Hiking at the foot of the glaciers

Hiking at the foot of the glaciers

For those of you who have a passion for the mountains, you've obviously already been to the Haute-Maurienne, stopping at the village of Bonneval-sur-Arc, or even at the Hameau de l'Ecot, haven't you?

But yes, you know, this accessible little corner of the world where you can easily find yourself transported back to the time of your grandparents, or even your great-grandparents...

You know what I'm talking about? Paved streets, Lauzes roofs, stone houses of the time; well, it is here, from the Hameau de l'Ecot that the adventure at the foot of the Glaciers begins.

A good pair of shoes on your feet, sticks in hand and a snack in the bag: Direction the Refuge des Évettes via the pass of the same name: We mark a small stop and admire the 180° view facing the glaciers: Wouahhhh it's beautiful anyway!!!!

glacier des évêtes

Contemplative in front of the Cirque des Évettes and the many summits that I would like to have the chance to see one day, the ascent continues.

Plan des Évettes, glacial moraines, meanders of rivers and high mountain flora, it is after crossing a Roman Bridge that a trail materialized by Cairns will lead us to the famous Lake Grand Méan.

lac du grand méan

Altitude 2855 meters: Here we are, in front of us stands this glacial lake which owes its colour to the mineral particles left over from the wear and tear of the rocks (also called "Glacier Flour").

Lulled by the sound of the cracking of the glaciers in permanent activity and observing the few floating burgundies* that persist at the end of this summer, we realize that we are lucky enough to be able to admire this with our own eyes. We will even let ourselves be tempted by the observation of the bowels of the glacier through a breach in the right bank.

glacier des évêtes

These images transport us into another dimension, but after a few hours of vacationing at the foot of this ice giant, it is already time to go back down into the valley.

It is with very beautiful images that we start this looping descent through the Gorges de la Reculaz.

chloé sous la glace

An awareness but not only...

In spite of everything, it must be said that glaciers are retreating, it's obvious and it's a very sad reality... (By the way, about twenty years ago, this Grand Méan lake didn't even exist on the map: IGN map comparison of 1998 and 2017).

Today, I'm not convinced that I'm an eco-friendly person and that I should become one, but like many people, I tend to be more responsible in my consumption in the face of this observation.

Somewhere, I want to act (on my own scale of course) because I love and admire these mountains and they are my playground in summer and winter.

Many articles, reports, whether on the radio, TV or on the internet will mention that to preserve our planet we must :

- Limit your water and energy consumption

- Sort your waste

- Controlling your purchases

- Respect the environment ... and so on.

Nowadays, everyone is aware of the need for better consumption, should we already implement it (and that's another story).

What I just want to express through these lines is that it is not enough to simply become aware of things, it is to act by gradually changing habits and by making our children aware of all these changes ...

Friends in love with the mountains, whether you live there or only enjoy them for a few weeks a year during your stay, please respect these mountains and the natural environments you love to go to so much.

Don't throw your rubbish in the nature, don't pick up flowers in protected areas, respect the mountain paths in order to avoid erosion...

I could extend a few more lines but understand that you can simply admire this nature without destroying it little by little and be aware of what it offers you every day by its beauty: It only asks to be respected.


*Small block of ice with low emergence (it emerges less than a meter and can extend over an area of about 20 m2)

(The author of this article disclaims all responsibility of any kind for the ascent of this route).

chloé in ice cave

glacier du grand méant

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