The Lac Blanc refuge will resume service in mid-June, 2019


The Lac Blanc refuge has been closed since 2017 when a legal dispute over property started.

Over a year and many procedures later, the dispute is finally concluded.

The Lac Blanc refuge is expected to reopen on the 15th of June 2019.

Lac Blanc Refuge, photo by Espirat, licensed under CC-BY 4.0, source
Lac Blanc Refuge, photo by Guilhem Vellut, licensed under CC-BY 2.0, source
Lac Blanc with the refuge in the background. Photo source:

Located at 2,352 m altitude and above the stunning Lac Blanc, the refuge is among the most popular mountain chalets in Chamonix and it offers breathtaking views of the mountains.

Unfortunately, the popular refuge had been closed for more than a year.

In 1986, an avalanche destroyed the original Lac Blanc refuge.

Following the destruction of the Lac Blanc refuge, the owners (the real estate company called "Montagne des Chéserys") signed a building lease with the manager at the time, Jean-Charles Sage.

As stipulated in the contract, Jean-Charles Sage was to rebuild the shelter at his own expense and exploit it for thirty years.

After thirty years, the Lac Blanc refuge was to be returned to the owners.

30 years later, Jean-Charles Sage refused to leave.

At the end of 2017, the building lease for the Lac Blanc refuge expired and it was time for Jean-Charles Sage to leave the premises. He failed to do so.

According to Jean-Charles Sage, "Montagne des Chéserys" were not the owners of the Lac Blanc refuge. He declared that the refuge belonged to the municipality of Chamonix.

"Montagne des Chéserys" and Jean-Charles Sage took the matter to court. 

The summer season of 2018 was lost.

On the 17 of May 2018, the court of Bonneville ruled that Jean-Charles Sage had no "right or title" to remain in the Lac Blanc refuge and had to leave.

He was to pay 1,000 euro per each day of delay for a month.

Even so, he did not leave the premises and it was not until the 23rd of July 2018 that the judicial officers intervened.

"Mr Sage has obstructed to the end and we have lost the season," declared the manager of the SCI.

The loss is actually not so bad for "Montagne des Chéserys", as the fines that Jean-Charles Sage has to pay are almost high enough to cover for the lost season.

The Lac Blanc refuge is expected to reopen on the 15th of June 2019, but the date might be postponed.

Remember that, due to the popularity of Lac Blanc refuge, it is highly recommended to book well in advance.

Le Dauphine

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