Hike to Gorges du Chéran, Tours Saint-Jacques & Semnoz

Around the end of spring, I went on a hike to Gorges du Chéran, Tours Saint-Jacques and Semnoz (climbing from the southern flank this time). Here is the path I walked (download KML):

In the morning, I took a train from Annecy to Albens then boarded a LIHSA bus (line 171) to reach Alby-sur-Chéran. I made a quick detour to the medieval quarter but was soon on my way. I had planned to pass through the ruins of the Château de Pierrecharve, a castle in Alby. However, the path was closed because of unstable rocks so I walked along the paved road for some time. I then left the road to take a trail that followed the course of the Chéran river. There was the occasional view of the river but it was mostly in the forest. Once I reached the Passerelle de Cusy / Gruffy, a pedestrian bridge across the river, I walked on the Boucle du Pont de l’Abîme (Pont de l’Abîme loop) to the Chaos du Chéran, a place in the gorge beneath the Pont de l’Abîme bridge. I then walked the trail up to the bridge, where I had already been some time ago (by car). There was a great view from there. The loop continues on the other side of the bridge, but instead, I kept going up, using the paved road to get to Allèves and then a car park below the Tours Saint-Jacques (Saint-Jacques Towers). They are a natural rock formation on the southern flank of Semnoz. I started on the ascent and passed by the Tours, but I didn’t spend much time there since I was behind on my schedule. I arrived at the Plateau du Semnoz after a while. The weather had soured by then: It was very cloudy with a bit of rain. I took the SIBRA summer shuttle (Ligne d’été) to get back to Annecy.

Above, near the train station in Albens.

Above, highway bridge in Alby-sur-Chéran.

Above, Chéran river.

Above, medieval quarter (bourg médiéval) of Alby-sur-Chéran. The town was renowned for its expertise in leatherwork and shoe making.

Above, blocked trail to the castle.

Above, poppy field.

Above, cows.

Above, Montagne de Bange.

Above, leaving the paved road.

Above, more cows.

Above, Chéran river at the Moulin Janin.

Above, lilium martagon.

Above, first view of the Tours Saint-Jacques.

Above, Passerelle de Cusy / Gruffy.

Above, at the Chaos du Chéran, looking at the Pont de l’Abîme.

Above, steep trail to the bridge.

Above, Pont de l’Abîme.

Above, Chaos du Chéran from the bridge.

Above, on the way to Allèves.

Above, Tours Saint-Jacques.

Above, beneath the Tours.

Above, cows on the path at La Figlia.

Above, Chapelle Notre-Dame de la Vie.

Above, on the final part of the ascent to Plateau du Semnoz.

Above, Chalets de Gruffy on the Plateau.

Above, Crêt de l’Aigle.

Above, Roc des Boeufs.

Above, Chalets de Leschaux.

Above, Bauges.

Above, Crêt de Chatillon.

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Hike around Mont Lachat de Châtillon

In spring, I went to Le Grand-Bornand and walked a loop around Mont Lachat de Châtillon. I also took a chairlift to the summit while I was there.

Here is the path I followed (download KML):

In the morning, I took a LIHSA bus from Annecy to Le Grand-Bornand. I walked to the station of Télécabine du Rosay, which is open from mid-June until mid-September. I boarded a cable car then switched at La Côte for the chairlift of Téléphérique du Mont Lachat, which took me to the summit of Mont Lachat de Châtillon. There was a great view from up there: All the Aravis, the Chaîne du Bargy and even La Tournette could be seen. I took a chairlift down and started on the trail. The first part to Col de Châtillon went around Roc des Arces through the forest. Then, from the Col until Le Vacheret, I followed a chalet access road. Along the way, there was a good view on the Aravis. After that, until Lac de la Cour, the path was on ski-slope maintenance roads, then, until the Rosay gondola station, a chalet access road again. Finally, I took a cable car back to the village in order to catch the bus back to Annecy.

Above, Mont Lachat de Châtillon seen from the summit of Pointe Percée.

Above, Eglise Notre-Dame de l’Assomption, in the village.

Above, boarding a cable car at the Rosay gondola station.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre.

Above, Télésiège du Lachat, a chairlift that goes to the summit of Mont Lachat de Châtillon.

Above, Tournette.

Above, at the summit of Mont Lachat.

Above, Pointe de la Grande Combe and Col des Anes.

Above, Pointe Percée, the highest peak in the Aravis.

Above, Aiguille Vert and Buclon.

Above, Mont Lachat de Thônes. With multiple mountains called Lachat in the area, it can get confusing… See also the Lachat in Dingy-Saint-Clair.

Above, Roc de Charmieux.

Above, there is path to the top of the small bump near the chairlift station.

Above,  Lac Du Maroly.

Above, Aravis.

Above, Vallée du Bouchet.

Above, Col de Châtillon and Roc des Arces.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Roc des Tours and Aiguille Verte.

Above, on the path to Col de Châtillon, around Roc des Arces.

Above, start of the forest trail.

Above, Roc des Arces.

Above, Chalets de Châtillon.

Above, Mont Lachat.

Above, goats.

Above, I made a detour to Col de Châtillon.

