Analysing terrain data
3 - 4
The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.
Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.
Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.
High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.
Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.
The day begins in the village of Les Houches, at the southwest end of the Chamonix valley.
The first job is to reach the bottom of the Bellevue cable car, which lies at the western end of the Rue de Bellevue in Les Houches.
From here, take the cable car up and from the top hike 50 metres south to cross over the tracks of the Tramway du Mont Blanc - the old fashioned mountain train which serves as the starting point for the normal route to Mont Blanc's summit.
On the far side of the tracks is a jeep track which leads southeast and downhill for half an hour to reach the picturesque Chalets de l'Are.
These sit in a lovely series of meadows and are usually surrounded by grazing cows.
From the chalets, follow the path southwest, signposted for the Col de Tricot.
This is flat for 5 minutes and then descends to a dramatic but short suspension bridge across a river which is fed by the Glacier de Bionnassay.
Cross the bridge and then make the long, gentle climb up to the Col de Tricot (2120 metres) over the course of 1.5 hours.
Descend from the Col on a steep, zig zag path for 600 vertical metres down to the Chalets de Miage.
These sell the most wonderful blueberry tart, which is expensive at €6.00 but well worth the money.
A short but sharp half hour climb from the chalets takes you up to the Chalets de Truc, and then a long, winding jeep track takes you down (in 1.5 hours) to the village of Les Contamines.