Notes on Vallorcine
Weather in English: http://chamonix-meteo.com/chamonix-mont-blanc/weather/
Tourist info is in Vallorcine itself and has free WiF
Fuel, arrive with a full tank. Carrefour in Chamonix is cheapest. Argentiere expensive.
Shops: supermarket in Argentierre but cheaper in Cham. Basic shop in Vallorcine for essentials. If you take a container up to the farm you can buy fresh milk and cheese after 6.30pm. For climbing gear Sportec in Argentiere or Snells in Cham. The book shop opposite Snells is best for Maps and Guide books in English.
Arete Bougnette at the station is great, lovely family, good food.
Cafe Comptoir behind station is pricey but good for a special meal, reservations essential.
Hotel du Buet, great ambiance. Eat in the bar 7.30 – 8.30 need to book for food.
Moon Tine, nice for a beer in the afternoon. Sometime open in the evening for food.
Stone Bar Argentiere, great Pizzas
From camp site walk up to Col des Montets and then traverse the Aiguilette de Posettes. Great little summit and a good mountain restaurant at the Alpages de Balme – need to book. Berard Valley is a good walk either just up to the Refuge Pierre a Berard for lunch or keep going to the Col de Berard or Col de Selenton or all the way up Mont Buet 3096m. Nice Buvet at the Cascade a Berard worth also returning via Sur les Roches and Grange.
The Tre-les-eaux valley is an interesting walk with bits of scrambling. Nice walk up through the forest to Loriaz (avoid the land rover track). Loriaz is the alp up above the camp site and a great spot for lunch. A fun day out is to take the train to Chatelard then the funicular up to the Emosson Dam and walk back via the col de Passet and Loriaz. Cheaper I think if you stay on the train to Finhault and get the bus up to Emosson. The walk to do in Cham is from the Plan de l’aiguille to Signal Reilley. Take the Midi telepherique (mega queues) up to the mid station and walk the balcon sud to the signal and then get the train back from Montenvers
Via Feratta / Via Corda
The via Ferrata “La Via des Evettes” is a short walk from the Flegere telepherique. It is very good with a few short steep sections and a Himalayan bridge. There is a “via corda” continuation. https://www.chamonix.net/english/news/via-ferrata-route-la-via-des-evettes A via corda is basically a scrambling route with occasional bolts and belays. There are several very popular routes on the Roches de Mottets. Nice scrambles with a cafe at the top. https://www.camptocamp.org/routes/56065/en/rives-de-la-mer-de-glace-rocher-des-mottets-viacorda-alpina I did the Voie Colline with Pete last year just using a single 30m rope and 6 draws.
Vallorcine crag is very good but the easy single pitch routes can get very busy. Early morning is best before the sun hits it. There are several variations on Vallorcine Pillar at the right hand end of the crag; all four or five pitches around 3+/4 you can walk off the top clipped into a cable and then ladders. Barberine has several easy-ish routes on the Dalles en Bas but this is proper friction climbing and the bolts are not as close as they look! At the right hand end of Barberine is Cocoa Girls 5+/6 one of the most popular routes in the valley. Folk normally finish before the 6+ crach at the top and descend Barberine gulley. https://www.camptocamp.org/routes/360972/en/chatelard-gietroz-cacao-girls There are dozens of really good routes in the valley in the harder grades. On Barberine Autoroute Blanche is very popular at 6c. There are lots of great routes on the walls below the Grand Perron. Acqua Concert on the Van is still on my to-do list https://www.camptocamp.org/routes/297226/fr/aiguilles-du-van-acqua-concert A must for anyone climbing 6a is in to the wild on Oreb https://www.camptocamp.org/routes/189327/en/mont-oreb-into-the-wild brilliant route but the descent is tricky so suss the rap points below the roof on the way up. The Vaudale valley behind the Perrons has a lot of new routes. Walk up from the Emosson dam.
Info in the newAiguilles Rouges guide book. If its super hot consider the routes below Brevent using the ‘frique to get up. (Don’t miss the last one
down!!) If the weather is rubbish consider a trip through the tunnel to the Aosta Valley, lots of crags there. If you buy a team abonnoment for the tunnel it will save you lots. A single trip through the tunnel is about €45 but a book of 20 is less then €200. If the weather is coming from the SW then think about dropping down into the Rhone valley. There a good crags near Martigny for example. A good list of easier moutaineering roues was put together by Gus Morton who lives down in Les Houches there is a link here: https://www.thebmc.co.uk/less-difficult-classics-in-the-mont-blanc-massif
VTT Mountain Biking
Downhill, you can get a day ticket in Vallorcine and take your bike up on the lift. Lift served single track above Charamillon. The footpaths in the Chamonix Commune are closed to bikes in July and August and you can’t use the Chamonix lifts. That said, there are lots of good single track paths in Vallorcine and they are often very quiet. A useful facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/chxmtb Trail forks is very good for routes. See for example the classic loop up to Loriaz: https://www.trailforks.com/trails/loriaz-loop There are several routes down to Trient e.g. https://www.trailforks.com/trails/balme-a-trient-par-la-croix but be prepared to get off and walk the steep bits unless you are very good! A nice day out is to ride to Finhault, best route is up behind (Chatelard to Gietroz) then descent the Chemin de Dilligence to Verneyaz via Salvan. Cafes in Salvan. You can then get the train back from Verneyaz (expensive + 50% for bikes) or cycle into Martigny and come back up to the Forclaz through the back roads and vineyards. Map here http://www.valleedutrientvallorcine. com/data/documents/General/VeloVTT/Plan_TourValleduTrientenVTT.pdf Description here: http://www.valleedutrient-vallorcine.com/tourisme-nature/tour-vallee-trient-1709.html If weather is not playing check out the trails in Verbier on trailforks or just head through the tunnel and enjoy the trails/coffee/food/wine etc. in Italy !