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Le Tour to Refuge Albert 1er

9

Overall rating

Exceptional

Trail Length

Length

9.31km

Trail Elevation

Elevation + / -

862m / 862m

Trail Type

Trail type

Out and back

When to go on this trail

When to go

Start Jul - End Sep

Hiking duration for this trail

Hike duration

3.0 - 5.0 Hours

Altitude range for this trail

Altitude Range

1860m / 2702m

Technical difficulty level for this trail

Technical level

Easy (2/5)

Natural beauty rating for this trail

Natural beauty

Very Nice (4/5)

Run duration for this trail

Run duration

1.5 - 2.5 Hours

Kids age requirement for this trail

Families

7+ Years old

Are dogs allowed on this trail

Dogs

Dogs Allowed

Are there provision sources on this trail

Provision Sources

2 Refuges

Contributors:

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The Refuge Albert 1er, at an altitude of 2702 meters, is one of the most accessible high altitude refuges in the Chamonix Valley thanks to the Charamillon gondola, which departs from Le Tour, and the Autannes chair lift. The refuge sits next to the large and imposing Glacier du Tour and provides excellent views of the glacier throughout much of the trail. The refuge itself is an impressive structure and has a nice kitchen serving tartiflette, croute and a range of salads. Very impressive if you think of the altitude they are serving it at. 


There are a couple of options for reaching refuge. The most attractive part of the trail will be the traverse between the Les Esserins and the final steep climb up to the refuge. The main option we present here takes the gondola to the midstation and then traverses to the Refuge and takes the exact same route back. This option is doable with children and the times we did this trail we encountered quite a number of children following this route. If you want to further reduce the vertical gain then you can take the Autannes chair lift from the mid station and then do the traverse to the Refuge. This reduces the vertical gain to 537 meters and it will be the easiest option. Lastly, the option we present in the video is to use the gondola to the mid-station, visit the refuge but then take the trail straight down to Le Tour. This trail is beautiful and follows the Tour Glacier all the way down but it comes with a warning: the trail is very steep and it is a long descend. In many places you will be using your hands and metal railings and supports and there will be some steep drop offs in certain locations. This is not a child friendly route at all. Lastly, you could do this option in revere where you take the steep trail from Le Tour all the way up to the refuge and then head to the midstation from there. The best views are from the midstation to the refuge so doing it in reverse would be a waste in our opinion.

Video of this Trail

We have made a video presentation for this trail. Please visit our channel on  YouTube and like the video and subscribe to our channel. Putting together these videos is quite a bit of work.

Photos of this Trail

We have a large library of pictures from in and around the Chamonix Valley. All pictures are categorized and geo location tagged. These are the pictures we have for this trail. Click on any picture to view it's details and location.

Trail Directions & Safety Considerations

Age requirement for kids on this trail

Children

7+ Years old

Dog rules on this trail

Dogs

We recommend to keep your dog on a leash

Best time to go on this trail

When to Go

Start Jul - End Sep

Risk considerations for this trail

Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment

This route reaches an altitude of 2702 meters and it will have varying degrees of snow cover until quite late in the season. In most cases the trail be doable at the start of July and mostly snow-free by mid July. Check ahead of time if the trail and refuge are reasonably accessible. The trail is well marked with very few splits in the road. So getting lost is nearly impossible as long as the trail itself is not covered in snow. The main option we present here is technically easy and doable for children. The option we describe above where you take the alternate path down and follow the glacier all the way down to Le Tour is a lot more technical and we would rate that as difficult and not family friendly.

Starting point for this trail

Trail Starting Point

You can start the trail at the hamlet of Le Tour. There is a large carpark in the center of the hamlet. There is also a bus stop right next  to the lift station. The nearest train station is Montroc-le-Planet but that leaves a 20-30 minute walk with 120 meters of elevation to reach Le Tour.

Step by step trail directions

Trail Directions

Take the Charamillon gondola from the hamlet of Le Tour. The trail starts right across from the midstation and simply follow the signs for the Refuge Albert 1er. It is a single trail and well marked so you can't miss the Refuge. Simply take the same route back to the midstation and the gondola back to Le Tour. On the way back down from the refuge, you will reach a junction with the option to keep following the glacier all the way down to Le Tour. This is an option and adds quite a bit of scenery but the climb is technical and strenuous and it is a long descend. 

Points of Interest for this Trail

We have a large database of all of the points of interests in and around Chamonix. These are the points of interest you will find along this trail:

Chalet de Charamillon

6

Our Rating

Above Average

Snack Bar

Large snack with huge terrace in between the Charamillon and Autannes lifts

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town

Le Tour

Altitude of this point of interest

Altitude

1853m

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Le Tour

7

Our Rating

Good

Hamlet

Hamlet at the far north-eastern end of the Chamonix Valley

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town

Le Tour

Altitude of this point of interest

Altitude

1468m

View on Map
Refuge Albert 1er

8

Our Rating

Very Good

Refuge

High altitude Refuge at 2702 meters right next to the Glacier du Tour

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town

Le Tour

Altitude of this point of interest

Altitude

2702m

View on Map
Glacier du Tour

9

Our Rating

Exceptional

Glacier

Glacier above the town of Le Tour with the trail to the Refuge Albert 1er enabling close access

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town

Le Tour

Altitude of this point of interest

Altitude

2550m

View on Map
Les Ecuries de Charamillon

8

Our Rating

Very Good

Refuge

Refuge and restaurant located near near the Charamillon mid station above Le Tour

Nearest town for this point of interest

Nearest Town

Le Tour

Altitude of this point of interest

Altitude

1914m

View on Map

3D Map & GPS

Trail Route Map & GPS

You can download the GPX file and load this route into your own GPS enabled device or application. If you are on Strava, then you can open this route in Strava and save it to your account.

Open this trail in Strava

3D Map of this Trail

FATMAP in an incredible website and mobile application that you can use to view the trail in full 3D, do a fly over of the route and get a detailed vertical profile. You can view the FATMAP of this trail below and use the 'View larger map' link to visit the trail on the FATMAP website.

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