Lac du Mont Charvin

An out and return walk to Lac du Mont Charvin. Passing through woodland, then pasture before entering the higher and more rocky terrain. Great views Mont Blanc from the ridge above the lake.

Technical sheet No. 2350228

A Le Bouchet walk posted on 01/08/19 by Alwayswiththehills. Last update : 13/08/19
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h10[?]
Distance Distance : 9.84 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 837 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 828 m
Highest point Highest point : 2,084 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1,380 m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Areas Areas : Alps , Aravis et Bornes
Location Location : Le Bouchet (74230)
Starting point Starting point : N 45.798028° / E 6.387363°
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Mont Charvin and north ridge Mont Blanc Massif L'Aulp de Fier and Aiguille de Manigod Grassy ridge up to Col des Porthets


(D) From the Sardoches car park, take the path which immediately enters the forest and ascends. The path comes out of the trees and passes the top of pasture above the farm at La Praz. Ignore the track going down, walk across the pasture and back into the trees. Soon, you will pass back out of the woodland and into more open pasture.

(1) Follow the path up through the pasture to L'Aulp de Marlens farm and refuge. The path might be demarked with an electric fence and it might take a slightly different route to the IGN map or tracks on open source mapping. Please stick to the path and note you will most likely be near to cows at this point so keep dogs on leads if you are walking with them. As you walk uphill just after the woods you will pass beside an area where there is a colony of marmots (9) you might hear them whistling and/or see them on guard duty at the entrance to their borrows.

(2) Take the well marked path which leads obviously uphill and towards Mont Charvin and Col des Porthets. The path will start to bring you to a place where it crosses a stream.

(3) Where the path crosses the stream, do not cross unless you want to add an ascent of Mont Charvin to the walk, instead keep left and ascend beneath limestone crags to a minor col between two sharp ridges.

(4) Turn right and ascent the grassy ridge then contour around to the Col des Porthets.

(5) From the col, there are great views across the Auigille de Manigod and you will be able to pick out the path that you follow across the scree below and to your right which leads to the Lac du Mont Charvin. Descend, steeply at first and then more gently to cross the scree and ascend through some broken Lapiaz to flat grassy area.

(6) Follow the path which contours around and above the tarn to the dip in the ridge ahead. There are great views of Mont Blanc from here.

(7) From the ridge, return via the way you came. It is possible to walk around the Lac du Mont Charvin, take a path to the view point on the rocky outcrop to the left of La Goenne and to include an ascent of Mont Charvin. The easiest way is from (3) or from a signpost and junction above where a path contours the hillside to join the path at point 1908 on the IGN map. Please see notes below re-ascending Mont Charvin from the lake.

(4) On the descent, it is possible to take the sharp ridge to the top of the cliffs opposite Mont Charvin. (8) There is one small section of scrambling where hands will be needed and care must be taken with the shale like a rock. The views are not remarkable or any different and it is best avoided if you don't like heights.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 1,381 m - Sardoches car park - Sardoches car park
1 : km 1.01 - alt. 1,519 m
2 : km 2.02 - alt. 1,664 m - Aulp de Marlens - Aulp de Marlens
3 : km 2.81 - alt. 1,828 m
4 : km 3.24 - alt. 1,949 m
5 : km 3.6 - alt. 2,066 m - Col des Porthets - Col des Porthets
6 : km 4.16 - alt. 2,003 m
7 : km 4.69 - alt. 2,080 m - Ridge
8 : km 6.34 - alt. 1,960 m
9 : km 8.57 - alt. 1,569 m
D/A : km 9.84 - alt. 1,382 m - Sardoches car park - Sardoches car park

Useful Information

Refreshments are available at L'Aulp de Marlens (2)

The lake is a great place to picnic.

You are entering the mountainous territory, please check out the weather forecast and take appropriate clothing. I would recommend walking boots or at the very least good approach/trail shoes.

Note point (7) is not the Pas de L'Ours as described in some on-line literature. That pass can be seen from point (7) to the right and on the other side to the ridge up Mont Charvin. It is accessible by ascending the path which zig-zags to the right of the ridge, crossing it and then descending using chains to the Pas de L'Ours.
Similarly, it is possible to ascend Mont Charvin from point (7) via the slopes on the right of the north ridge and then with some scrambling. Please be advised that both ways mentioned here are steep and should only be attempted by those experienced in scrambling on steep and sometimes loose rock.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

You may see Marmots and if the farmer has brought his goats in for milking you might also see them at the farm.

The views of Mont Blanc from the lake are worth the walk and the lake is a nice place to picnic.

The ascent of Mont Charvin is optional, it adds another 500m of ascent. Allow 1:30 to 2 hours for the ascent, descent and time on the summit.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.