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NEW TREK FOR 2020! - Dolomites Alta Via 1 and the The Annapurna Circuit

Tour of the Vanoise Self Guided Trek

A CIRCUIT OF THE VANOISE NATIONAL PARK

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France's first national park this area of the Western Alps is a largely unknown jewel and well worth the effort. The Tour of the Vanoise takes you into high and remote places trekking from hut to hut in un-spoilt, tranquil and stunningly beautiful surroundings. This 80 kilometer tour is a real challenge, the terrain is not for the faint hearted, steep arêtes and exposed traverses makes the this tour a real adventure.

7 night itinerary

Day 1 ARRIVAL IN CHAMPAGNY EN VANOISE:

Arrival in Champagny.

Accommodation:

Hotel, private en-suite rooms, B & B

Day 2 CHAMPAGNY EN VANOISE TO CHAMPAGNY EN HAUTE:

Your day starts with a steep ascent through the Bois de Genevriers and the forest du Miollet from Champagny to reach the top of the Champagny cable car (1968m). Traverse eastwards to the Tougne Rnes (2198m) before following the river valley up to the Col de la Bauche de Mio (2534m). With stunning views over the Vanoise National Park, you take a descending traverse through the Grande Perriere to the mountain alpage of La Veliere (2162m) before descending to Champagny en Haute.

Daily stats:

Distance: 14km | Height gain: +1300m | Descent: -1000m

Accommodation:

Gite, dormitory, half board

Day 3 CHAMPAGNY EN HAUTE TO REFUGE GRAND BEC:

Another steep start to the day as you climb up through the Bois de la Taillette to the Refuge du Plan des Goulles (2350m), which is open for refreshments during the summer months. Great views back towards your route from the day before. From here you make a steady ascent through the Passage de la Grande Marianne before you reach the small col (2740m) below Pointe Meribel. A steep and tricky decent with the aid of in-situ chains, brings you into a deserted boulder strewn comb with ancient glacial remains. You finish the day with an easy traverse to the Refuge Grand Bec (2403m).

Daily stats:

Distance: 10km | Height gain: +1400m | Descent: -500m

Accommodation:

Refuge, dormitory, half board

Day 4 REFUGE GRAND BEC TO REFUGE COL DE LA VANOISE:

This is one of the best days on the Tour, traversing to the Col Lechaux (2564m) and on via steep and exposed terrain to the Col Noir and the Col des Rosset (2570m). Stunning views are to be had all day long over towards Courchevel, Aiguille de la Vanoise, Grand Casse, Grand Marchet and the Glaciers du Vanoise. Marvel at the beautiful rock formations as you descend to the Chalet des Gardes, before circling around the base of the Aiguille to the refuge to Refuge Col de Vanoise (Felix Fauvre) (2516m).

Daily stats:

Distance: 12km | Height gain: +710m | Descent: -550m

Accommodation:

Refuge, dormitory, half board

Day 5 REFUGE COL DE LA VANOISE TO REFUGE VALETTE:

Another great day trekking from the Refuge Col de Vanoise to the Refuge de la Valette, with fantastic views back towards the exposed cols from the day before. Make your descent from the refuge to Chalet Inferieur and down through the river valley (1850m). From here the path ascends through what looks to be an impassable steep gully, as you move up through an amphitheater of the stunning rock buttresses of the Grand Marchet and the Petit Aiguille de l’Arcelin. A steep and exposed final ascent brings you to the Col du Grand Marchet (2490m). Descend from the col and across the Cirque du Grand Marchet before a final ascent to the Col de la Valette and on to the refuge (2550m).

Daily stats:

Distance: 12km | Height gain: +750m | Descent: -550m

Accommodation:

Refuge, dormitory, half board

Day 6 REFUGE VALETTE TO PRALOGNAN:

An easy day in comparison, as you descend from the refuge to Les Prioux. Refreshments can be purchased from the Refuge Repoju and rest awhile before you make the beautiful traverse along the river and on towards the village of Pralognan (1416m).

Daily stats:

Distance: 14km | Height gain: +200m | Descent: -1200m

Accommodation:

Hotel with twin or double rooms, half board

Day 7 PRALOGNAN TO CHAMPAGNY EN VANOISE:

Your final day takes you to the far west national park, climbing steeply at times, through the Bois de la Rossa to the Rocher des Fattes (1705m) and on to La Montagne (2003m). From here you move up through the steep sided Couloir de la Grande Pierre to the Col and on to the ridge Crete de Mont Charvel (2400m). Then traversing high on the ridge, with amazing views over the national park before making your descent through the Forest de la Dent and to the village of Champagny en Vanoise.

Daily stats:

Distance: 16km | Height gain: +1100m | Descent: -1500m

Accommodation:

Hotel, twin or double room, B&B.

Day 8 DEPART CHAMPAGNY:

Breakfast is included however on the departure day you are free to leave at any time you wish.

Guide notes:

Once you have completed the trek I hope you will agree that the Traverse of the Tour of the Vanoise is truly an exceptional trek.

"Take only memories, leave only footprints"
Chief Seattle