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A walk through the Vanoise National Park.

A walk through the Vanoise National Park.


Postby gaffr » Tue Jul 29, 2014 1:06 pm

Date walked: 29/07/2014

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We arrived on a damp evening on the train at Landry the penultimate station on the track up to Bourg-St.-Maurice. We quickly found the camping behind the butcher's in the village before the next shower of rain arrived. It had obviously been very wet in the area for some time as we were aware of when pitching the tent. Persisitent rain during the night led to us setting off in the morning more than damp having decided to push on up the valley of the Ponturin river on the trail up to the camping at Les Lanchettes. A short day being perhaps reasonable in the conditions. It was all a bit gloomy as a second day was spent at the welcoming camping area which is accessed by a gate beside the trail up towards the refuge of de Rosuel. I found plenty in the area to visit in the area close to the camping with old silver and copper mines to poke around while Marif went off in search of a warmer shirt.
In dryer weather we continued beyond Rosuel to reach the refuge of entre le lac before the next heavy shower arrived. As we discovered the amount of distance travelled each day could be modified by the conditions.
1above ref du rosuel HPIM7269 (640x482).jpg
making our way between Rosuel and entre de la lac.
2ref entre le lac HPIM7275 (640x481).jpg
Look back to the refuge entre le lac and heading up to the col du Palet.
3HPIM7279 (640x480).jpg
Plenty of these plump rodents who seem to communicate with sounds similar to moorland birds.
3HPIM7279 (640x480).jpg
Plenty of these plump rodents who seem to communicate with sounds similar to moorland birds.
4heading up to col du Palet HPIM7281 (640x463).jpg
Weather altered a bit with fresh snow at col du Palet above refuge du col du Palet which changed into rain as we approached the descent into Val Claret....flashes and rumbles which, as we heard later, had some affect on the summer skiing on the Grande Motte.

Possible to camp slightly off-piste at Val Claret but we collected bottles of water and supplies at the Sherpa shop in the village. Much finer conditions on the following day with a straightforward walk up to the Col de la Leisse.
5col de la leisse HPIM7287 (640x482).jpg
The second col we were to cross over, Col de la Leisse, with the prospect of a walk in dry conditions down the valley.
6ref de la leisse HPIM7296 (640x473).jpg
The fine refuge of de la Leisse.
7HPIM7314 (640x481).jpg
Steeply up towards the col de la Vanoise
8HPIM7316 (640x472).jpg
The memorial dated 1933 for an officer in the military had me searching around for some sort of old military structure.....some evidence of poles which must have carried wires....phone or even telegraph.
9area of the Grande Casse HPIM7319 (640x469).jpg
In the area of the Grande Casse, just over the top of the Col de la Vanoise, but not much showing of the big mountain.
10lac des Vaches HPIM7322 (640x481).jpg
The stepping stones at the Lac des Vaches after loosing a bit of height.
12HPIM7330 (640x482).jpg
The spectacle behind as we were descending to Pralognan-la-Vanoise. Pointe de Vallonet, Pointe des Volnets, La Grande Casse behind and the very fine Aiguille de la Vanoise.
13HPIM7361 (640x482).jpg
After spending two days camping in Pralognan we were off in much improved weather to get to the high ground heading out to the Col de Chaviere.
14HPIM7369 (640x481).jpg
The mountains, although only of the just above 3,000 metres height are very fine in this area close to the Peclet Polset refuge. Possibly Cime des Planettes presenting some classic looking routes.
15HPIM7370 (640x480).jpg
I think that this one is of the Pointe de l'Echelle.
16HPIM7373 (475x640).jpg
Refuge de Peclet Polset.
18HPIM7379 (640x471).jpg
Heading up to the final col ...Col de Chaviere.
19HPIM7381 (640x477).jpg
20col de Chaviare HPIM7385 (640x481).jpg
From here all the way down to Modane a knee grinding 1,800 meters....all four cols crossed were around the 2,600-2,700 mtrs.
22Aiguille DoranHPIM7393 (401x640).jpg
We had a couple of days camping at the municipal camping in Fourneax/Modane until we could get a seat on the Milan- Paris train coming through the tunnel to reach Modane. Time to explore the surrounds. The dismal view in changed weather again while trekking up to val frejus of the Aiguille Doran in the area we descended from the previous day.
23Sanctuaire Notre Dame du Charmaix HPIM7399 (640x481).jpg
The fine 15 century Sanctuaire which I came across in descent from the high ground....probably the usual one taken by those travelling on the GR5 route towards Briancon?
24HPIM7409 (640x482).jpg
Time also to visit the old fortifications above Modane.
25HPIM7415 (640x442).jpg
After another wet night we were getting ready to walk down into the station area to reach our train and reach Aix les Bains and visit marif's sister. Modane is a wee place busy with traffic through tunnels for road vehicles and for trains travelling between Italy and France. Also road access from here to Col de l'Iseran and of course the folks walking the GR5...a busy wee place.

