Col du Palet (2652 m) & col de la Grassaz (2637 m)

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Col du Palet (2652 m) & col de la Grassaz (2637 m)

Postby Hallu » Wed 06 Aug, 2014 11:29 pm

The Vanoise is the first French national park (which isn't much to say, as it was created in the 1960's...). So you still find refuges, farms, and even a cable car sometimes. But compared to non-NP areas in France, there is no bikes, no para-gliding, no dogs, no gliders. The Vanoise is well known for its glaciers, so I wanted to check them out (albeit from afar). The col du Palet is well known for having panoramic views toward the highest peaks in the region (La Grande Casse, 3855 m, or la Grande Motte, 3653 m). I decided to make a loop, going back through the col de la Grassaz. That meant I would break my elevation gain record, with a daunting 1250 m. My knees are shattered at the moment I'm writing those lines.
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Last edited by Hallu on Wed 06 Aug, 2014 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Hallu
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Re: Col du Palet (2652 m) & col de la Grassaz (2637 m)

Postby Hallu » Wed 06 Aug, 2014 11:34 pm

I picked a sunny day for this, but it wasn't devoided of clouds unfortunately. But it added a bit of charm. Despite the elevation gain, the distance is quite great so it's rarely very steep. A bonus for this walk : a huge number of marmots. Families with youngs, and not scared of much. At first, after climbing about 500 m, the summits were partially obscured by the clouds. But slowly there were some sunny windows when I could get some great photos. The glaciers were there, although from far away quite hard to fathom, but a good zoom and a touch of color correction and they shine with their light blue crackled slowly dropping mass. But those weren't the only upside. I was surrounded by different mountain ranges, some menacing enough to remind you of the darkest fantasy movies you've seen, others a bright grey with patches of snow, due to a quite awful summer weather-wise. Lakes were an added bonus, some interesting geological formations (red and blue rocks) and a huge variety of Alpine flowers. This is clearly the Alps at their best, although it's quite popular. Nevertheless, the way back I hardly met anyone, and despite a 28° day at the car park, it felt like 2° at the col de la Grassaz, where I got my gloves and beanie out. More marmots to accompany me on the way down, and I realized that because I was taking so many photos, I took about 7h30 instead of the 6h mentionned in the guidebook. But it was definitely worth it.
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Re: Col du Palet (2652 m) & col de la Grassaz (2637 m)

Postby icefest » Thu 07 Aug, 2014 7:46 am

Stunning.

Fantastic.

I'm incredibly envious!

Time we got some glaciers in tasmania...
Men wanted for hazardous journey. Low wages, bitter cold, long hours of complete darkness. Safe return doubtful.
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Re: Col du Palet (2652 m) & col de la Grassaz (2637 m)

Postby ofuros » Thu 07 Aug, 2014 9:49 am

Breathtaking scenery............
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
https://ofuros.exposure.co/
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