Grand Saint Bernard - Lacs de Fenêtre
Another Valais classic with big mountain views, lakes, very runnable terrain, and perfect trails
With so many Valais trails being good quality, going on a decent run is actually pretty easy to do. Pick your trail and go. You'll most likely have a great time.
But if you're after something better than great, something superb, brilliant, or as every American says, AMAZING, then you need a few more ingredients for the day to go next level great. The Grand Saint Bernard's Lacs de Fenêtre loop has some special ingredients.
It all starts at the Hospice du Grand-Saint-Bernard, which is absolutely worthy of a walk through, or better yet, an overnight either in the dorm or the auberge across the street. You'll want to be sure you spot the monks, the dogs (don't forget the Saint Bernards, and yes, they are around), and sip one of the locally brewed craft beers or Valais juices. It's a fun spot, don't blow-off a stop.
We ran this route counter clockwise but in the end decided it runs equally as well in either direction. Take your pick. If you prefer the steep climb to Point de Drône straight from the car, clockwise is your thing, otherwise you're doing a steep climb, and descent, at the end of the day.
The rest of the run is a mix of scenic lakes, views of the Grand Combin, the Grandes Jorasses, and some of the Chamonix skyline. You'll even get to admire the views, without slowing down too much, thanks to there being not much to snag your toes on. It all adds up to AMAZING!
While you are in the Grand Saint Bernard area, be sure to also hit the Valsorey Vélan Run above Bourg St. Pierre.
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Start: 45.868998, 7.171067
Town: Col du Gd St Bernard
This one really runs well in both directions. It's your choice if you want the run's high point, Point de Drône, right at the start up some ladders, or save it for the grand finale before a steep drop back to Grand Saint Bernard pass like we did.
There are no huts along the way, but plenty of reasons to extend your time in this beautiful landscape. Picnicking is advised.
Step off the Grand Saint Bernard Pass and right on to this
The first kilometers are fast singletrack and Valais vibe. What's Valais vibe? Start a Valais run early one summer morning and you'll see.
Descending off the Pas des Chevaux
Starting up the Col du Bastillon
Time for some new views - goodbye Grand Combin, hello Grandes Jorasse
Cruising towards the Lacs de Fenêtre
Lacs de Fenêtre
Pick your trail as you head to the Fenêtre d'en Haut, the lake area is laced with trails
The Point de Drône is a mix of good trail, rock, and even some ladders and cables
Showing signs of a very, very good run!
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