15 août 2007

Tour des Ruans - Day 1

I just have time to post a small account of the first day of the Tour des Ruans, a great 4-5 days hike on the swiss-french border: the area is nested between Chamonix and Martigny, with breath-taking views over the whole Mont Blanc Massif. This tour is sort of remote and requires some navigation skills on the higher parts. We had smashing weather, but you wouldn't want to be caught up there in storm or mist. Another thing: once you're over in one valley, there is only one or two ways to get back, and they are not easy walks. This tour was due with clients of Aventures Alpines in August (about now!) and I was out to check it out. We'd just had very unusual cold weather with snow down to 1500 meters (in July!) over several days. Anyway, here are a few pictures of day 1, Mathilde and I together (kids in Valais with friends). Actually this was our second day, since we walked up to Barrage de Susanfe on friday evening and slept at the Auberge in order to get an early start the next morning.

Sunrise on the Tour Sallière, at the far end of Lac de Salanfe:

Walking up to the first pass of the day, here is a "looking back" view of Tour Sallière on the left, the Col de Susanfe in the middle and the western peak of the Dents du Midi (Haute Cime) to the right:

Fealing like a bird:

Getting up to the top of the second pass of the day (Barberine), with a bit of snow. Minutes after this shot, we saw a Gypaète Barbu (sort of large vulture) gliding along the rock walls above us, those you can see beyond the col:

On the Col de Barberine, behind are tomorrow's mountains!:

Walking down into the spectacular Emosson Valley. This valley is probably one of the wildest of the whole area, with nowhere to go at the end of it (apart from the Barberine pass), no huts, no cabins, a remote and preserved place:

On our way to the head of the valley and the dam where we spent our second night, views and flowers are just amazing, here a "bouquet" of Joubarbe des Toits:

More in next posts! See ya, salut.