Trekking in the Alps

In this section we present a chapter from the book "Per Alpes, Discovering the Alps in 20 circular walks". Read the tour description below and check other publications of the Alps Convention.

  • Maritime Alps tour
  • Day 1
  • Day 2
  • Day 3
  • Day 4
  • Day 5
  • Tourist info

In the heart of the first French National Park.

 


Vanoise National Park tourr

Trailhead: Aussois (1489m bus connection from Mondane station)
Highest point: Col d'Aussois (2916m)
Total travelling time:29-31,5h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3198m - 3859m
Alp Convention

Route descriptions: The Vanoise National Park was the first French National Park, established in 1963 and covering an area of about 2000 km². The Park was mainly created to protect ibex. The Park is situated in the Savoy department, between the Maurienne valley and the Tarentaise valley and includes around a hundred peaks exceeding 3000m. The highest summit is the “Grande Casse” (3855m). The Park’s most impressive features are the complexity of its geological formations, its biodiversity and the variety of its landscapes, ranging from deep valleys surrounded by towering rock walls, to glaciers and high peaks. The geologic diversity is noticeable not only from the colour of the rock but also from the unusual vegetation. Particularly interesting are the fields of narcissus and red lilies. There are fine views of Mont Blanc and the Glacier de la Vanoise, the massif’s main glacier. This traverse lasts five days, however, thanks to the numerous huts located all along the paths, a network of almost 500km, there are many other options available and you can easily extend your stay.

Skills required: he first day of the tour is long and you will also reach the highest point of the tour on Col d’Aussois (2916m). On the northern side of the col, you can find snowfields till late in the summer. This means that during the descent you need to pay very careful attention. The rest of the tour is not very demanding and it does not require high climbing skills. It is however essential to have a head for heights, careful footwork and endurance.

In the heart of the first French National Park.

 


Vanoise National Park tourr

Trailhead: Aussois (1489m bus connection from Mondane station)
Highest point: Col d'Aussois (2916m)
Total travelling time:29-31,5h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3198m - 3859m
Alp Convention

Aussois – La Montana (chairlift) – Ref. de Plan Sec – Ref. du Fond d’Aussois – Col d’Aussois (Pointe de l’Observatoire) – Ref. du Roc de la Pêche


Travel time: 7-8h.

Today’s route is almost impossible to complete in a day without the help of chairlifts. This is why you start this tour by chairlift from Aussois (1489m) to the upper station “La Montana” at 2150m*. Walk up to Ref. de Plan Sec (2320m) followed by Ref. du Fond d’Aussois (2324m), before taking a steep path leading you to Col d’Aussois (2916m). Here you are at the highest point of the tour. If you wish to climb up to Pointe de l’Observatoire (3015m), which is quite close, you need to ascend a further 100 meters. The view from this “balcony” is simply spectacular. After the pass there is a steep and slippery descent (also at the beginning of summer) because of the snowfields and you finally reach Ref. du Roc de la Péche (1920m).
* If you prefer to start the tour on foot, you can stay overnight at one of the following huts: Ref. de Plan Sec (2320m) – Ref. de la Dent Parrachée (2511m) – Ref. du Fond d’Aussois (2324m). The travelling time depends on the hut you choose, but it takes between 3 to 5 hours.

Accommodation:
Ref. du Roc de la Pêche (1920m): Tel. +33-(0)4-79087975, e-mail: ecrire@rocdelapeche.com, www.rocdelapeche.refuges-vanoise.com, open almost all year (closed April and November), private.
For further information: Office du Tourisme Maison d’Aussois, www.aussois.com.

In the heart of the first French National Park.

 


Vanoise National Park tourr

Trailhead: Aussois (1489m bus connection from Mondane station)
Highest point: Col d'Aussois (2916m)
Total travelling time:29-31,5h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3198m - 3859m
Alp Convention

Ref. du Roc de la Pêche – Les Prioux – Ref. de la Valette

Travel time: 3,5-4h

From Ref. du Roc de la Pêche (1920m) follow the signs directing you to Les Prioux (1720m). Today’s route is short, therefore take your time to enjoy the view of Dôme des Nants (3570m) and the glaciers. After a 3½ hour walk you reach Ref. de la Valette (2590m).

Accommodation:
Ref. de la Valette (2590m): Tel. +33-(0)4-79229638, e-mail: refuge.valette@orange.fr, www.valette.refuges-vanoise.com, open from mid June to mid September, PNV (Vanoise National Park).

