Walking in the Haute Savoie: North
30 day walks - Salève, Vallée Verte, Abondance, Bellevaux, Morzine
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First volume of a 2-part guide to walking in the Haute Savoie in the French Alps. This guidebook covers the area south of Lake Geneva to the Swiss border including Salève, Chablais and the Vallée Verte, with Evian and Morzine among places to stay. 30 walks include local summits and ridges, but generally straightforward terrain.
- Spring and summer, when the snow has melted and the slopes are bright with alpine flowers; autumn, when the leaves are changing, or even winter for some of the lower walks
- Evian-les-Bains, Morzine, Abondance, Châtel, St-Julien-en-Genevois, Bellevaux, Boège, Habère-Poche
- Variety of routes of differing length and height gain, suitable for most abilities, graded from easy to difficult; none require special equipment or expertise, but the few graded difficult have some exposed sections, often protected by cables, and need a head for heights
- Must See
- Major peaks: Cornettes de Bise, Mont de Grange, Dent d'Oche, Pic Boré Lakes: Geneva, Arvouin, Tavaneuse Cols: Cheséry, Cou, Brétolet Historical attractions: medieval abbeys; numerous small chapels, shrines, stations of the cross and statues on mountain tops; smugglers routes over the French-Swiss border cols Nature reserves; bird migratory routes Geological features: limestone cliffs, gorges and caves (Salève); fault-line and microclimate (Vuache)
A guidebook of half and full-day walks in the lovely Haute Savoie mountains of France. This guide describes 30 circular routes of between 7 and 13km, based around Evian-les-Bains, Morzine, Abondance, Châtel, St-Julien-en-Genevois, Bellevaux, Boège and Habère-Poche. Graded from easy to difficult, there are walks to suit most abilities, but a few have some exposed sections and need a head for heights.
The guide is divided into 6 areas covering the Salève and Vuache, the Vallée Verte, the Vallée du Brevon, Pre-Alpes du Léman and Val d'Abondance. Alongside a detailed route description and map, each walk has a summary of all you need to know before you set out (distance, time to walk, ascent, maximum altitude and instructions for accessing the start). The guidebook includes advice on travel, accommodation and equipment, as well as information about local wildlife and Savoyard food and drink, and a glossary of useful French words.
Visitors flock to the Chamonix area and the Mont Blanc range, but that is only part of what the Haute Savoie has to offer. With highlights including Cornettes de Bise, Mont de Grange, Dent d-Oche and Pic Boré, the walks in this guide will show you a quieter, less busy side to this outstandingly beautiful area.
A companion volume, Walking in Haute Savoie: South, is also available (ISBN: 781852848118)
A short history of the Haute Savoie
Plants and flowers
When to go
Savoyard food and drink
What to take
Using this guide
Salève and Vuache
Walk 1 Gorges du Salève
Walk 2 Balcon du Salève
Walk 3 Grand Piton
Walk 4 Pointe du Plan
Walk 5 Boucle de l’Iselet
Walk 6 Le Vuache
Walk 7 Signal des Voirons
Walk 8 Mont de Vouan
Walk 9 Pointe de Miribel
Walk 10 Montagne d’Hirmentaz
Walk 11 Mont Forchat
Vallée du Brevon
Walk 12 Mont d’Hermone
Walk 13 Rocher de Nifflon
Walk 14 Pointe de la Gay
Walk 15 Pointe de Chalune
Walk 16 Haute Pointe
Walk 17 Pointe d’Uble
Pré-Alpes du Léman
Walk 18 Pic des Mémises
Walk 19 Pic Boré
Walk 20 Dent d’Oche
Walk 21 Cornettes de Bise
Walk 22 Lac d’Arvouin
Walk 23 Autour du Mont Chauffé
Walk 24 Roc de Tavaneuse
Walk 25 Mont de Grange
Walk 26 Pointe des Mattes
Walk 27 Le Morclan
Val de Morzine
Walk 28 Col de Chésery
Walk 29 Pointe de Ressachaux
Walk 30 Col de Cou
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Useful information
Appendix C Glossary of useful French words
Each walk is accompanied by a sketch map with coloured contours, showing key places and numbered waypoints that are highlighted in the route description. For additional features and detailed navigation, the relevant 1:25,000 IGN paper map is specified in the information box at the beginning of each walk. However, bear in mind that things are still changing in this region, and you may discover new ski lifts, roads or jeep tracks that are not yet on the maps.
A good map that gives an overall picture of the Haute Savoie walking areas is the IGN Top 100 Tourisme et Découverte No.144 Annecy/Thonon-les-Bains, 1:100,000.
A complete list of IGN maps can be found in Appendix B, together with details of where to buy or order them in the UK. Otherwise, it is usually easy to buy them in the region and they are sometimes cheaper in local supermarkets.
For pre-walk planning and post-analysis, all the 1:25,000 and 1:100,000 IGN maps for the whole of France are available on the internet for a very small annual subscription from www.sitytrail.com. This is the best way to be sure you have the latest editions, and is accompanied by a powerful set of tools to choose the magnification, print selected areas, superimpose recorded GPS trails and record your favourite routes online. The sitytrail subscription includes access to the same maps with a tablet or smartphone App. For offline use, especially along walking trails, it is possible to download a set of map tiles for a local area. Note that sitytrail maps are also available for Switzerland with a separate subscription.
There are numerous Apps on the market that offer GPS tracking with open software maps. On the iPhone or iPad, MOTIONX-GPS is particularly convenient and flexible.
GPX files for all the routes described here are available to anyone who has bought this guide to download free from the Cicerone website. Just go to www.cicerone.co.uk/810/gps.
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Janette Norton lived in France, near Geneva, for over 30 years with her physicist husband, Alan, raising four children and working in the marketing field. Her love of mountain walking dated from the time she was a guide in her twenties, and the proximity of the Alps and Jura to her home inspired her to continue her passion. After her children grew up, she branched out to explore other areas of France.View Articles and Books by Janette Norton
Alan Norton studied Physics at Edinburgh and Oxford Universities before moving to Geneva to work at CERN on Particle Physics research. Since retirement, he has continued to participate in CERN experiments as a professor at the Italian University of Ferrara. As leisure activities, he has completed many mountain running events at the rear of the field, and helped Janette with walking and map preparation for her guides.View Guidebooks by Alan Norton
Pamela Harris graduated from Reading University and then moved to Switzerland, where she taught English and Classical studies at international schools in the Geneva area. A long-time member of both the Alpine Club and the Swiss Alpine Club, she has walked and climbed extensively in the mountains of Europe and the Himalayas, and organises walking holidays in both areas for these clubs.View Articles and Books by Pamela Harris
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