Mont Buet

Arve Valley

Chamonix

Challenging alpine hike that summits Mont Buet along with other nearby peaks.

Also in Valais, Switzerland

Hiking Extreme

Distance
24 km
Ascent
2.1 km
Descent
2.1 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
1.3 km
High Point
3.1 km
Gradient
25˚
VIEW ON MAP
Mont Buet Map

Description

Most hikers summit Mont Buet via the normal route, a challenging climb in its own right (1700m of elevation change). Yet, alternative itineraries can offer a much more rewarding experience.

Although you initially start by following the normal route, you'll quickly turn right (across the bridge) in the direction of Tré les Eaux, leaving behind the throngs of hikers. From that point, Chamonix will feel like its millions miles away, as you're not going to see that many hikers, even in the middle of the summer.

The climb to Col des Corbeaux is long, with some ropes / chains to assist you in the most technical parts, but it gets easier as you gain altitude. At the Col, be sure to walk the extra 5 minutes to visit the Lac Vert, before the short descent on the Swiss side.

The next part is the Cheval Blanc ascent, a steep, technical, and sometimes exposed climb (there are chains in the most difficult part), but be sure to turn around once in a while to check out the Emosson lakes. Once at the top, follow the trail (sometimes hard to see) and the cairns until you reach the last difficult bit before the summit: the north ridge. Here too, a number of chains can assist your climb. Take your time, as this is definitely the most exposed and dangerous part of the hike. After that, it's only a short walk to the summit—probably the final moments of quiet you'll have in the day, as it will surely be very crowded at the summit.

The view from the top is often obscured by clouds, especially in the afternoon, but on clear days, you'll have a 360° view of the surrounding peaks. To the southwest, look for the lac d'Anterne at the feet of the Fiz range, another popular hiking objective.

The climb down, although steep until the Pierre à Bérard refuge, is pretty straightforward, as you're back on the classic route. Two opportunities for drinks / food will present themselves on the trail—first at the refuge and then at the Grotte à Farinet waterfall.

Difficulty

Extreme

Scrambling up mountains and along technical trails with moderate fall exposure. Handholds are necessary to navigate the trail in its entirety, although they are not necessary at all times. Some obstacles can be very large and difficult to navigate, and the grades can often be near-vertical. The challenge of the trail and the steepness of the grade results in very strenuous hiking. Hikes of this difficulty blur the lines between "hiking" and "climbing".

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

2 out of 4

Away from help but easily accessed.

Best time to visit

July, August, September, October

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Summit Hike
  • Water features

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area