Loriaz to Mont Buet via Cheval Blanc
Elevation + / -
2048m / 2048m
When to go
Mid Jul - End Sep
8.0 - 13.7 Hours
1342m / 3096m
Very Difficult (5/5)
5.0 - 8.0 Hours
15+ Years old
This route makes for a spectacular day hike or long run. It is a challenging route both in length, elevation and terrain but it is more than worth the effort as you summit Mont Buet at an altitude of 3096 meters (10,157 feet). On the way you will pass the Montagne de Loriaz and the Refuge the Loriaz. This is a beautiful place with wide alpine pastures and great views of the Aiguilette des Posettes. The climb up to the Col de la Terrasse is steep and the terrain gets increasingly barren and rocky. The climb up to the summit of Le Buet via the Cheval Blanc has some difficult parts with permanent ropes installed to help you keep your footing. The summit of Le Buet is absolutely spectacular and often compared to the surface of the moon. You will have 360 degrees views including a fantastic view of Mont Blanc. The descend towards the Col de Salenton has wonderful views into the valley towards les Chalets de Villy. The descend towards the Refuge de la Pierre a Berard is steep and with big rocks. The walk from the Refuge de Berard back to the start of the trail is wonderful and easy. The Refuge de Loriaz and the Refuge de Berard provide excellent options for a rest and some food and drink. A celebratory beer at the Buvette du Cascade de Berard at the very end of your trail is mandatory.
We have an alternative route to this approach of Mont Buet which follows the Tre-les-Eaux valley and connects with this trail at the Col des Corbeux. The rest of the trail remains the same. Both trails are equally spectacular and both the climb up to Loriaz as the climb up through the Tre-les-Eaux are equally beautiful in our opinion. The added benefit of this version are the views from Col de la Terrasse and the visit to Lac Vert. We did this trail too late in the 2022 season and there was considerable snow cover. In 2023 we did the Mont Buet northern approach loop via Tre-les-Eaux in perfect conditions.
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
15+ Years old
Natural Reserve. Dogs not allowed
When to Go
Mid Jul - End Sep
Risk Considerations & Difficulty Assessment
This route reaches an altitude of 3096 meters and the best time to go is roughly from the middle of July to the end of September. This route should not be undertaken with snow cover and you definitely need to check the conditions ahead of time. The trail is not hard to navigate but you do need to check your position frequently and I would not undertake this one without GPS.
The trail itself is pretty technical in between the Cheval Blanc and Mont Buet with some very steep parts where fixed ropes are installed to help you keep your footing. There are also big drops and if you are afraid of heights then you will not enjoy these sections. The descend to Refuge de Berard is steep and with big rocks in certain locations.
Trail Starting Point
Your first destination is the Refuge de Loriaz and there are a number of trails that will take you there from the bottom of the Vallorcine Valley. Our suggestion is to park at the Le Buet parking or use the train or bus and exit at the Le Buet train station parking.
From the Le Buet parking or train station follow the main road towards Vallorcine and cross the bridge. Take the first left upto Le Couteray and Le Lay. From there the paved road will end and the trails up to Loriaz will start. From the Refuge de Loriaz there is a trail marker and you will want to follow the trail towards the Col de la Terrasse. From the Col you can see your next destination Le Cheval Blanc and you will see the crest that you will be following to lead you to the summit of Mont Buet. From the Cheval Blanc you will be following the crest until you reach the summit of Mont Buet. The way down to Col de Salenton is well marked. You will not need to go to the actual Col. There will be a trail marked indicating the Refuge de Berard and that will be your next destination. The walk from Refuge de Berard to the Le Buet train station starting point is easy to follow and well marked.
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:
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.
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.