12-15 of June


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Europe » France » Rhône-Alpes » Saint-Gervais-les-Bains
October 27th 2013
Published: November 5th 2013
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I must finish this as the next trip shaping up, hopefully..I wish it would be definitely... Ok, back to memories of wonderful mountains..

12th of June Mont Vorassay (2299m-didn't climb it, just approached part of its area). We start with a map, which I don't have now, so I won't be precise on walked through charming villages, but first, we went to St. Nicolas de Veroce, then down and crossed Bon (spring) Nant, I would say pretty big size creek or even small mountain river and then up towards my "Green mountain" - Vorassay. Probably, we were not good oriented or not sure what was the goal as we made quite a loop visiting another village and then only got on the main trail around Mont Blanc, which led to Vorassay. right then, when we on more interesting route clearly for more high mountains and clear goal set, Jovita drops off, as seeing shorter way back, avoiding loop route which we just did😊. I understand her, as already pretty good hike is done, but so much more excited views ahead and day far from over, so we part again ( and again next day😊 and I continue on my own. I really like this bare green mountain which, going through big forest i don't see even, just walking its side and then forest ends, beautiful green bare slopes appear leading way up, with cliffs standing out and i walked along till gave up to my weakness.. just to go straight up, no path, beautiful smooth grassy slope.. which was steep, of course, and got steeper. how exciting, going on all 4 sometimes, grabbing on grasses and occasional trees. What seemed to me half way up, i got frightened how i will get down.. so i try go down, its not so bad and.. I continue up again. As always, top seems close, but not as close and I figure will be more ahead what looks like top or edge, but still unreachable. I am not talking about Vorassay peak, not been even close to it, it's just an edge from that mountain with one more high point with its own name as well, so that top edge was so close and getting to it would of lead to the peak. I crossed some kind of path, I looked at the mountain Truc across the gorge and it seemed bellow me..and i got dizzy. Very strange. I look around slowly, trying to memorize or concentrate on something, I can't remember what now. Took nice rest on the path , it's the only place i can sit - slopes too steep for doing such. Kind of meditate watching the ants crawling them ways and discovering me or my things. I am intruder to them. I liked that massage to my bear feet when they crawled on them too. Now I am sorry, but then I decided to descent at that point. For sure, it was easier than going up, but one time i accidently ended up at a small rock with no way down and then walked sideways to get to another spot. Plenty of excitement and carefulness anywhere you go in the mountains, esp if to choose no beaten trail 😊 Once back on the wide, smooth trail, walked little further, saw a chalet, but decided not to go down to it, so returned back and at the junction took the same more straight way back as Jovita did. Getting there already tired is chalenge too, even ~300 meter climb from the creek up as a final part. I think, I wondered off there too trying to make shorter way..No regrets whatsoever, just an opposite 😊 But biggest disappointment of the day - camera battery died, I didn't have a second (still lost in the house😊 and the charger I had, which required adopter for Europe outlets, and I forgot adopter to take on the trip..so, no more pics for the rest of the trip.

13th of June Mont Truc (1811m). This day's hike route clear to us - to visit next mountain to Vorassay across the gorge. Its an interesting mountain, has big grass area on top like a saddle, only very peak sticking out. Passing through villages again, pretty confident where we going. Walked through new village, crossed a creek and we started climbing. Atmosphere may be more crowded, climb starts with wide road, even cars of workers on the side, tourists on motorbikes/ 4 wheelers, forgot how they called. After some climb we stop at crossroad for a snack and from there road goes to one slope and other leg to the top. I chose to go to the top planning to come back after descended on that slope road, so would be a circle hike around Mont Truc. At that crossroad I part with Jovita again. I went up. All the way road goes through forest and only at the top big wide space opens. First stop is the chalet/restaurant and seeing more things ahead I made mistake not to stop there to refill water, thinking for sure I will find more. As I walked path, there is observation stand with all icy peaks in panoramic view in reality and on information stand pictures with mountain's names. I took my dead cam for last shot, but it turned on and shut off, that's it. Stunning view with all majestic glacier peaks just in front in semicircle. This is as close as I will get to them. I can admire them, but I do not even wish to challenge them. The perfect view , which I can not share.. But the top of Mont Truc still ahead and I walk the trail which goes on the edge of that wide grass field, which is all fenced in as a private property, with farm buildings as well. So for the very top left just a trail on the edge with fence on one side
Mont JolyMont JolyMont Joly

