Time: 8.75h. Up: 1830m. Down: 530m.
Distance: 20km. Difficulty: medium.

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Stage 47: Samoëns (702m) to the Refuge de Moëde-Anterne (2002m)

Click and drag on map above to see area around trail. Click here for large zoomable map.

Since today is the first stage of the second half of the H2H, I'd be tempted to quip that it is all downhill from here... if that weren't so patently untrue. In fact, with 1830m of altitude to gain today, this is second biggest climbing day of the H2H. By day's end you'll be exhausted even if you did not overdo half-way point celebrations the night before.

Today's hike is interesting but long. You walk for a while along the Giffre River through a lovely valley then climb steeply, past several large waterfalls, to the high rocky plateau of the Montagne d'Anterne. At the end of the afternoon you'll go over the pass of Col d'Anterne, from which there is a spectacular view of Mont Blanc before -- finally -- descending to the isolated Refuge where you'll spend the night.

Since you are likely to feel a little flat today think of this stage as an investment... the payout being that if the weather cooperates the next stage will reward you with one of the best views of the entire H2H.

The route today is largely identical with the GR5 and the Via Alpina. Start by following the Clévier River down to where it flows into the Giffre. There turn left and walk upstream, first on the eastern side until Pont Perret, then on the western side. The trail goes over a mountain spur following a pre-historic bed of the Giffre through the southern branch of the Gorges des Tines, then turns south along a tributary stream. Cross to its eastern bank at the Pont des Nants and then continue south. Don't cross again at the Pont de Sales, but instead take the paths (possibly leaving the GR5) that climb up directly via the Cascade de Rouget to the Chalets de Lignon (1180m), where you'll rejoin the GR5 for the remainder of the day. At the Cascades de la Pleureuse and la Sauffaz (1429m) turn left to climb via Collet d'Anterne (1796m), the Chalets d'Anterne (1810m), and Lac d'Anterne (2063m), to finally reach Col d'Anterne (2257m) about 30 minutes before the end of the day. There remains only a steep descent before you fork left to get to the Refuge de Moëde-Anterne.

Alternatives: you can make the day shorter by taking a taxi as far as the Chalets de Lignon (saves 3.5h, +680m, -200m, 10km). The path is never particularly exposed, but even so if the weather is bad, it would be better to shorten the day as described, or alternatively just take a rest day.
Map: IGN-3530ET Samoëns.

The House to House blog... stage 47.

<A couple of representative photos from this stage will be added here after the hike>
In the meantime, click here to go to all of the H2H photos on Flickr.

GPS Track
<To be added during or after hike>

Room and Board Options
Lunch: picnic.
Dinner and overnight: the only reasonable place to stay is at the Refuge de Moëde-Anterne (+33-(0), 134 places in rooms and bunkrooms).

Getting There and Back
Samoëns: from Cluses, where there is a railway station (for train schedule information, see the SNCF), you can either take a taxi or one of the very infrequent buses 20km to Samoëns (for the bus schedule, see here under "fiches horaires"). There is a nice "how to get to Samoëns page" here.
Moëde-Anterne: from the refuge walk east then south via Les Mollays and Lac Vert down to the village of Servoz (800m -- the hike is around 3.5h, -1200m, 10km), where there is a railway station.
ViaMichelin Road Map and Driving Directions: centered on Samoëns, centered on Servoz.

Background Information and Links
Many and various...

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