Pont de la Caille

The Pont de la Caille (aka Pont Charles-Albert) is a suspension bridge linking the villages of Allonzier-la-Caille and Cruseilles in Haute-Savoie, on the path between Annecy and Geneva. It was built in 1839 to cross the gorge formed by the Usses river, 147m below. A second bridge, the Pont Neuf (aka Pont Caquot) was added in 1928 to support train and car traffic.

Above, a rest area was recently built near the the bridge, complete with benches, picnic tables and suspended viewpoints.

Above, Pont Charles-Albert.

Above, viewpoint above the gorge.

Above, south gate, with Mont Pelé behind it.

Above, Usses river below.

Above, the 2 bridges.

Above, crossing the bridge.

Above, gorge des Usses. There are a few trails down.

Above, Pont Neuf, with the Bornes mountains in the background.

Above, another viewpoint near the south gate.

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Hike to Tête Noire, Tête Ronde & Tête de l’Arpettaz

Last Autumn, I went on a hike to the so-called “3 Têtes” of the Bornes mountains: Tête Noire, Tête Ronde and Tête de l’Arpettaz. I partly followed the instructions here, to find the start of the trail on Plateau des Glières, although I actually walked the trail shown below (KML):

In the morning, I took a LIHSA bus from Annecy and got off at Pont de Morette in Thônes (world capital of Reblochon). While there, I made a detour through Grotte Notre-Dame de Lourdes, but was soon on my way to Plateau des Glières. The path is a forest trail at first but soon becomes an access road starting from Alpage du Nant Debout. After a while, I reached the Notre-Dame des Neiges chapel on Plateau des Glières. The trail to the 3 Têtes starts nearby: The trailhead is actually only marked by a cairn, without any direction signs. There are only paint marks along the way after that. On the path to Tête Noire, I crossed fields of limestone, similar to the Parmelan. There was a great view from the summit, with all the Bornes mountains visible, as well as the Mont Blanc. I continued to the highest peak of the day, Tête Ronde, located not very far away. I ate lunch there then went on to Tête de l’Arpettaz, which had a great view on La Tournette and the Thônes valley. After that, I walked down towards the Gorges d’Ablon then climbed up again on the limestone plateau of Parmelan-Tassonnière until I reached Col du Pertuis. My original plan was to continue until Tête du Parmelan, but I had been too slow and night was falling, so instead I ended the hike by getting down the mountain from the Col until La Blonnière in Dingy-Saint-Clair. I then followed the road down until the Fier river. Finally, in order to get home, I had to walk all the way to Annecy-le-Vieux in the dark, which was pretty tedious…

Above, in front of the bus stop in Thônes.

Above, German bunkers.

Above, Tête à Turpin on Parmelan-Tassonnière.

Above, Grotte Notre-Dame de Lourdes.

Above, La Balme-de-Thuy.

Above, Dent du Cruet.

Above, Alpage du Nant Debout.

Above, chalet at Alpage de la Rosière.

Above, nice autumn colors.

Above, Notre-Dame des Neiges in view.

Above, the chapel.

Above, Plaine de Dran on Plateau des Glières, with Montagne des Frêtes in the background.

Above, cairn marking the beginning of the trail to the 3 Têtes.

Above, Montagne de Sous-Dine.

Above, limestone pavement.

Above, summit of Tête Noire.

Above, Mont Blanc, with the Aravis mountains and Lachat de Thônes in front.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, Pointe Percée.

Above, Tête Ronde.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, Lake Geneva in the distance.

Above, Col du Pertuis.

Above, Parmelan-Tassonière, on the way to Tête Ronde.

Above, hands are needed to cross that part.

Above, Pointe de la Québlette and Pointe de Dran.

Above, Thônes valley.

Above, summit of Tête Ronde.

Above, Tête Noire.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre in the background.

Above, Tête de l’Arpettaz.

Above, Montagne de Cotagne and La Tournette.

Above, Mont Charvin.

Above, cross at the summit of Tête de l’Arpettaz.

Above, cliffs of Parmelan-Tassonière, with some view of Lake Annecy.

Above, Tête Ronde.

Above, Dent du Cruet and Pointe de Talamarche.

Above, on the way to Gorge d’Ablon.

Above, Gorge d’Ablon.

Above, on the way to Col du Pertuis.

Above, the 3 Têtes.

Above, Croix du Bénitier.

Above, at Col du Pertuis.

Above, Dingy-Saint-Clair.