All in snow furthest left and the green top is my yesterday's hike.
and sharp dropping edge on another. at the top I take my rest, admiring my "Green mountain" - part of Vorassay. I think I am out of water at that point, another kind of farm buildings in 2 places more with hikers resting, but they confirm no water at both places.. That left me with 2 options to go back to cafe or go down towards the same chalet, which is kind of between Mont Truc and Vorassay, which is on my route going down other way now. so I thought descending will be quicker and, for sure, I will find water when down. From the creek down I was afraid to get water as i saw up stream some sheep still, unless i go up, closer to glacier mountain, if i would been still full of energy, for sure, I would of done that, just for being even closer to those glaciers, but i decided to go to the chalet, its another restaurant, but got water, walked back to the road, couple more vehicles. Soo, Mont Truc had only one worth wonder - those glacier mountains panoramic view, otherwise too crowded and with those roads and motor vehicles and that beautiful grass field not walkable made few disadvantages. When i got down, I made new route going back home following the creek, which flows in to Bon Nant and follow that river till home. That gave me to go through new village as well. The charming details in those touristy villages, they still quiet and cafes are empty with them owners dosing outside. Such idyllic view as they waiting.. soon all this atmosphere will change as the crowds will start coming..Probably, as usually it is, now they little bored with the quietness and misses it when place becomes crowded and noisy. When i crossed river at this new nice village on another side, I was back in nature, completely empty road I walked , no houses, then got on a smaller gravel road, which ended up in the yard. I was passing small herd of nice cows with the barn on one side and on the other side of the road little bit further was a house. Old farm, but still alive..with an older couple sitting in front of the house and doggy barking at me. That was memorable picture I still cherish. It like well preserved life from the passed when the place was not overwhelmed by tourists. Yes, buildings, small towns preserved passed time too, sheep and cow herds seen, but they all were more fit and changed to present life, but this jewel farm was natural and less affected by time. I little get confused as my trail sign shows to get along them garden and the path so small, but by motions ( I still was ways away for trying to talk) with the couple we clarified I must go there, literally walking just a step on the side from nicely kept garden, which by size I can tell feeds them as well. The path goes to the river and there gets wider again. wonder how these people agreed to allow such trail through them property. Its a part of big Mont Joly trail, going around the mountains. Then I walked through grass field ( every where I seen pastures of flowering natural grassland) and then got along river, saw more interesting buildings ( even may be bread oven standing by itslef with chimney and all..). This is nice trail with different atmosphere and so easy to walk with the stream next, like running water
Looks easy?Looks easy?Looks easy?

Kind of did for me, but camera here misleads, looks too flat compared to my memories and to the next picture..
in the same direction added some speed to me.. again I caught myself going too far before climbing up to the home village. Was totally new place when I went up through forest, then some pasture to the houses and, appeared, I am just on the furthest edge of my village, so was not far to walk back home. Back there we met the generous owner of the place, which allowed us to stay in the chalet. Nice brief conversation, Stephane little shared history of his grandparents house as it used to be what i just saw - old farm. I couldn't resist excitement telling about that charming farm I saw, hope, they understood me. But most important what I found out from Stephane, that French government destroying local communities, them lifestyle and culture, taxing local properties as the real estate is taxed at the highest value, whenever even just one money bag moves in and pays for the property higher price, all properties in the area is taxed the same higher rate. Then local people are forced to sell and leave as they can not afford to live in them own place as rich people just gone crazy buying
This reflects better the steepnessThis reflects better the steepnessThis reflects better the steepness

This is just part of the Mt. Vorassay, the beginning of the range
up and building there so much. They don't live there even and nothing is contributed to the community as its them vacation houses or investment, most of the year those houses are empty. Really, what a wastefulness. Very upsetting thought, still not all destroyed, but..and then they put restaurants and hotels on top of the mountains..thats the continuation of destruction.. Sorry, bad thoughts, but 2 nice highlights stands up - the panoramic glacier mountains view from high up + closest up by the distance and the real authentic farm 😊, and... e v e r y hike of entire trip was tiresome, but with some great uplifting emotional/spiritual recharge.

