Summer 2020 hiking programme

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Please note that these hikes are subject to change depending on the abilities of the group members and the weather conditions on the day.

Friday full-day hikes

These are full-day walks starting from Les Deux Alpes. We will use the Venosc gondola, either a single ascent or a return ride, for all of the full-day hikes.The gondola ride is not included, and is at a fixed price of €6.30 for a single or return. You will need to bring a packed lunch unless we eat in a restaurant or refuge in which case you should still bring some snacks.

10th July: St Christophe en Oisans via les Balcons de Veneon

River VeneonThis hike takes us beyond Les Perrons into wilder terrain. An unlikely looking balcony trail somehow threads its way through steep cliff faces overlooking the Veneon river. The route stays high above the valley floor, giving excellent views across the river to the Tete de Laurenoure far above. We will stop for lunch at a historic restaurant in St. Christophe before dropping through the woods to a footbridge over the Veneon. We end the walk by following the riverside path back to Venosc and catching the gondola back to Les Deux Alpes.

Meeting: Place de Venosc at 09.00
Additional costs: Returning to Les Deux Alpes on the Venosc Gondola (€6.30), lunch in St. Christophe
Distance: 18km
Height gained/lost: 850m ascent/1550m descent

17th July: Pied Moutet

Although small compared to the towering peaks around the glacier, Pied Moutet is nonetheless an impressive mountain in its own right. The climb to its summit is surprisingly rocky and wild, despite its proximity to the ski pistes. This walk will take us from Les Deux Alpes to the Fioc ridge, criss-crossing ski and bike pistes as we go. From the Col de la Mais at just over 2000m, we take the rocky path to the summit. This scrambly route leads to the cross at the eastern end of the summit ridge, where an airy walk leads to the top. This popular hiking spot offers an amazing panoramic view of the Oisans region, including the Veneon and Romanche valleys and the alluvial plain of Bourg d’Oisans. We will return via the scenic forests of La Moliere.

Meeting: Place de Venosc at 09.00
Additional costs: Refreshments at La Kanata or La Moliere
Distance: 14km
Height gained/lost: 800m

24th July: Le Sapey, tour du Pied Moutet

Le SapeyThis loop around Pied Moutet from Les Deux Alpes feels like a step back in time. We will take in ancient farming hamlets and remote seeming pasture lands without ever travelling far from the resort. We start off with a stroll through woodland to La Moliere, where we can stop for a morning coffee with a view. Continuing onwards, we will cross the bowl above les Travers along well-worn shepherds’ tracks. Eventually, we pop out onto a shoulder of the Pied Moutet ridges. A good track through lush pastures leads us to the mostly abandoned hamlet of Le Sapey. After a lunch break, we will head back to Venosc on a shady footpath through the woods.

Meeting: 09.30 outside the Point I tourist office at the Mont de Lans end of the resort
Additional costs: Venosc Gondola (€6.30), refreshments at La Molière
Distance: 16km
Height gained/lost: 500m ascent, 1100m descent

31st July: Lac de la Muzelle

Lac and Col de la MuzelleLac de la Muzelle is one of the classic hikes of the region, and with good reason. The stiff hike up through the woods is kept interesting with sights of the Muzelle waterfall and remnants of old settlements, until we pop out of the trees with fantastic views back to les Deux Alpes. The path winds its way steadily upwards, not easing off until a few hundred metres before the lake. The effort is rewarded by an idyllic scene with the Refuge de la Muzelle overlooking the lake of the same name. The lake itself nestles in a sheltered spot between two ridges. The lake is surrounded by pleasant pastures, while the rocky peaks stand guard above. There is an option to continue to a viewpoint over the Muzelle glaciers on a high ridge, adding about two hours to the walk. Return is by the same route.

