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
The resident ibex know they have a good home.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
Tired of the views yet?
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
A lovely stream high above the Mer de Glace.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR
The Mont Blanc massif across the Chamonix valley.
Jul 12, 2016 near Chamoni…, FR

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Check-Ins

Jun 29, 2019
Brian Greer
Jun 14, 2019
Nathan Guo
Sep 11, 2017
La Yeager
Jun 30, 2017
Nick Wilder