14th of June hitch hiking through St. Gervais les Bains.. The day came when Gintaras is coming down from Mont Blanc and we going to meet him to drive back as he does not know our new place of stay and we dont have a car 😊 So another small adventure and reminder of a young days when I HH, only that was back home. We did fine, had chance to walk through St. Gervais, nice bigger town till we got to big highway and another HH to Les Houches where meeting point and a car was. We got there and still was time for me for one hike, not sure, may be 2 hour? then the big climbers group came down, but little bit away from where they started, we needed to take a car, that was some excitement too 😊 That's how chicken I am, i better on my two legs in the mountains. We got back, Gintaras briefly informed us on hike pointing through the map. They did in more difficult conditions than usually at this time of year. Then he and Jovita left for dinner with a group, I put up my tent in the yard ( chalet too small for 3 adults). It's been years since I slept in tent and was looking forward to this moment. It's such a nice place to sleep outside, lots of birds singing, it's late spring time is some ways. That evening I had a nice talk with Cindy, the neighbour in the same yard. She and her sister were very kind for entire stay. Especially i remember her sharing her thoughts about energy from nature we get 😊 and that was coming from a city girl, Parisian 😊 Surprises everywhere. What can i say, charming France I saw in many ways - places, people, situations. Great trip and now i relived it again, blogging is good! Hey, but its not over! one more day to go..

15th of June Les Contamines Montjoie Saturday morning, quick planning. Gintaras done with hiking, wants last shopping before the trip back, Jovita with him and I ..want the last good hike. We try to combine by going together for St. Gervais and there splitting, but shortly in the car, I decide that more exciting mountains in the opposite direction than St. Gervais, so we part just on the edge of the village and I go on my own to the mountains. Again, down to the river and on the highway there HH to Les Contamines 😊 Got a lift from a lady with a lively dog, who sat in my lap all the way and wanted attention. Tourist info discourages on the route I picked, suggesting its dangerous and inaccessible, because of the snow and suggests me Lac (lake) d'Armancette. Looked good, so there i went. Just outside the town took wrong turn and ended in the woods with no trail, but headed straight up through huge impressive forest as map showed that trail making a loop and I should hit at some point by going straight up anyway. So that;s what happened and I had my style of hike again -with no trail, in complete wilderness with most old giant fir and pine trees I ever seen on this trip. appeared this is big area of nature preserve, extending to Mont Truc even and holds record for biggest or oldest.Sorry, forgot and Wiki says just this :"Created in 1979, the nature reserve covers more than 5, 500 hectares of varied terrain rising from 1 000 to 3 900 meters high and covering forests, pastures, torrents, rocks, snow fields and glaciers." Nice big forest continues more way up and close to the lake it stops. Nice formations of rocks, another new place and each place is different! I get to the lake, only couple hikers there, plenty of space to spread and be by myself in nature. The lake very shallow and clear - all the way around the bottom can be seen, but the water so cold, only my feet got treatment and some splashing on myself after nicely intense hike. Yes, climbing rock even higher up is tempting, but I withhold as got conscious being weekend late afternoon it might be roads empty and my luck of getting a lift unknown, so who knows when i would get back.. I wondered one path little higher where tundra landscape appeared and then went down to town. Walked through it, stopping at few shops on the way out of town and was lucky as family picked me up immediately from the road. Got back, Jovita and Gintaras still were not back from all day shopping! I showered and went for a meal out at the only place to eat and drink in the village, where my companions joined me shortly. Second and the last night in tent. The next morning we got in to long (2 days), boring and tiring trip of over 2000 km through Germany and Poland back home, just beginning of Switzerland mountains was nice as the last good bye to majestic scenery, but it lasted only couple hours.

What to say, sometimes dreams come true. I wished to see Alps, to walk on easy mountains with the background of highest glacier capped mountains in Europe and it happened, but the trip would of not been such great without other experiences, the way we travelled and had chance to interact with local people more. Everything turned to be wonderful. I hope, the same for all of us, as Gintaras reached Mont Blanc on the second attempt and even in more difficult weather conditions than before. Lets say, there is something about this trip to remember for life time for all of us 😊





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26th November 2013
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wonderful picture
hi Inga, thanks for sharing such a wonderful pictures..they are so nice and professional...I really enjoy seeing them...thanks Roberto
7th October 2014
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thanks for looking and liking :)
like for most, probably, mountains and the ocean is most fascinating to see and experience. Sorry, only now noticed comments

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