Meeting: Place de Venosc at 09.00 or 09.20 at the bottom of the gondola
Additional costs: Return trip on the Venosc gondola
Distance: 15km
Height gained/lost: 1300m

7th August: No hike

14th August: To be confirmed


Thursday Nature Walks

These shorter afternoon walks at a fairly easy pace will focus on discovering the environment around Les Deux Alpes. All the walks will cover the natural history of the area, including the alpine flowers, woodlands and animals we may come across. We will also be talking about the geology of the Alps and the human history of the region. All of these walks start at 1pm at the specified start point and last from three to four hours including stops.

Venosc Waterfall9th July: Venosc Alpages and the Cascade de la Muzelle

This walk takes a circular route from Venosc, reached by gondola. We will start off walking through Bourg d’Arud and up the steep, wooded lower slopes of La Coche. Our loop passes through several old farming settlements, now mostly abandoned, where we can explore the history of this typical alpine way of life. We cross the river draining the Muzelle lake close to our high point at Le Cerisier – the cherry wood. Now the path wends back to the valley floor, with a stop to admire the spectacular waterfall towards the end of the walk. We will stop for refreshments at La Guingette before returning to Les Deux Alpes using the Venosc gondola.

Meeting: Place de Venosc at 13.00, or the bottom of the Venosc gondola at 13.20
Additional costs: return gondola ticket (€6.30), refreshments at La Guingette
Distance: 5km
Height gained/lost: 400m

16th July: Bons Roman Arch

After a descent via the Mont de Lans chairlift, we take a walk through the unspoilt village of Bons and down to the ancient Roman road. Passing through the remains of the historic arch, we then climb to the hamlet of Le Ponteil. A further climb takes us through old alpage lands before a pleasant balcony trail leads back to Bons.

Meeting: 13.00 outside the Point I tourist information centre at the Mont de Lans end of the resort
Additional costs: none, the chairlift is free
Distance: 7km
Height gained/lost: 370m

Mining remains23rd July: Venosc history tour

Explore the history of Venosc, from the high alpine farming to the hidden industrial heritage of the old slate and anthracite workings. We start off passing through the old village streets before taking a lovely woodland path to Ferraret. A return path brings us to the top of the village, where we head up past a chapel towards the mine workings. Although there are no underground workings visible, we do get to see the old lift station as well as mining carts and railways.

Meeting: Place de Venosc at 13.00, or the bottom of the Venosc gondola at 13.20
Additional costs: return gondola ticket (€6.30)
Distance: 5km
Height gained/lost: 400m

Viewpoint Les Perrons30th July: Les Perrons

This pleasant walk takes us to one on Les Deux Alpes’ most celebrated vantage points, with spectacular views along the Veneon valley. With a mixture of woodland, open pastures and rocky outcrops, we will have a great opportunity to learn about the summer flora of the Alps.

Meeting: Place de Venosc at 13:00
Additional costs: none
Distance: 4km
Height gained/lost: 300m

6th August: Venosc discovery trails

This is an easier version of the Venosc history tour on the 23rd July. We start off with the same forest paths, seeing how different life was less than a century ago in these valleys. However, instead of the steep climb to the slate workings, we turn downhill when we regain the village, taking a look at the historic buildings of Venosc and Bourg d’Arud.

Meeting: Place de Venosc at 13.00, or the bottom of the Venosc gondola at 13.20
Additional costs: return gondola ticket (€6.30)
Distance: 5km
Height gained/lost: 200m

13th August: La Molière

La Moliere restaurantThis loop around the base of the Pied Moutet and Vallée Blanche ski sector takes us to the hamlet of La Molière where we will stop for refreshments at the wonderful restaurant. This walk takes us through meadows and woodlands with plenty of opportunities for flower spotting before glimpsing some great views of the Romanche valley. The route back takes a track above La Moliere farm

Meeting: 13.00 outside the Point I tourist office at the Mont de Lans end of the resort
Additional costs: refreshments at La Molière
Distance: 6.5km
Height gained/lost: 250m