Hike to Lac des Chambres, Pointe de Bellegarde & Lac de la Vogealle (part 1)

The Lac des Chambres, Pointe de Bellegarde and Lac de la Vogealle are located next to the Cirque du Fer à Cheval in the Massif du Giffre, in Haute-Savoie. They are points of interest on the Tour des Dents Blanches, which takes multiple days. For myself, I just went there for a day-hike walking a loop around the Pointe Rousse des Chambres, starting and ending in the village of Samoëns. The itinerary I followed was like this one (although in the other direction as the one described). Here is a map. Here is more detailed description of the trail until Lac de la Vogealle and some instructions to go up to Combe aux Puaires from there. In this post, I am posting photos from the part from Samoëns to the summit of Pointe de Bellegarde. I will post the rest in Part 2.

In the morning, I took the first train from Annecy to Cluses. There are LIHSA buses that go to Samoëns and Six-Fer-à-Cheval but they are not very convenient. Therefore, I took my bike on the train with me and was able to bike to the start of the trail in Samoëns, near a parking slightly before the Parking des Allamands. I then started on the forest path to the Refuge de Folly. After the refuge, I went past the entrance to the Gouffre Jean-Bernard (one of the deepest cave systems in the world) then continued to the Lac des Chambres. Even at the end of August, there was still ice on it. I got around the lake on the left side and walked up the Combe des Chambres towards Col des Chambres, with the Pointe Rousse des Chambres on the left side and the Avoudrues on the right. After reaching the Col, I went up the Pointe de Bellegarde nearby. It had started to get cloudy by that time so there was not much to see from the summit unfortunately: Normally there is a great view on the Cirque du Fer à Cheval below and the surrounding mountains. After eating lunch, I walked back to the Col des Chambres, meeting a large herd of alpines ibexes on the way. I then went on my way to the Lac de la Vogealle but I took the wrong path: I went down the Combe de la Vogeallette and I had to go up again using a different path to reach the Pas de l’Ours and then, finally, the Lac de la Vogealle. I got around the lake then went up again to the Combe aux Puaires. The landscape there was really strange: Mostly limestone, and a very thick fog. After leaving the stones behind, I went down to the Refuge de Folly then continued on the same path I took in the morning. It had started to get dark when I arrived in Samoëns. It was night when I arrived in Cluses. I thought I could catch the last train back to Annecy, but I was not event close and I had to spend the night there.

Above, Cluses, seen in the morning from the road to Taninges and Samoëns.

Above, Pic du Marcelly.

Above, Pointe du Tuet.

Above, Aiguille de Criou.

Above, wolf’s bane.

Above, Combe aux Puaires.

Above, past the Refuge de Folly, on the way to Lac des Chambres and Combe des Chambres.

Above, Pointe du Tuet.

Above, Lac des Chambres.

Above, I first tried to get around the lake on the right side but the path went nowhere.

Above, on the other side of the lake.

Above, Combe des Chambres.

Above, Avoudrues.

Above, leaving behind the Lac des Chambres.

Above, on the way to Col des Chambres.

Above, Pointe de Bellegarde.

Above, cairns at Col des Chambres.

Above, Pointe Rousse des Chambres and a group of British hikers.

Above, Pic du Tenneverge and Pointe de Bellegarde.

Above, Mont Ruan on the left and Pic du Tenneverge on the right. The border with Switzerland goes along those mountains.

Above, waterfalls in the Cirque du Fer à Cheval.

Above, Pic du Tenneverge.

Above, on the way to Pointe de Bellegarde.

Above, summit of Pointe de Bellegarde.

Above, view from the summit, looking in the direction of Lac de la Vogealle.

Above, Combe de la Vogeallette.

Above, Col des Chambres and Pointe Rousse des Chambres.

Above, waterfall in Cirque du Fer à Cheval.

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