7th September, Le Tour 1453m – Index de la Gliere 2595m, Lac Blanc – Refuge de la Flégère, La Flégère 1877m, 6 h
For the last two or three stages making the final link to Les Houches, the nature of the TMB changes considerably, for it is now in the realm of Chamonix and all that that entails. As it passes high above the Chamonix valley the peaks of the massif appear to rearrange themselves, the rock needles of Aiguillette d’Argentiere being the first to dominate the scenery. We had intended to climb from Tre-le-Champ (1,417m) up the rocky hillside using the ladders provided at one point. However we mistakenly traversed lower down further along the hillside on a path which led directly to the cable car station and refuge at La Flégère (1877m). This enabled us to take the cable car to Index de la Gliere (2,595m) and the newly improved but still very rocky path to Lac Blanc. The route to this famously scenic lake at 2,532m is a very worthwhile diversion, also from the TMB direction. Being a Sunday there were a large number of local French tourists with children present, but many were leaving as we arrived since they had a long walk back to La Flégère in front of them. We enjoyed the fabulous view across the valley of the incredible chain of mountains for some time before returning ourselves to the Refuge La Flégère. While having dinner we could see that the mountains would be bathed in the glow of the setting sun and everybody went outside to enjoy this even more stupendous spectacle to its full extent.