Chamonix Grand Balcon Sud

The Grand Balcon Sud

A must do running traverse linking the two primary lift stations

→ 18km

↑ ~1200m

Δ 2070M 

♦ Medium

Θ CW

A slightly higher, harder version of the Sentier des Gardes loop, the Grand Balcon Sud goes a bit higher before a long descent full of running.

Beginning at the Chamonix church, the loop first climbs the descent for our Chamonix VK loop all the way to the Planpraz Lift Station. With a 1000 meters in your legs, you'll then begin a long traversing trail full of short ups and down, but overall angling downhill. This is a popular trail that should be run early in the morning to stay ahead of the hiking traffic linking the Planpraz with the Flegere stations.

Just below the Flegere station, you'll drop off the Balcon Sud and begin your descent to Chamonix via the UTMB course. After a steep initial descent, you'll reach the La Floria Trail which angles into town on smoother dirt and passes the tiny, and fantastically French, La Floria restaurant. Surely you'll dream up some reason to stop and sit before the fast finish into town.

LOCATION
Start: 45.923820, 6.868430
Town:  Chamonix
Department:  Haute-Savoie
Country:  France

TIPS
  • The classic version of this route is lift station to lift station. This loop relies on your own uphill/downhill motivation while maximizing quality running. There are numerous options to reduce or increase distance and vert - adjust as needed.

  • This is a busy trail, go early or late.



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Image

Real singletrack and Mont Blanc views await on the Grand Balcon Sud

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