Hike from Plan de la Lai to Col des Fours & Ville des Glaciers

The hike from Plan de la Lai to Ville des Glaciers was one of the best hikes I did this summer. It starts at the Refuge du Plan de la Lai, between Beaufort and Bourg Saint-Maurice, in the Beaufortain. It then goes through the Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme, a usual stop on the Tour du Beaufourtain, then continues to Col des Fours, before finally going down to the Vallée des Glaciers. I basically followed this itinerary (with map), with a detour to Rocher du Vent and the Roches Merles at the beginning and through the Têtes Nord and Sud des Fours near Col des Fours.

Getting to the start of the trail was a bit involved: I took the first LIHSA bus from Annecy to Albertville, then boarded a summer shuttle to Beaufort-sur-Doron, then switched again to another one which followed the Route des Grandes Alpes and got me to the Refuge du Plan de la Lai. From there, the trail was pretty straightforward. However, instead of going directly to the Crête des Gittes at the back of the Plan de la Lai, I made a detour to the Rocher du Vent: There was a great view of the Lac de Roselend and Lac de la Gittaz from there. I then followed the ridge until the Roches Merles, before going down to Col de la Sauce. I was keeping an eye out for the marmots which are numerous in the area but I didn’t see any there, just many of their holes in the ground. After Col de la Sauce, I took the ridge trail on Crête des Gittes to get to the Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme: The Mont Blanc was visible along the way. I then continued walking until Col des Fours. From there, I made a first detour to the Tête Nord des Fours (North Head), the highest peak of the day. Then I went up on the other side of the pass to the Tête Sud (South Head). I thought I could go down to the Lac de Mya from there but I could not find a trail. Instead, I went back to Col des Fours and started down from there and made a detour through the Lac de Mya, before finally making the descent to the valley. Along the way, I saw a herd of ibexes and a few marmots (mostly a furry blur though). At Ville des Glaciers, I took the last shuttle to Les Chapieux, a bit further below in the valley towards Bourg Saint-Maurice. I had to switch to another shuttle to reach Bourg Saint-Maurice. I walked around the village for a bit before taking the train, first to Chambéry then, finally, to Annecy.

Above,in Albertville, waiting for the shuttle to Beaufort.

Above, Beaufort-sur-Doron.

Above, Lac de Roselend.

Above, at the Refuge de Plan de la Lai.

Above, Rocher du Vent (Rock of the Wind).

Above, Plan de la Lai.

Above, at the Rocher du Vent.

Above, Lac de la Gittaz.

Above, view from the plateau on top of the Rocher.

Above, Lac de Roselend.

Above, looking towards Beaufort.

Above, Via Ferrata climbers.

Above, on the way to the Roches Merles.

Above, Mont Blanc.

Above, Crête des Gittes.

Above, Aiguille de la Pennaz.

Above, at the Roches Merles.

Above, Col de la Sauce.

Above, marmot hole.

Above, Tarentaise cow.

Above, cows at Col de la Sauce.

Above, Roches Merles and Rocher du Vent.

Above, Plan de la Lai.

Above, on the Crête des Gittes.

Above, looking towards Les Chapieux.

Above, view from the summit of Crête des Gittes.

Above, Mont Blanc.

Above, Refuge de la Croix du Bonhomme.

Above, Les Chapieux.

Above, on the way to Col des Fours.

Above, Aiguille des Glaciers.

Above, at Col des Fours.

Above, Tête Sud des Fours.

Above, Tête Nord des Fours.

Above, view from Tête Nord des Fours.

Above, Lac de Mya.

Above, Tête Sud des Fours.

Above, Col des Fours.

Above, an alpine ibex.

Above, Tête Nord des Fours.

Above, Lac de Mya.

Above, marmot.

Above, Ville des Glaciers.

Above, Vallée des Glaciers.

Above, Aiguille des Glaciers.

Above, at Les Chapieux.

Above, Les Arcs above Bourg Saint-Maurice.

Above, Bourg Saint-Maurice railway station.

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