In the heart of the first French National Park.

 


Vanoise National Park tourr

Trailhead: Aussois (1489m bus connection from Mondane station)
Highest point: Col d'Aussois (2916m)
Total travelling time:29-31,5h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3198m - 3859m
Alp Convention

Ref. de la Valette – Cirque et Col du grand Marchet – Cirque de l’Arcelin – Ref. du Col de la Vanoise

Travel time: 5,5-6h

Today is the most beautiful part of the tour. You will be awed by the beautiful landscape: peculiar rock towers, the view of La Grande Casse (3855m), winding streams and beautiful solitary gullies. From Ref. de la Valette (2590m) several ups and downs lead to Col du grand Marchet (2490m). The pass is followed by a long descent to about 1900m reaching then Ref. du Col de la Vanoise (2517m). The hut is located close to some pretty little lakes (lac rond, lac long, lac du col de la Vanoise), where, in peace and quiet, your day comes to a close.

Accommodation:
Ref. du Col de la Vanoise (2517m): Tel. +33-(0)4-79082523, www.coldelavanoise.refuges-vanoise.com, open from mid June to mid October, CAF.

In the heart of the first French National Park.

 


Vanoise National Park tourr

Trailhead: Aussois (1489m bus connection from Mondane station)
Highest point: Col d'Aussois (2916m)
Total travelling time:29-31,5h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3198m - 3859m
Alp Convention

Ref. du Col de la Vanoise – Lacs des Lozieres – Ref. de l’Arpont

Travel time: 5,5-6h

On this penultimate day of the tour you folllow a path over stunning highlands. The route does not require much effort and it is very scenic. After 6 hours you reach Ref. de l’Arpont (2309 m).

Accommodation:
Ref. de l’Arpont (2309m): Tel. +33-(0)4-79205151, e-mail: refuge.arpont@orange.fr, www.arpont.refuges-vanoise.com, open from mid June to mid September, PNV.

In the heart of the first French National Park.

 


Vanoise National Park tourr

Trailhead: Aussois (1489m bus connection from Mondane station)
Highest point: Col d'Aussois (2916m)
Total travelling time:29-31,5h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3198m - 3859m
Alp Convention

Ref. de l’Arpont – La Turra – (La Montana) Gorges St-Pierre – Aussois

Travel time: Descending to Aussois (part 1) 6-7h, By cableway (part 2) 4-5h.

This route is the perfect ending to a fantastic tour. Follow the path running on the limestone peak of La Turra, at 2363m. From here you can still enjoy the marvellous view of Dent Parachée (3697m) and the Aussois valley. For those who do not want to miss the last stunning descent, walk to the “Geroges St-Pierre” gully, it will be worth the effort..

Accommodation:
For information: Office du Tourisme Maison d’Aussois.

In the heart of the first French National Park.

 


Vanoise National Park tourr

Trailhead: Aussois (1489m bus connection from Mondane station)
Highest point: Col d'Aussois (2916m)
Total travelling time:29-31,5h
Overall height gain/loss: + 3198m - 3859m
Alp Convention

Useful information

Tourist information
Office du Tourisme Maison d’Aussois: Tel. +33-(0)4-79203080, e-mail: info@aussois.com, www.aussois.com

Alpine Guides
Le bureau des Guides (Pralognan la Vanoise): Tel. +33-(0)4-79087121, e-mail: guidepralo@wanadoo.fr, www.guides-pralognan.com
Bureau des Guides et Accompagnateurs: Tel. +33-(0)4-79203248, e-mail: info@guides-savoie.com, www.guides-savoie.com

Parks
Parc national de la Vanoise: Tel. +33-(0)4-79623054, e-mail: accueil@parcnational-vanoise.fr, www.parcnational-vanoise.fr

Public Transport
Centrale de mobilité MobiSavoie: www.mobisavoie.fr

Maps
Map IGN 3534 ET Les Trois Valées – Modane, Top 25: 1:25.000
Map IGN 3633 ET Tignes – Val d’Isere – Haute Maurienne: 1:25.000
Map IGN 236 Massifs del la Vanoise – Grande Casse – Dent Parachée: 1:25.000

Alpine clubs
FFCAM Fédération française des clubs alpins et de montagne (CAF): Tel. +33-(0)1-53728700, www.ffcam.fr

Websites
www.alparc.org
www.via-alpina.org
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