When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body.  I measure your health by the number of shoes and hats and clothes you have worn out.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

After a strenuous morning of hiking, we finally made it to the highest point of our week-long trek, the Col de Chaviere at 9,173 feet/2, 796 m. It was indeed a long hike up to the top but once we arrived, it was like no place on earth. A place that was so utterly fantastic, that it took my breath away and reminded me why I love to be up in the mountains on top of the world…

The zigzag trail heading up the mountain to the top.

As we headed up with me in the lead, anxious to arrive, I prayed the clouds would stay low and the fog we’d seen earlier in the morning wouldn’t return. Otherwise our highly anticipated view of Mount Blanc would be all but a dream.

A gorgeous waterfall tucked behind the clouds.

As we got higher, the terrain began to change as did the landscape. It was barren but bold and beautiful in its own unique way.

Slow and steady wins the race…my dad like an Energizer Bunny who never stopped.

The rest of the group pulling up the rear.

Despite the harsh landscape and lack of greenery, I was amazed to find so many pretty, robust wildflowers finding their way through the rocks and rising to the sun.

Rocky trail meant difficult and slippery.

No man’s land.

The will to survive.

Finally, the top was near. I was in the lead and with the others a few minutes behind. I could hardly wait to reach the crest and win my view. Some clouds had drifted in around the peaks. Hopefully I wouldn’t be too late.

More hearty wildflowers growing out of the rocky mountain top.

I took that one last step and I arrived on top of the Col…

And this was my view….WOW! Mount Blanc is soaring majestically above the clouds and she is spectacular.

I had to go bananas and take a ton of photos and of course get this one of me….I made it! 🙂

Still there but disappearing behind the clouds soon.

Luckily the others arrived just in time to see Mount Blanc and take a few more photos. It was by far the most spectacular views of the hike. It made me crave for more.

Unfortunately the true wanderlust is never satisfied. There’s always got to be one more trip. But seeing views like these made me dream. And hope. And plan. For yet another mountain.

Stay tuned…

This post is a continuation of my series on my hiking trip, Tour de la Vanoise. To read more of these posts, click here.


    1. Thanks! This hike in particular was only about 5-6 hours but it takes you a few days hiking in the park to reach it (at least the way we went). There are other villages you can start at and probably get there way sooner but we enjoyed the loop we did.

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