On our second day in Chamonix, mom and I went up the cable car opposite of Mt Blanc and up to Le Brevent. From there, we got spectacular views of the mountains and the valley below. I mapped out a run that took me from the cable car stop at Planpraz, up to Lacs Noirs/Lac Cornu, and over to L’Index.
The run began with a hike up a fire road before hanging a right and onto lots and lots of rocks — a theme that would continue the entire run. A lot of the run was run for 10 yards, hop rocks for 20, run for 5 feet, scramble for 15. It was delightful. The first two miles I climbed roughly 1200 feet and rocked a 18:00 min/mile average. I was the only one running, but there were plenty of hikers most of the way.
I passed lots of people having picnics, especially when I passed by Lacs Noir. I looked down and there in the valley was just a random lake. Of course, I didn’t look for long as I needed all the help I could get at staying upright. I finally made it to L’Index but wanted to keep going. About a tenth of a mile later, it seemed that the trail just ended . . . until I noticed a “handrail” along the side of rock. I realized that I was supposed to use that for the next quarter mile. So, I thought, what the hell? If I die, at least I’ll die in the Alps.
So I grabbed it and kind of crawled across the rocks until finally making it to a “trail”. It wasn’t as bad as I thought since it was going slightly uphill. But things got a little scarier when I had to make my way down in the same fashion. I was glad no one was around to watch me do it because it was probably the least graceful thing I’ve ever done.
I back tracked all the way back to the Planpraz cable car stop. My time improved a little bit on the way back as I became a little more surefooted. As I got closer, I started hearing bells. My first thought — is there seriously a Mississippi State fan with a cowbell out here?! (I mean, it was game day after all). Then, I realized it was goats!
I finally made it back to Planpraz where they had a bar/restaurant. I got some more water, fueled up with Huma (thanks, Steven!!!), and started the 3 miles back down to Chamonix. I had no idea I could go that slowly on a downhill, but with rocks and sharp turns, it was basically a shuffle the entire. A shuffle with an incredible view though:
Total running time: 2:30; 10.5 miles; 2600 ft’. Not a bad day at all.