Saturday, May 29, 2010

La Montagne de Sullens

Susie's and my last longish hike in the Savoie was on the west side of the Montagne de Sullens, which rises, southeast of Thônes, to just over 6,000 feet. Starting out below the Col du Plan de Bois, the trail wound its way around the northwest slope of the Montagne de Sullens. We could see across the valley clear to the Col de la Croix Fry, where we'd started a hike a few days earlier.

And in the valley below was the village of Manigod.

To our east rose the Aravis mountain range, with the pyramidal Pointe de Merdassier and the jagged Etale. There's a trail up the ridge of the Merdassier, but taking it involves climbing something like 2650 feet straight up.

The slopes of the Montagne de Sullens were dotted with chalets for working farms. This 0ne had laundry hanging out to dry. Note the massive protection against avalanches and falling rocks.

Our path wound south, with the Montagne de Sullens on our right, and the pass of the Plan du Tour ahead, as our goal.

The Montagne de Sullens, at least on its east face, is awfully barren. It reminds me of mountains in Scotland, perhaps not coincidentally because in both places sheep or goats have probably eaten most of the vegetation.

While the goats continued to munch, off to our right, we reached the Plan du Tour, having climbed about 1,400 feet along the way. At the pass, we enjoyed the great vista to the south before retracing our steps downhill to the car.

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