Above, view on the other side of the Col.

Above, chairlift station at the top of Mont Lachat.

Above, Tête du Danay.

Above, the path follows a chalet access road until Le Vacheret.

Above, Pointe de Tardevant.

Above, more cows.

Above, Pointe de la Grande Combe and Pointe d’Almet.

Above, Col des Anes.

Above, Aravis.

Above, Le Vacheret.

Above, on the other side of the pass.

Above, the path followed ski-slope maintenance roads.

Above, Lac de Maroly.

Above, Pointe de la Grande Combe.

Above, Mont Lachat.

Above, Pointe de Deux Heures.

Above, Lac de la Cour.

Above, Lac de la Cour.

Above, Aiguille Verte.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre and Pointe Blanche.

Above, fishing.

Above, Aiguille Verte.

Above, Croix du Châtelet.

Above, Roc des Arces.

Above, summit of Mont Lachat de Châtillon.

Above, on the Rosay cable car to the village.

Above, Chinaillon torrent, back at the village.

Above, Aravis.

Above, on the way to the highway bus station.

Above, cow graffiti near the station.

Hike to Croix de Sainte-Catherine & Tour de Branchy

A few months ago, I went on a short hike to Vallon de Sainte-Catherine, a small hill on the west flank of Semnoz, and walked a loop in Seynod after that. Here is the path I followed (download KML):

I went by bike to the Zone Industrielle de Vovray, in the Seynod neighbourhood of Annecy. I started on the nearby forest path to the Vallon de Sainte-Catherine and soon reached the ruins of a former convent (Couvent de Sainte-Catherine) and the trail to Croix de Sainte-Catherine. There was a good view on the Pays de l’Albanais from the cross. Then I kept walking in the Vallon: The trail was very muddy so I walked instead in a glade for a while. At La Boverie, I found a trail to get down to Vieugy in the valley. Instead of looping back directly, I went on a walk in the area. I made a detour to have a look at the Tour de Branchy, a tower located near the road between Annecy and Aix-les-Bains. Then I passed Val Semnoz, a large shopping strip mall, on the way to Parc de la Maison de Malaz. Finally, I went back to the Zone Industrielle to pick up my bike.

Above, oil tanks in the Zone Industrielle.

Above, at the car park before the start of the forest trail.

Above, in the Vallon, at the place where the convent used to be.

Above, Croix de Sainte-Catherine.

Above, view on Pays de l’Albanais.

Above, Montagne de la Mandallaz.

Above, Val Semnoz and Parc de la Maison de Malaz.

Above, Tour de Branchy is visible in the background.

Above, La Boverie.

Above, the path goes up for a little bit above the ruin.

Above, I lost the trail at some point but I kept on the ridge until I found the path again.

Above, on the way down to Vieugy.

Above, out of the forest in Vieugy.

Above, Semnoz.

Above, old Eglise Saint-Martin de Vieugy.

Above, new church.

Above, Mont Veyrier and Parmelan.

Above, near a horse riding school and stables.

Above, Tour de Branchy.

Above, road to Aix-les-Bains.

Above, on the way to Val Semnoz.

Above, more horses.

Above, La Grande Mouette at a round-about.

Above, in Val Semnoz.

Above, Parc de la Maison de Malaz.

Above, Basilique de la Visitation.

Above, back at the Zone Industrielle.

Above, lake on the way home.

Hike to Pointe de Talamarche & Lanfonnet (Summer 2018): From Thônes to Talloires

A couple of months ago, I went on a hike to Pointe de Talamarche and Lanfonnet in the Bornes mountains, starting from Thônes and ending in Talloires, near Lake Annecy. Here is the path that I followed (download KML):

I had already been to those mountains a few years ago, but starting in Talloires and passing through Col des Frêtes, both on the way up and down. This time, I went up the mountain starting from Thônes and went down through Col des Nantets on the way to Talloires. In the morning, I took a LIHSA bus from Annecy to Thônes – Pont de Morette. I first made a detour to the National Cemetery of the Glières nearby, which houses the tombs of 105 resistance fighters. I was soon on my way up towards Pointe de Talamarche, on a pretty straightforward trail. There was a great view from the summit, especially on the Bornes mountains, including Les Dents de Lanfon and La Tournette. I ate lunch then went down towards the pasture of Aulp Riant Dessus and Pas de l’Aulp, a pass on the south side of the pasture. Then I went up again to Roche Murraz, one of the summits of Lanfonnet. There was also a great view from there, especially on Lake Annecy. I went down and made a quick detour to Roc Lancrenaz on the other side of the pass. Finally, I started on the final descent to Talloires through Col des Nantets. I reached Vérel after a while and, in the end, I had to rush a little bit to make sure I could catch the last LIHSA bus from Talloires back to Annecy.

Above, bus stop in Thônes.

Above, tombs at the Nécropole Nationale des Glières.

Above, Fier river near the trailhead.

Above, towards Plateau des Glières.

Above, Tête à Turpin.

Above, Tête de l’Arpettaz.

Above, Chalet du Cruet.

Above, Chalet Le Lindion.

