A Perfect Autumn Day in Samoëns

With crystal clear skies and the autumnal colours of the trees we picked the perfect day for the walk up to the Refuge des Fonts. From the parking at at the village of Les Fardeley, just a few minutes drive from Samoëns, the walk-up took just over an hour and followed the course of the Giffre des Fonts and an impressive series of gorges and waterfalls.
Gorges des Fonts, Sixt, Haute Savoie, FranceChalet des Fonts, Sixt, Haute Savoie, France

The views of the trees on the surrounding upper mountain slopes were truly stunning with numerous shades of greens, oranges and reds – as colourful as anything we’d experienced in the New England ‘Fall’.

However, nothing had quite prepared us for the views as we walked into the basin of the Cirque des Fonts where, bathed in sunshine, were the collection of old shacks and chalets that make up the “Chalet des Fonts”.

Perched on the terrace of one of the shacks we enjoyed a couple of slices of Vicky’s homemade banana-cake whilst taking in the views and mulling over the OS map in order to look at possibilities for extending our walk.

We decided on tackling the 700m climb up and over the Petit Col ou Bas du Col d’Anterne (2052m) in order to join up with the GR5 track that runs past the Refuge d’Anterne Alfred Wills (1810m) and back to the village of Les Fardeley.
Whilst a long haul up-hill the views from the track (once the main route between Sixt and Chamonix) were truly stunning.We were treated to spectacular vistas across the top of the Cirque des Fonts to the snow capped peak of Mont Buet (3096m) and even Mont Blanc (4810m) as well as views both across the top of the Grand Massif ski domain and back down the Giffre Valley with Sixt Fer-à-Cheval nestled on the valley floor some 1300m below.
Cirque des Fonts, Sixt, Haute Savoie, FranceSixt from Cirque des Fonts, Haute Savoie, France
After a total walking time of just under 6 hours we were both exceptionally pleased to reach Les Fardeley and rest our weary knees, just not looking forward to the stiff-leg syndrome tomorrow morning!