Mountain Adventures in the Maurienne

Summer routes for a multi-activity holiday in the French Alps

By Andy Hodges

This guide offers a selection of day walks, mountaineering routes, via ferratas, rock climbs, mountain biking, road cycling and treks for a multi-activity holiday in the Haute Maurienne, in the French Alps. Easily accessible, with the Vanoise National Park to the north, and the Écrins to the south. Idea for multi activity holidays.

Seasons

Seasons

passes open in late May with the season lasting through to early October
Centres

Centres

Termignon and Val Cenis
Difficulty

Difficulty

Routes range from short walks and cycle rides for the whole family to sustained or challenging mountain routes up to PD to reach the highest summits
Must See

Must See

rocky summits towering over small Alpine villages and the highest cols guarding the valley's approaches; follow in the (possible) footsteps of Hannibal; reach the summit of Dent Parrachée; two-wheeled and roped adventures add adrenalin sport opportunities for a 'mix and match' visit!
ISBN
9781852846213
Availability
Published
Published
10 Jun 2011
Edition
First
Pages
192
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
Weight
250g
  • Overview

    The Vanoise massif is a beautiful range of mountains bounded by the valleys of the Maurienne and the Tarentaise. The Maurienne valley is over 60km long, towered over by peaks of staggering symmetry straight from a child's drawing of mountains.Many figures from history and mountaineering legend have trod throught its forests and along its ancient track; yet the valley is somehow forgotten, despite having been at the heart of the early days of Alpine exploration. Now is the time to rediscover the Maurienne.

    The Haute Maurienne valley is perfect for a whole range of alpine adventures and activities. The routes in this guidebook range from short walks and cycle rides for the whole family to long mountaineering routes to the highest summits. Whether you and your holiday companions are adrenalin junkies or Alpine ramblers, or a mixture of both, there’s plenty to keep everyone happy, day after day. Routes are clearly described and illustrated with maps, topos and profiles, as well as inspiring photos of mountain-lovers in action among the Alpine scenery.

    The valley offers some of the finest modern via ferratas in France, routes specifically designed for sport, with reliable and well-maintained equipment taking direct lines up soaring cliffs and into the deepest gorges.

    Walks and scrambles allow real summits to be reached from the valley in a day, with views reaching to the highest giants in the distance, and mountaineering journeys allow the highest summits to be reached without tackling glaciers. Plenty of rock climbing venues cater for everyone climbing from V Diff through to the higher E grades.

    Cyclists will find themselves surrounded by Alpine giants familiar to any Tour de France followe, Col ded l'Iseran, Col du Galibier and Col de la Croix de Fer amongst them. Nor will mountain bikers be disappointed, with waymarked trails threading through forests and ski lifts to take the sting out of long climbs.

