The Glacier des Bossons is one of the largest glaciers of the Mont Blanc massif in the French Alps, found in the Chamonix valley in Haute Savoie.
Our friends suggested that we drive to a parking area which was part of the way up the walk to the glacier as it was our first day and we wouldn’t have had the chance to acclimatise to the altitude yet. I didn’t argue! Armed with drinks, snacks, sunhats and waterproof jackets we set off.
Our path took us through woods, so we couldn’t see what we were aiming for, but the views behind and around us made up for that.
We stopped to admire the flowers along the way, which gave us welcome rests and allowed us to catch our breath.
In the winter this is a skiing and snow-shoeing area. Without snow surrounding it, the chairlift looked a little out of place.
We continued on our way, stopping to pass the time of day with some other walkers, and were soon encouraged to see this sign, suggesting that there wasn’t far to go now until we would see the glacier.
We rounded a few more turns, clambered over a few rocky patches and tree trunks and there it was – the Glacier des Bossons – a frozen sea, a wall of ice. It was a magnificent sight, with the Aiguille du Midi towering in the background, set off perfectly by the blue skies and sunshine.
As we sat admiring the wonderful views and taking photos, we heard a rumbling sound and turned round just in time to see part of the left side of the glacier break off and tumble down the mountain in large boulder sized pieces.
The glacier is fed from ice fields which are on the northern side of Mont Blanc and has the largest altitudinal drop of all the alpine glaciers in Europe. In the 17th century it extended right down into Chamonix engulfing farmland, barns and houses but since then has been retreating slowly. The green tinge on the rocks to the right of the pictures is actually new trees beginning to appear.
From our vantage point we could admire the Aguille du Midi and watch the tiny (from this distance) cable car taking visitors to the summit from which they could have a 360 degree view over the French, Swiss and Italian Alps.
The small grey dot in the middle of this picture, above the cloud, is the cable car
We took the trip to the top when we visited last year, in the winter, and we felt very high up (which we were of course)! After a while, and fortified by snacks and drinks, and having taken a few more photos for good luck, we set off back downhill.
It didn’t take nearly as long to get down as I thought it would, but then we didn’t need to stop to rest at all!
If you enjoyed this walk and have the energy for another, join Jo on her Monday Walk and find out where she is off to today.