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Hiking to Cascade Du Dard and Glacier Cerro, Chamonix, France

10 October 2014

One of the bad things about arriving in Chamonix in October is that many of the summer attractions are closed. Aiguille du Midi is the only cable car in operation. Only a few of the chalets along the trails are open, and the indoor climbing facility Mont Blanc Escalade in Les Houches (a town near Chamonix) was closed.

I looked at the map that the receptionist at Mountain Highs Chamonix provided me with and decided to visit Cascade Du Dord which is 2.5km and 45 minutes away (uphill). From my hostel it was very easy to get onto this trail. I followed Route des Pèlerins which is a street alongside the hospital.

mont blanc behind hospital chamonix

road beside hospital chamonix towards du dard

I then walked under Tunnel du Mont Blanc which had some interesting graffiti.

I followed the trail signs through a forest towards the chalet at Cascade du Dord, residing at 1233m altitude (a climb from Chamonix at 1057m altitude).

Cascade du Dard signpost

forest chamoinx mont blanc trail

Approaching the chalet:

stream with bridge near chalet cerro

cascade du dard 1233m

Unfortunately the chalet was closed so there was no tart and refreshments available for me. Strangely enough I was at the chalet for a few minutes before I realised that the 20m waterfall was just beside the chalet.

cascade du dard waterfall chamonix

zaid cascade du dard

My energy reserves were still high so I decided to follow more signposts towards Chalet and Glacier Cerro.

chalet le cerro

Part of the trail requires you to walk beside one of the roads in Chamonix.

trail beside road cascade du dard chamonix

I crossed over some beautiful waterfalls on my way to Glacier Cerro.

waterfall torrent du dard

I also had to cross over a bridge to get to the Glacier Cerro trail.

river near e25 highway chamonix

A gripe I have about hiking in Chamonix is that you sometimes have to cross roads with noisy vehicle traffic during the hike. I find this place too developed, and distracting.

E25 highway into chamonix

To Chalet Cerro there is also a 4×4 path.

trail glacier cerro

Once I reached Chalet Cerro I found out that it was also closed.

chalet du cerro 1358m

This chalet lies at 1358m altitude.

chalet du cerro shop closed

Ten minutes away is Glacier Cerro. There’s  a short trail through the forest.

zad chamonix glacier cerro trail

From the Glacier Viewpoint the view was quite disappointing.

glacier cerro chamonix lookout

You just see a portion of the end of the receding glacier. It was difficult to take a picture with the sun shining so brightly.

glacier cerro

I did see another trail nearby but the signposts were removed so I decided not to wander off on it on my own. I decided to head back to Chamonix town from here. It took me about 2 hours as I made a few short side trips on the way back.

path through forest cascade du dard

In Chamonix town I had some business to do – 1 week of laundry to sort out. I collected my clothing from the hostel and made the 20 minute journey to town on foot towards the Laundromat. On the way I took more pictures of Mont Blanc.

zaid outside aiguille du midi station with month blanc

The Laverie / Laundry is open all day, and is self-service. An 8kg load costs 6 euros to process in a washing machine. It costs 0.50 euros for a cup of washing powder and 1.5 euros to use the dryer.

laundry chamonix mont blanc

I placed my clothing in the washing machine and it said that the clothes would be washed in 26 minutes. Enough time for me to have supper at the halal Cappedocie restaurant for the last time. I returned to the laundromat, waited 10 minutes for my clothes to get dried and headed back to the hostel.

mountain high chamonix

I sat up till 1am in Mountain Highs Chamonix talking to an American girl studying medicine in Paris and another elder American man who just came to Chamonix after picking grapes on a farm in Italy (he said that he is approaching 55 years old and picking grapes is not something that he is fit to do anymore). I packed my bags that night as I would be leaving early for my train out of Chamonix the next morning.

About Zaid

Zaid is an intrepid traveler from South Africa that has traveled to all 7 continents. He loves to explore new destinations, experience new activities and go off the beaten path.
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