I had read somewhere that the Vallée Blanche Traverse is the most spectacular day hike in the Chamonix area or indeed anywhere in the world. And spectacular it is. The trek starts at the summit of the Aiguille du Midi at 3,842m. From there it descends to the glaciated valley at the foot of the Mont Blanc du Tacul and the Gros Rognon at about 3,180m. The route continues to climb up to Punta Helbronner on the Italian side of the Vallée Blanche at 3,460m. From Punta Helbronner a cable car leads back to Aiguille du Midi offering stunning views of the Mont Blanc range and the Glacier de Géant. I didn't quite know what to expect and sometimes that's the best preparation.
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