Lac de Peyre and Col de Balafrasse
Lac de Peyre is a small mid-altitude lake in the heart of the Bornes massif. Lac de Peyre is an interesting site for observing the local fauna, which includes marmots, which are hard to spot, and ibex. Unfortunately, the latter were slaughtered in a shameless manner in October 2015 due to an outbreak of brucellosis.
The route shown on this page has nothing to do with the one that was in force since 2005. In fact, the path has been completely changed since 2015-2016 due to rockfalls and landslides. As a result, the path has become very rutted, gullied and sloping in many places. The route can no longer be described as family-friendly (I would advise against doing this hike with children unless they are well trained). A sign at the Col de la Colombière indicates that the route is no longer signposted from the Chalet de la Colombière. From here, several tracks lead up towards Lac de Peyre. The choice of which “track” to follow is a matter of “judgement”, with some paths being a little easier than others. However, there are no vertiginous sections to reach the lake.
The ascent to the Col de Balafrasse should be considered a difficult climb. The gullied path is actually quite technical, with many unstable stones and wide steps. You should be extremely careful on the descent.
- Difficulty: Intermediate for Lac de Peyre Hard for Col de Balafrasse
- Altitude: 2,108 m at the Lac de Peyre, 2,296 m at the Col de Balafrasse
- Ascent: 1 hour 30 min for the Lac de Peyre, 20 extra min for the Col de Balafrasse
- Descent: 1 hour 30 min from the Col de Balafrasse
- Elevation Gain: 550 meters for the Lac de Peyre, 720 meters for the Col de Balafrasse
- Round-trip: 6.6 km with the Col de Balafrasse included
- Map: IGN 3430 ET
From Cluses, take the direction of Le Reposoir. Then, at Le Grand-Bornand, follow the Chinaillon and continue the road to park at the Col de la Colombière.
GPS Coordinates (WGS 84) of the Starting Point: 45.992159, 6.475464
Ascent (as of 30th of July 2023)
The trail starts near the Col de la Colombière chalet-restaurant. Follow the well-signposted path marked “Lac de Peyre” and leave the path leading to Jallouvre on your left. After twenty minutes, you reach the Chalet de la Colombière.
From the chalet onwards, the path is no longer signposted as indicated in the introduction. You choose the most suitable path by intuition, depending on the state of the terrain. After a technical ascent, the lake is not far away, nestled in a hollow between Pointe Blanche and Pointe du Midi.
You can continue on to the Col de Balafrasse. There are splendid views of the Aravis Massif and Mont Blanc on one side, and Lake Geneva and the Bornes Massif on the other. However, as mentioned above, the ascent is difficult due to the steepness of the path and the many gullied, overhanging sections. Beware also of the more daring who decide to continue to the right towards the Pointe de Balafrasse. The path along the ridge is very narrow and a fall at this point would be fatal.
Take the same route as described above.
Photos of the Lac de Peyre
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