  • Contents

    Contents
    INTRODUCTION
    Geography
    The Vanoise National Park
    Geology
    Wildlife
    Plants and flowers
    History
    Art and culture
    Travel
    When to go
    Accommodation
    Mountain refuges
    Language
    Insurance and rescue
    Maps and navigation
    Weather
    Clothing
    Wet weather alternatives
    Using this guide
    1 DAY WALKS
    Introduction
    Route 1 Lac de l'Arcelle
    Route 2 La Pierre aux Pieds
    Route 3 Lac Blanc and Plan des Eaux
    Route 4 Vallon de la Rocheure
    Route 5 Pointe de Lanserlia
    Route 6 Hannibal's Crossing (Col Clapier)
    Route 7 Mont Froid
    Route 8 Pointe de Bellecombe
    Route 9 High Valley Walk
    Route 10 Pointe de l'Observatoire
    2 MOUNTAINEERING ROUTES
    Introduction
    Route 11 Pointe Droset
    Route 12 Crête de la Turra and Pointe du Grand Vallon
    Route 13 Pointe des Fours
    Route 14 3000ers Circuit
    Route 15 Lessières Traverse
    Route 16 Le Petit Vallon
    Route 17 Roche d'Etache
    Route 18 Traverse of Pointe de Cugne
    Route 19 North Ridge of Cime du Laro
    Route 20 Signal du Petit Mont Cenis
    Route 21 Arête de Léché
    Route 22 La Dent Parrachée
    3 VIA FERRATAS
    Introduction
    Route 23 Le Pichet, Lanslevillard
    Route 24 The Pinnacles, Aussois
    Route 25 Guy Favre, Balme Noir
    The Victor Emmanuel Fort Complex
    Introduction
    Route 26 Traversée des Anges
    Route 27 Montée au Ciel
    Route 28 Les Rois Mages
    Route 29 Descente aux Enfers
    Route 30 Remontée du Purgatoire
    Via Ferrata/Rock Climbing
    Route 31 Via Cordatta, Col de la Madeleine
    4 ROCK CLIMBING
    Introduction
    Route 32 Rocher des Amoureux
    Route 33 Sollières
    Route 34 Rocher de Termignon
    Route 35 Blocs de la Madeleine
    Route 36 Dalles du Mollard
    Route 37 Drailles Blanches
    5 MOUNTAIN BIKING
    Introduction
    Bike hire and bike shops
    The routes
    Route 38 Termignon and Sollières Circuit
    Route 39 La Girarde
    Route 40 Champions' Loop
    Route 41 Chemin du Petit Bonheur
    Route 42 The Sardières Monolith
    Route 43 Mont Cenis Circuit
    6 ROAD RIDES
    Introduction
    Route 44 Col du Mont Cenis
    Route 45 Aussois Loop
    Route 46 Col de l'Iseran
    Route 47 Col du Galibier
    7 WALKING TOURS
    Introduction
    Route 48 Tour of the Vanoise Glaciers
    Route 49 Tour of Méan Martin
    Route 50 Tour of Pointe de l'Echelle

    Appendix A Route summary tables
    Appendix B Useful contacts
    Appendix C Useful phrases

  • Maps

    Maps and navigation

    The French IGN ‘Top 25’ 1:25,000 maps are excellent. They identify the main paths in easy-to-see red, and more difficult sections are marked as red dots. They are sold at supermarkets and many other shops and cost around €9 each. Alternatively, they can be purchased online before you visit and there is now the option of a laminated version. (This isn’t available in France, just in the Aqua3 online map shop.) Termignon is one of those places that is on the join of three maps, so three maps are needed to cover the whole area. An alternative is the 1:50,000 map (the Carte de Randonnées A3: Alps Vanoise) which clearly identifies waymarked walking routes, climbing sites, via ferrata venues and mountain bike areas.

    1:25,000 maps

    • 3534OT Les Trois Vallées Modane
    • 3633ET Tignes, Val d’Isère, Haute Maurienne
    • 3634OT Val Cenis Charbonnel

    The most recent editions of these maps show the extent of glacial retreat in a different colour.

    If you are bringing a GPS, ensure it is programmed to datum WGS 84 and the grid system to UTM/UPS otherwise all grid references will be inaccurate. Don’t forget to reprogramme it to UK settings on your return or the same problems will occur back in the UK.

    Unlike the UK, paths are waymarked and signed to a high degree. The signage usually gives information in times rather than distance, and these seem to be calculated with a similar formula to Naismith’s Rule of 5km per hour. The red-and-white flashes on rocks, walls and buildings will become familiar friends, and the small cycling symbols will also be a welcome aid to route finding.

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction
    We do not yet have any updates available for this book

    We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our contact form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).

  • Reviews
    We do not yet have any reviews for this book

    If you would like to send us a review then please use our contact form. They will be published here shortly.

  • Other eBook Retailers

    Google Play

    Google Play Books available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

    Google Play

    Kobo

    Kobo eReader devices plus Kobo App available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

    Kobo

    Kindle

    Kindle Reader devices plus Kindle App available for Windows, Android, Mac and iOS

    Kindle
  • Downloads
Hodges

Andy Hodges

Andy Hodges was born in Wigan in 1967. He has been enjoying adventures in the outdoors since joining Cub Scouts in 1976. Learning to read a map and being allowed to tackle adventures were instrumental in nurturing a life-long love for mountains. His student days allowed extended visits to the Provence region of France where he became a modern sports climber, while a summer holiday job saw him leading walking groups in the UK hills and mountains. He has been a volunteer member of Mountain Rescue for 23 years and is part of the Hasty Team, a fell running element of the rescue team.

View Articles and Books by Andy Hodges