The ascent of Mont Buet is totally out of the context of a family hike. This outing can be seen as the culmination of a season of hiking of varying degrees of difficulty. The objective is very high, the difference in altitude very significant, and the route very long.
There were a number of technical difficulties: the path after the refuge was marked only by cairns, the passage of large boulders is perilous, and there are snowdrifts and patches of hard snow on the summit for much of the year. The final ascent after the 2800m mark also requires a violent effort to reach this lunar-like dome where the feeling of euphoria is total.
The panorama from the top of Mont Buet is breathtaking and will make you forget all your efforts. As the route is long and the altitude high, you should take the usual precautions before each hike: check the weather forecast, carry a map and bring warm clothing.
In early summer (late June to mid-July), crampons are useful for the névés and hard snow patches on the ridge.
- Difficulty: Very Hard
- Altitude: 3,096 m
- Ascent: 1 hour 45 min to get to the refuge + 2 hours 50 min to get to Mont Buet
- Descent: 3 hours 30 min
- Elevation Gain: 1,780 meters
- Round-trip: 17.7 km
- Map: IGN 3630 OT
- Restrictions : Dogs (even on a leash) and gathering prohibited. Bivouac allowed between 7 p.m. and 9 a.m.
After Chamonix, head towards Argentière and cross the Col des Montets. After 2 km, park on the right in the car park at Le Buet station.
GPS Coordinates (WGS 84) of the Starting Point : 46.018687, 6.919560
From the car park, take the path on the other side of the road towards the Pierre à Bérard refuge. Don’t be frightened when you see the signs indicating a six-hour walk to Mont Buet, as the time is really exaggerated 😉 Go through the Poya chalets towards the woods and, on a path to the right, climb towards the Chalet de la Cascade à Bérard.
Leave the Tré les Eaux path on the right and continue along the river. After crossing two footbridges, the path becomes steeper. After a few hairpin bends, the path leaves the forest. To the right, by the foothills of Le Buet, and to the left by the Aiguilles rouges, the path splits in two at a fork: take the path on the left, as it is easier than the one on the right.
You then come to the Refuge de la Pierre à Bérard. Turn right to take the path that weaves its way through a damp gully that rises quickly. You then cross an area of large granite boulders marked by white stakes. Further on, leave the Col de Salenton on the left and continue until you reach a combe that is almost always snow-covered and where caution is advised. The summit of Mont Buet is now clearly visible on the right.
The effort is now greater to reach a panoramic plateau with cairns overlooking the Diosaz valley. After a well-earned break, turn right onto the path that leads to a belay (Pictet shelter) on the Mortine ridge. It’s a tough climb and the pace is slower as you climb the very short, very steep switchbacks to the ridge. After passing the Pictet shelter, the path becomes less steep. You finally reach the large cairn marking the summit of Mont Buet, which is often covered by large patches of snow in early summer.
Retrace your steps and take the same path you took on the way up. A short diversions takes you to the Col de Salenton, marked by a clearly visible cairn on the right. This pass offers another view of the Aiguilles Rouges. Note that the Col d’Anterne also provides a link to Lac et Col d’Anterne.
Photos of Mont Buet
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