Interseason in Morzine is such a fun time to explore the mountains. What better way to explore then a multi day trip sleeping over at a refuge. Recently a friend and I headed over to our neighbouring resort of Samoens for a night on the mountain.
Refuge du Folly is situated at 1556M, above Samoens on the Morzine side of the Samoens Valley. You can access it either from Samoens, or from Morzine. We didn’t have heaps of time before dinner and so we zoomed over after work and took a simple route to the refuge. That’s not to say it was easy, or dull! This route came with many interesting features – rutting stags, mules and stomping sheep – more about that later.
The route my friend and I chose to take was from just above Samoens at Le Pied du Crêt. It was approximately 4.5KM and 700M d+. I think it took us around 1.5hr. The path was super easy to find and zig zagged through the forest. Some parts were definitely steep, but it was a really lovely route that felt super remote. We went up and back the same way, mostly for ease as we were on a tight time line with work.
You can find the route and information by clicking on the button below. This shows an overview of the 2 routes and you can select Part 1 and Part 2 to see the individual days.
This hut was truly one of the most special I’ve been to; the family guarding couldn’t have been more welcoming. The hut is open (I believe) from June – October, I think we caught one of the final weeks of the season. It’s not open over winter. It was super straight forward to book, they were so easy to get hold of and they allowed my friends dog to come along. We were welcomed with a toasty fire and showed to our dorm, we had our own room to sleep as the refuge was quiet that night. For dinner we had a soup starter, beef bourguignon and a crème brûlée dessert, it was incredible food! The sunset was beautiful and the company was lovely. It really was such a fun night!
Things to be aware of:
Firstly, the Deer’s Slab is from Mid September – Mid October. In other words, the rutting season for deer!! The forest on the hike up was full of them. It’s quite a surprising and slightly intimidating sound if you’ve not heard it before. So it’s just something to be aware of if you’re over that way in Autumn, I don’t think you’d want to get in their way!
Secondly, from September though to January it’s hunting season in the Alps. The majority of the route to get to the refuge is non hunt territory. But you might see hunters on the route heading to higher ground above the refuge.
Thirdly, they keep some of the mules used for the Tour du Mont Blanc on a part of the route. They are friendly, but do take up the majority of the path, so passing them (as we found) can be a bit of a challenge!
Finally, close to the refuge was a huge herd of sheep, they were super friendly, but if you’re taking a dog you might want it on a lead for this section.
Take binoculars, the view from the refuge is insane and we spotted so much wildlife! Go on a clear sky / sunny evening as the sunset from the refuge is insane. Book in advance, I imagine during peak summer a refuge that good gets pretty booked up!
You can find out more information about Le Refuge du Folly below, I’d definitely pop it on your list for next summer.
If you’re staying in Samoens this winter or next summer, I offer Mobile Massage across the Valley. I come to you with everything I need for your massage. It’s the perfect way to wind down after a day on the mountain. For all Samoens bookings, I ask for a minimum of 2hs. Have a look at what I offer HERE, and get in touch for more information!