Above, cliffs of Parmelan.

Above, at La Blonnière.

Above, red sunset on Parmelan.

Above, Col de Bluffy, with the Bauges in the background.

Hike to Col d’Anterne & Lac de Pormenaz

At the end of the summer of last year, I went on a hike to Col d’Anterne and Lac de Pormenaz, in the Giffre mountains not far from the Mont Blanc. I followed this itinerary (in the other direction).

I arrived in Sallanches by train from Annecy in the morning, then took a LIHSA bus to Passy Plaine-Joux, a ski resort in the mountains. There was a great view on the Mont Blanc from there. I took a trail towards Lac Vert (Green Lake) then followed an access road until the Chalets du Souay. At that point, I left the road and started on a trail called “La Chorde” on the way to Lac de Pormenaz: The trail was very steep with multiple ladders and chains. I ate lunch at the lake then continued towards the Refuge de Moëde Anterne, an emergency hut below the Col d’Anterne. When I arrived, I was surprised by the quantity of snow in the area. With the sun showing up, it was starting to melt though, which made the trail up to Col d’Anterne very slippery. At the pass, it was very cold but there was a great view on the surrounding mountains: Pointe d’Anterne, Rochers des Fiz and Tête de Villy on one side, Massif des Aiguilles Rouges and Mont Blanc on the other. I then went down the Col using the same path as on the way up. Finally, I walked on the “GR de Pays Tour du Pays du Mont Blanc” road back to Passy Plaine-Joux in order to take, first, a LIHSA bus to Saint-Gervais-les-Bains, then, from there, a OuiBus to Annecy.

Above, Passy Plaine-Joux in the morning.

Above, Mont Blanc from the takeoff area for paragliders.

Above, Pointe d’Ayères Sud in the Rochers des Fiz.

Above, tree house on the way to Lac Vert.

Above, Lac Vert.

Above, road to Chalets du Souay.

Above, Refuge Le Châtelet.

Above, at the Chalets du Souay.

Above, Les Jumelles.

Above, La Chorde.

Above, view of Ayères-des-Pierrières.

Above, herd of sheep.

Above, Lac de Pormenaz.

Above, Pointe Noire de Pormenaz towering above the lake.

Above, on the trail to Refuge de Moëde Anterne.

 

Above, Aiguille de la Glière.

Above, lost sheep.

Above, the Refuge.

Above, on the trail to Col d’Anterne.

Above, Mont Blanc and Pointe Noire de la Pormenaz.

Above, trail repair.

Above, at the Col d’Anterne, looking at the other side towards Lac d’Anterne (not visible).

Above, Rochers des Fiz.

Above, Mont Blanc.

Above, Massif des Aiguilles Rouges.

Above, Refuge de Moëde Anterne below.

Above, Tête à l’Ane.

Above, Tête Noire de Pormenaz and Lac de Pormenaz.

Above, Mont Buet.

Above, on the way down.

Above, on the GR towards Passy Plaine-Joux.

 

 

Above, Rochers des Fiz.

Above, Ayères des Pierrières.

Above, back at Passy Plaine-Joux.

Above, Autoroute du Mont Blanc in the valley.

Above, Saint-Gervais train station.

Hike to Montagne d’Âge

After the Vallon du Fier, I continued walking and, after a detour through a trail along the Nant de Calvi, I reached Poisy, a village northwest of Annecy. My goal was to cross the Montagne d’Âge, a small mountain that is part of the Jura mountains, from the north to the south on the way to Château de Montrottier and the Gorges du Fier in Lovagny.

Above, view of the Montagne d’Âge from the trail around Mont Rampignon, near Mont Veyrier.

Above, roses in Poisy.

Above, Montagne de la Mandallaz nearby.

Above, in the Marais de Poisy (Poisy swamp), on the way to Montagne d’Âge.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, start of the trail, on the north side of Montagne d’Âge.

Above, Epagny.

Above, fallen chestnuts.

Above, summit. No view though.

Above, view to the west at the Croix de Nonglard.

Above, the cross.

Above, exiting the forest.

Above, view on the Albanais.

Above, Semnoz covered by clouds. The Château de Montrottier can be seen in the foreground.

 

Above, La Tournette.

Above, field in Lovagny.

Above, Château de Montrottier.

Above, path to Gorges du Fier.

Above, Fier river near the Gorges.

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, entering the place known as “le Dérochoir”, the final part before reaching 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.