Camping in sites at both ends of the walk and a camping site at Pralognon-la-Vanoise. Many refuges en route, we stayed in two of them. All of them have the ability to cook your own inside with usually four gas rings to facilitate this.....even the newly opened....end of June '14... CAF refuge, cost 5.4 million euros to build, at the col de Vanoise has this ability....we had a wee look around when we stopped off for a coffee. So if you choose to carry your own food supplies you can trim the costs of staying in the refuges. Having the tent and camping stuff, although very much an extra albatross on the back, can also cut down on hotel costs in the town/village at each end of such travels.
The flora in the area is very fine.
1 purple saxifrage s. oppositifolia HPIM7283 (640x559) (436x373).jpg
4 great yellow gentians and milk for Beaufort cheese HPIM7358 (640x578) (443x558).jpg
Great yellow gentians and milk producers for the Beaufort cheese.
6 gentianHPIM7375 (640x508) (474x431).jpg
The normal gentian.
Last edited by gaffr on Wed Aug 27, 2014 4:43 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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gaffr
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Re: A walk through the Vanoise National Park.

Postby gaffr » Tue Jul 29, 2014 5:46 pm

Hello RTC,
Our route followed was a standard one of Landry to Val Claret which is a stage on the GR5....which then goes through the skiing areas and then over the Col I'Iseran and then down to Modane.
We, after Val Claret, went through on the GR55 route through to Modane.
Many French folks that we met during the walk were doing all sorts of circular routes during the weekend national holiday that took them back to vehicles in much the same way as we do in Scotland during a long weekend. What we quickly became aware of was that French folks really enjoy their Vanoise and seem to return year after year to these mountains.
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gaffr
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Re: A walk through the Vanoise National Park.

Postby litljortindan » Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:36 pm

Some amazing scenery, of the sort that might actually persuade me to go there one day.
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Re: A walk through the Vanoise National Park.

Postby gaffr » Wed Aug 06, 2014 9:58 am

Getting to this area is much easier than maybe in the past? The E-jet to Geneva followed by bus and train can bring you to the start of a trail within the same day of leaving Edinburgh airport.....and with good transport at the finishing end of the tour in can mean that it can all fit within the normal holiday leave.
We met folks both young and elderly who were on the big journey between lake Geneva and Menton/Nice in one long trip. For me it doesn't have too much appeal since on many sections of this ultra trail there appears to be quite a bit of road/road following stuff (trail alongside the road etc) although I guess that the trail was there before the roads were built?
Must say that the Mercantour section between St. Dalmas and Menton through National Parc Mercantour does hold some appeal with it being reachable by transport from Nice after an E-jet from Edinburgh.
Someone wrote here elsewhere on this Forum almost saying that with having the Scottish hills that there there wasn't much need to go to other ranges. I used to think this until I reached my sixties having spent all my holidays over forty years on the Scottish hills after a wee dabble with euro hills in my teens. It was Highlanders who had been heading to European hills for many years and who introduced me to the hills in Europe. So over the last twelve years I have been heading back that way each year. I wish earnestly that I had been able to do this in my younger years.
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gaffr
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Posts: 1844
Munros:281   Corbetts:203
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Joined: Oct 25, 2009
Location: Highland.

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