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Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

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new york, ny
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Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

Hey guys,

I have a bit of a conundrum. I would ideally like to visit Chamonix in late May, to avoid masses of tourists, and get some lovely hiking in before the weather gets hot. But I'm seeing that this may not be the best plan, as most of the lifts are closed!

Is there much good hiking to be done without the lifts?

Am I correct that the Montenvers train would still be running in late May (so we could take it up to do hikes along the Grand Balcon Nord), or do the Plan d'Aiguille route down from the Aiguille du Midi cable car halfway point?

Is undertaking the hike all the way from the valley to the Lac Blanc (without a lift) just way too much? And might that be under snow?

Would all of the mountain huts also be closed in May (seems likely without the lifts)?

Should I just suck it up and visit in mid June when the lifts open? It looks like the last few years they've been opening around June 15th - do they keep that pretty consistent? How crowded does it usually get by mid-June?

So many questions, I know - any info you have is appreciated! Thank you!!

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1. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

Loads of good hiking without using lifts at Argentiere , especially.

The Grand Balcon Nord is beautiful but from Montenvers - Plan de Aguille it is around an altitude of 2000m so snow may be a problem. If there is deepish (30cm ++) I would not attempt it.

Lac Blanc will be approximately 6 hours round trip from an starting point. This year it was snowed in until July. Maybe a freak year but it is at 2500m so snow cover is very likely. Unless you are very experienced I would give it a miss as there are plenty of other options. A good guide book would be useful.

Not too sure about huts as they are all going to be renovated so you would best check with the tourist office.

Mid-June is a much better option , than late May , most things will be open and the weather might be better, I doubt it will be too hot.

new york, ny
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2. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

Do you think snow would keep us off the Lac Blanc hike and Grand Balcon Nord even in mid June? I'm amazed the snow stays put til then. 6 hours is not so bad for a hike, but I'd be very disappointed to get all the way up there and realize I couldn't get all the way to my destination.

Does June 15th sound right for the annual lift openings to you or do they often push them back?

Thanks for the help!

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3. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

No idea of next year's , summer, opening dates as they are not published yet.

They snow level is what it is, nobody can predict what will happen next June.

Lac Blanc faces south so should lose its snow sooner than the Grand Balcon Nord.

new york, ny
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4. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

Would it be better to visit in early September instead, before the lifts close around the middle of the month? Similar temperatures, but less threat of snowed-in trails? Basically we're aiming for the cooler shoulder season, when the kids are back in school (or not out yet). Are there any unforseen (to me) drawbacks to early September vs mid June or late May?

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5. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

Yes, considering your concerns. But make sure it is within the first 2 weeks as the lifts start closing then

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6. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

Early September is lovely, one of the absolute best times to visit. Early June is wonderful too - these two shoulder seasons are, to my mind, the best times to go by far. But I agree that any time up to the beginning of July can be unreliable for the higher walks, so if that's your priority, September would be a far better bet.

September usually has slightly more settled weather (it's the driest month), and more accessible paths. June is a bit quieter (though neither are really very busy) and has better flowers.

new york, ny
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7. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

Perfect - thank you! Looks like we're going with September.

8. Re: Chamonix Hiking in May or June?

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