Hike to Baraque des Rognes & Nid d’Aigle (Mont Blanc)

Last summer, I went on a hike near Chamonix to the Baraque Forestière des Rognes, a tiny emergency hut located between the much bigger Refuge de Tête Rousse, where most mountaineers stop on their way to the summit of Mont Blanc, and Nid d’Aigle, a hut at the terminus of Tramway du Mont Blanc. I followed this trail direction (except I started and ended at the Bellevue cable car station): Sentier des Rognes on the way up and a path along Glacier de Bionnassay on the way down.

In the morning, I went by train from Annecy to Les Houches, in the Chamonix Valley, switching at Saint-Gervais-les-Bains. My goal was to reach the Bellevue station to get a head start on the ascent. Usually, I could have boarded the Tramway du Mont Blanc at Saint-Gervais station but, at the time I went on this hike, the track was closed for repair. Instead, I used the Bellevue cable car, but it was a ~30min walk from Les Houches train station. Once at Bellevue, I started on the trail that goes around Mont Lachat on the north side until Col du Mont Lachat. Then I started on the Sentier des Rognes (Trail of Les Rognes): The trail was steep but regular, right until the final part before reaching Col des Rognes, which was pretty hard, but equipped with ladders and chains. I crossed path with many people, since the trail is a popular way to get to and from the summit of Mont Blanc, all the more so since the Tramway was closed. Once at Col des Rognes (2685m), I saw my first alpine ibex (bouquetin) of the day. I reached the Cabane des Rognes a few minutes later: There was a great view on the Désert de Pierre Ronde, the Dôme du Goûter and the Aiguille de Bionnassay from it. Soon after, I started on my way down towards Nid d’Aigle. There were many alpine ibexes despite the place being mostly stones. Once at the hut, I took a trail along the Glacier de Bionnassay for a while then went up again to reach the Bellevue cable car station, just in time for the last cable car.

Above, train in the morning at Saint-Gervais-les-Bains.

Above, Les Houches train station.

Above, Arve river.

Above, cable car station in Bellevue.

Above, church in Les Houches.

Above, cable car station.

Above, at Bellevue.

Above, Bellevue station on the Tramway du Mont Blanc.

Above, on the trail around Mont Lachat.

Above, Rochers des Fiz.

Above, Chamonix valley.

Above, Réserve Naturelle de Carlaveryon.

Above, Arête des Rognes, where the trail leads me.

Above, view from Col du Mont Lachat.

Above, on the Sentier des Rognes, looking back at Mont Lachat.

Above, Tramway track to Nid d’Aigle.

Above, Mont Vorassay.

Above, Massif des Aiguilles Rouges.

Above, mountaineers going down.

Above, Dôme du Goûter.

Above, to the Col des Rognes.

Above, Aiguille Verte.

Above, chain on the path.

Above, almost at Col des Rognes.

Above, Aiguille du Midi.

Above, alpine ibex.

Above, Cabane des Rognes from the Col.

Above, Dôme du Goûter.

Above, Aiguille de Bionnassay.

Above, path to Refuge de Tête Rousse.

Above, Désert de Pierre Ronde.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Refuge du Goûter.

Above, Nid d’Aigle in view.

Above, Glacier de Bionnassay.

Above, Nid d’Aigle from below.

Above, lake formed by water from the Glacier.

Above, back at Bellevue cable car station.

Above, Rochers des Fiz.

Above, Dôme du Goûter seen from Les Houches.

Above, waiting for the train back to Annecy.


Parc du Taillefer (Cran-Gévrier)

The Parc du Taillefer is a park in Cran-Gévrier (Annecy). Its elevated position offers a good view on Annecy and the surrounding mountains. The entrance is next to Lycée Charles Baudelaire, not far from the exit of Parcours Nature Fier et Erbe.

Above, Semnoz.

Above, picnic tables.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, Mont Veyrier and Lake Annecy.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, entrance.

Below, the park with snow.

Above, from below.

Above, Castle and Mont Veyrier.

Above, Basilique de la Visitation.

Above, Semnoz.

Château de Miolans

The Château de Miolans (Miolans Castle) is a fortress in the Bauges mountains above Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny, Savoie. It was built during the Middle Ages and was converted to a prison by the Duchy of Savoy after they acquired it in the 16th century. Its most famous prisoner was probably writer (and notorious pervert) Marquis de Sade: He was arrested in 1772 in Chambéry and placed under guard at Miolans, until he escaped a few months later.

Above, keep.

Above, Tour Saint-Pierre.

Above, dungeon (oubliettes).

Above, the courtyard of the fortress has a botanical garden.

Above, Arclusaz mountains in the Bauges.

Above, view from the top of the tower.

Above, in the keep.

Above, view of the castle from below.

Bike ride in the Bauges mountains from the Semnoz Plateau to Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny

Last summer, a few weeks after riding my bike from La Féclaz to Albens, I came back to the Bauges mountains. This time, I rode from the Semnoz plateau to Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny in Savoie.

In the morning, I took my bike on the summer shuttle from Annecy to the Semnoz plateau. From there, I first rode my bike down the road to Col de Leschaux then turned towards the Vallée du Chéran at the heart of the Bauges mountains. On the way, I stopped at Pont du Diable (Devil’s Bridge), which straddles a gorge popular for canyoning, but soon arrived at Lescheraines. I then kept on the main road until Ecole-en-Bauges, where I stopped for lunch next to the Chéran river. I exited the Bauges at the Col du Frêne and, after the steep slope down, made my way to the Château de Miolans (Miolans Castle), a fortress above Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny that was used as a jail by the Duchy of Savoy. Finally I rode to the train station and boarded a train, first to Chambéry then switched for Annecy.

Above, view of the Bauges from the Semnoz Plateau.

Above, Crêt de Chatillon.

Above, church in Leschaux.

Above, gorge at Pont du Diable.

Above, the bridge.

Above, arriving at Lescheraines.

Above, Chéran river.

Above, Mont Colombier.

Above, Mont Margeriaz.

At La Compote, looking towards Mont Pécloz and Pointe des Arces.

Above, Dent de Pleuven and the back of Mont Trélod.

Above, lunch spot near the river.

Above, Mont Julioz.

Above, Pointe d’Arcalod.

Above, church at Ecole-en-Bauges.

Above, on the way to Col du Frêne.

Above, looking back at the Vallée du Chéran, with Mont Trélod covered with clouds.

Above, large cross at Col du Frêne.

Above, on the way down, with a view on Dent d’Arclusaz.

Above, Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny in the Isère valley.

Above, vineyards.

Above, Château de Miolans.

Above, view from the castle.

Above, waiting for the train to Chambéry at Saint-Pierre-d’Albigny station.

Above, Dent du Nivolet seen from Chambéry.

Walk along Lake Annecy

Starting at the Petit Port in Annecy-le-Vieux, I walked along the north shore of Lake Annecy until the Port des Marquisats.

Above, Montagne d’Entrevernes in the Bauges mountains.

Above, boardwalk at the Petit Port.

Above, in the Jardin de l’Hôtel Impérial Palace.

Above, Plage d’Albigny and Parmelan.

Above, Mont Veyrier and Mont Baret.

Above, Semnoz.

Above, Plage de l’Impérial.

Above, in Parc Charles Bosson.

Above, Eglise Sainte-Bernadette.

Above, people in the Pâquier.

Above, Old Town.

Above, statue of Saint-François de Sales in front of the Second Monastère de la Visitation.

Above, La Tournette hidden by clouds.

Above, sailboat moored at the Port des Marquisats.

Above, tour boats, on the way back.

Above, Canal du Vassé at the Pont des Amours.