Above, I took an alternate trail towards Pointe de Talamarche: It forks a little bit above the Chalet and merges back into the main trail some time later.

Above, Dent du Cruet.

Above, Parmelan-Tassonnière.

Above, cows.

Above, Plateau des Glières.

Above, Pointe de la Québlette.

Above, ruins of a chalet.

Above, Dent du Cruet.

Above, at Crêt des Tervelles, looking at La Tournette.

Above, Montagne de Cotagne.

Above, Aravis.

Above, Mont Lachat de Thônes.

Above, at the summit of Pointe de Talamarche.

Above, Col des Frêtes and Lake Annecy.

Above, Dents de Lanfon.

Above, Alpage de l’Aulp Riant Dessus and La Tournette.

Above, Pointe de la Sambuy.

Above, Lanfonnet.

Above, Col de Leschaux.

Above, Roc des Boeufs.

Above, Col des Aravis and Mont Blanc.

Above, looking towards La Clusaz.

Above, on the way to Lanfonnet.

Above, Pas de l’Aulp.

Above, looking back at Pointe de Talamarche.

Above, Chalet de l’Aulp Riant Dessus.

Above, wall at Pas de l’Aulp. The path to Roche Murraz goes along the wall.

Above, Chalet de l’Aulp, the starting point of the hike to La Tournette.

Above, summit of La Tournette.

Above, paragliders.

Above, view from the summit of Roche Murraz.

Above, Rocher du Roux.

Above, south side of Lake Annecy.

Above, Montagne du Charbon.

Above, Dents de Lanfon.

Above, Talloires.

Above, Montagne d’Entrevernes.

Above, looking back at Roche Murraz.

Above, view from Roc Lancrenaz on the other side of Pas de l’Aulp: Col des Nantets and La Tournette.

Above, Montmin and Bauges behind it.

Above, on the way down to Col des Nantets.

Above, goats at Chalet des Nantets.

Above, cross at Col des Nantets.

Above, Lake Annecy.

Above, dead sheep below Chalet des Crottes.

Above, path to Vérel.

Above, Rocher du Roux.

Above, Pierre des Pingolies in Vérel.

Above, Dents de Lanfon and Lanfonnet.

Above, path in the forest to Talloires.

Above, in Talloires, above the bus stop.

Hike to Pointe de Beauregard & Croix de Colomban

A few weeks after Tête du Danay, I went back to La Clusaz. This time, I hiked Pointe de Beauregard and kept walking until Thônes, passing by the Croix de Colomban on the way. Here is the path I took (download KML):

In the morning, I took a LIHSA bus from Annecy to La Clusaz. I walked to the trailhead nearby then took a trail through the “Frasse aux Femmes” at first but I joined with the standard trail soon after. It was mostly in the forest with the occasional pasture and chalet, as well as good viewpoints on the Aravis, still covered with snow. After a while, I reached the cable car station at the summit of Pointe de Beauregard. There was a great view, especially to the east: All the Aravis could be seen, as well as the village of La Clusaz below, the Tête du Danay and the Chaîne du Bargy. I ate lunch then walked across a plateau towards the Croix de Colomban. At the cross, there was also a good view, but to the west: La Tournette, Thônes, Dent du Cruet and Parmelan. I started on the way down towards Thônes. However, at some point, I ignored a direction sign, trusting my map (IGN) that also indicated an alternate path. Later, the path was blocked with “Keep out” signs, barb wire, locks and even an electrified fence… So instead, I had to walk off-trail for a bit by cutting through a flower field and a cattle enclosure in order to find the standard path. I reached Thônes with time to spare before the bus to go back to Annecy. While waiting, I visited Chapelle du Calvaire near the bus station.

Above, photo of Pointe de Beauregard taken near Lac des Confins.

Above, in the morning, near the bus station.

Above, snail.

Above, Pointe de Beauregard in view.

Above, Col des Aravis.

Above, Tête du Danay.

Above, Aravis and La Clusaz.

Above, Mont Lachat de Thônes.

Above, Mont Lachat de Châtillon.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre.

Above, Pointe de Beauregard.

Above, Mont Charvin.

Above, at the summit of Pointe de Beauregard.

Above, Aiguille du Calvaire.

Above, Pointe Percée, the highest peak in the Aravis.

Above, Chaîne du Bargy.

Above, cable car station.

Above, towards Entremont.

Above, Pointe de Merdassier.

Above, plateau.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, Croix de Colomban.

Above, Mont Lachat de Thônes.

Above, 3 Têtes des Bornes.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, Dent du Cruet and Pointe de Talamarche.

Above, on the way down.

Above, Chalet du Petit Novard.

Above, large anthill.

Above, at this point, I realised the path I wanted to take was blocked. I doubled back a little in order to walk through a field so I could reach the standard trail.

Above, off-trail, cutting through a flower field. Apparently, I was not the first one to go through there.

Above, in the cow enclosure.

Above, on the standard trail.

Above, in Thônes.

Above, Mont Lachat de Thônes.

Above, Eglise Saint-Maurice.

Above, Fier river.

Above, via ferrata.

Above, path to Chapelle du Calvaire.

Above, the chapel.

Above, Thônes bus station.