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Hiking in the northern Alps

Date: 9-13/06/03
(all pictures are clickable)

Still with plenty of time waiting for papers (all due to the strikes in France), I decided to go to France in the Alps, for some hiking. I like the sea and the mountains. These were hot and beautiful days. I did 3 trails.

Vallée perdue (Val d'Isère)

The trail I originally wanted to do was partly closed, so I took another one: the "Vallée perdue" (the lost valley). In fact it follows a waterway which arrives at La Daille. You'll be in a small canyon or above it. I've seen marmots at the top.

Start altitude: 1800m
Final altitude: 2200m
(My) Timing: up 2h, down 1h

On my way to the next trail I passed the Col de L'Iseran (by car), which is the highest pass of France (and I believe the highest of Europe) at an altitude of 2770m. I also passed some fortified places.

Col de L'Iseran Col de L'Iseran
Near Aussois Fort Victor-Emmanuel

Lac de Belledonne

Very nice trail. The first part was quit hard (to me) as it was a steep way up (about 520m in 1h30). Luckily it was in a forest so the sun did not bother too much. I've seen black squirrels and several big ant hills. The second part was from the shepard's house to the lake. It passed a huge field of wild rhododendrons. On my way down I've also seen an eagle. I expected to see chamois, but unfortunately I didn't see any...

Start altitude: 1250m
Final altitude: 2150m
(My) Timing: up 4h, down 2h

Nature The lake is just behind this hill.
Lac de Belledonne (part) View from up there

On the way to the next trail, the impressive "barrage de Grand' Maison". Hight: 140m, beam: 550m

Lacs de la Tempête

Nice walk. This hike was in my opinion the least interesting one. Although it was very pretty, I met about 30 other hikers so it was less natural... I've seen several marmots (including 2 smaller ones messing around and playing - very nice).

Start altitude: 1550m
Final altitude: 2200m
(My) Timing: up 3h, down 1h20

Yes, the pass is up there ! The first of the lakes. View from up there...

From there on, I traveled back home. Just to mention, I was happy to have air conditioning in my car: I passed Lyon at 18h30 with 38°C outside ! I told you it was hot ! ;-)