Spring, Summer, Autumn Walks and Trekking
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single footstep”… Lao Tzu
Spring… Trekking in Alpine mountains in springtime is a unique experience.
You can witness the awakening of nature after the long months of winter. It starts from the valleys and rises to the high peaks where the flowers will only begin to grow in late summer. Animals will come out of hibernation and can be seen grazing on the snow free alpine pastures with their young.
Springtime trekking in the Alps can change quite a lot from year to year depending on how much snow has fallen in the winter and the temperatures in April/June period. Sometimes spring can be considered to have begun by mid-March, sometimes it starts only at the end of April. Spring time provides a tranquil opportunity to explore the undiscovered Alps.
Summer… Who can resist the natural beauty and timeless charm of the Alps in summer?
It is a wonderful time to trek and explore; with alpine flora and fauna at its most abundant. See the marmots play and bask in the sunshine; larger mammals such as ibex, mouflon and chamois graze the high pastures and craggy outcrops. Above you can see Bearded Vultures, Golden Eagles, and other raptors circle high above the mountain peaks.
The longer days of summer give you time to linger over exquisite alpine flowers, dip a toe in a clear mountain stream or just lie back and enjoy the sun.
For effortless walking come in July and August when the ski lifts are open to walkers. You can step off the lift and experience the wonderful views this region of the Alps has to offer.
Autumn… Trekking in autumn is perhaps the most undervalued season to explore the mountains.
At times it can feel that you have the mountains entirely to yourself. Discovering the region at this time of year has the added bonus of experiencing the mountain side as a patchwork of burnt umber, russets and gold. The trees welcome you into the forests making autumnal trekking an amazing experience.
The animals such as ibex come down to lower levels from their summer grazing at higher altitudes. You will have the opportunity to take some of the best landscapes pictures of the year.
The weather does play its part at this time of year and a degree of flexibility in planning is necessary.
Days are shorter especially in late November but you will be able to rest by a log fire at the end of the day enjoying an après trek glow and a sense of accomplishment.
Journey with us…
The best way to enjoy the Alps is on foot with an informed guide. Below is a selection of trips from easy one-day walks to multi day adventures.
A shaded woodland walk, climbing to the largest natural lake in the Ecrins at 1530m. After a picnic lunch and maybe dipping your toes in the lake, we finish in the tiny village of La Danchère.
York Mallory Museum and walk
(Museum site in French: http://www.allemont.com/musee-du-rivier-espace-york-mallory.html )
The museum in Le Rivier d’Allemont commemorates Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, younger brother of the legendary mountaineer George Mallory who died on Everest in 1924. Trafford died with his wife and crew members in a plane crash on 14th November 1944. The walk is through a pine forest to the beautiful alpine meadow where we can still see the remains of the aircraft.
The 21 bends
Walk from Villard Reculas to Alpe d’Huez to celebrate the 21 bends of “Le Tour de France.” You encounter panoramic views of Belledonne range, Les Grandes Rousses, the mighty bulk of the Cime de Cornillon (2475m) and across to Le Taillefer.
Col du Sabot:
A beautiful location, initially reached by car, which looks over the Lac de Grand Maison to the north and Mont Blanc. A good area to see Marmots and Eagles.
Vallée du Vénéon to La Bérarde
Start by driving through the picturesque Vallée du Vénéon taking in a magnificent waterfall en route to Saint Christophe and its museum dedicated to alpinism and the famous café “La Cordée”.
Back on the road for another 11km of dramatic scenery to La Bérarde, where the road ends in a magnificent valley. Lunch in a quiet café or restaurant to take in the peace and tranquility of La Bérarde.
Trekking: From the village of La Bérarde there are many walks for all levels and abilities from just a couple of hours along the valley floor to the refuge Le Carrelet, to multi-day treks staying in mountain refuges.
Overnight stays in a mountain refuge:
For more demanding treks and multi-day expeditions we use mountain refuges to limit what we have to carry and to lessen the environmental impact.
Your trip will include:
Collection from your accommodation
Guide to and from the hut
The price of your food and accommodation will be paid directly to the guardian of the hut in cash
Accomodation is usually a sleeping platform in a communal dormitory.
Sheets and blankets are provided.
Travelling light, wild camping
In good conditions there is no better way of spending a night in the mountains than under the stars.
Just a sleeping bag, mat and a bivi bag. It’s a great way to do something different.
Your trip will include:
Collection from your accommodation
Travel to the area
Guiding throughout the duration of the trip
Sample trekking itinerary:
Monday: Alpette to La Villette, via Mont Frais
Tuesday: Plateau des Lacs from the village of Oulles
Wednesday: From Le Bourg d’Arud village to La Muzelle refuge staying overnight
Thursday: Descend to Lac Lauvitel and the village of Danchère
Friday: York Mallory museum and trek
Sample excursion itinerary
Monday: York Mallory museum and Lac de Grand Maison
Tuesday: Vallée du Vénéon to La Bérarde
Wednesday: Poutran to Alpette (plus 7€ lift pass operating in July and August)
Thursday: 21 bends, La mines de Brandes and the Col de Sarenne
Friday: Chateau Vizille and park
Saturday: Bourg d’Oisans market plus……