Hut-to-hut in the Alpes

We spent the first 4 nights of July at 3 refuges in the Alpes and had a stupendously good time. The weather was wet for the first two days, but cleared for good as we left the refuge named after Alfred Wills on the morning of the 3rd.

Climbing away from Refuge Alfred Wills

To the south of Alfred Wills is Lac d'Anterne. It's a beautiful lake bordered by beaches of schist and slate chips perfect for skipping across the water.

Lac d'Anterne and the "cloud city" Fiz

On the morning of the 4th we had amazing views of Mont Blanc from Col d'Anterne and saw a herd of ibex on the cliffs above the pass.

Pormenaz (foreground), Col du Brévent (middle), and Mont Blanc (background)

Mont Blanc

The network of refuges (or "huts" as we say in Colorado) allow hikers to go very light. You don't need any bedding other than a sleeping bag liner and don't need to bring a stove, cookware, or food (other than your favorite chocolate). Alfred Wills was our most comfortable stay and had the best food. We had couscous on the night of the 2nd and roast pork with polenta on the Fourth of July. Our takeaway lunches were couscous salads with bread, saucisson, and thick slices of Tomme de Savoie cheese. Alfred Wills is supplied by helicopter every other week (wines, beer, cheese, carrots, potatoes, and canned goods), but on our way out we met one of the refuge keepers (un guardien) hiking up from Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval with 15 kilograms of fresh baked bread. He said that during the peak season, later in July, they have to bake bread at the refuge to keep up with the demand.

This was our last vacation in France on this trip and was one of our best.