Days 73 & 74 – Not all mountains are snowy & Asterix the Gaul

Tuesday 25th & Wednesday 26th September 2018

Tuesday & Wednesday we hung out in and around Annecy. The following photos may just entice you in that direction one day.

Lac (Lake) Annecy, France. Just lovely
Look at me getting all arty with the photos!

Now, you probably don’t know this about me but I am somewhat obsessed with Asterix the Gaul comic books. So, when I spotted that a group of local climbs were named after my comic book heros…

Ne touchez pas les menhirs a gauche

… we (read ‘I’) just had to go check them out. The above rock climbing joke is by the way, hysterical. Ne touchez pas les menhirs a gauche (Do not touch the menhirs on the left). Well, it is if you know about the character Obelix and understand about rock climbing… No? Your loss.

Forget the grade. Check out the name. Cool!

Mr P was a very happy climber.

Mr P asks the age old question; “Does my bum look big in this?”

Now the mountains around Annecy aren’t huge, generally coming in just below 2,500 metres. Whilst this means they are not snowy it certainly does not mean that Mrs P and I aren’t interested in heading for the summits.

One peak has been recommended; La Tournette, at 2,338m has an interesting 50m summit block that looks accessible only by really good climbers but, hiding round the back of the summit bloc are some chains and ladders giving access to anyone with a head for heights and, fortunately for us, average climbers too. For cycling fans La Tournette also overlooks the famous Col de la Forclaz of Tour de France fame.

La Tournette, 2,338m from about half way up with summit block clearly visible

From the car park the ascent is around 1,100m and is supposed to take 3hrs 45 mins. (Plus about 2.5 hrs descent). It’s not a climb and not a walk, more a scramble. So, sensible people would start early, it’s a 6.5 hour round trip without breaks but, no. We only decide to do it at about 11am and don’t get to the car park until 2pm. Consequently Mrs P sets off at a rate of knots and we arrive on the deserted summit just 2.5 hrs after leaving the car park. It just shows what acclimatisation, fitness and a fear of not getting down in time for dinner can do for you.

Looking down on Lac Annecy

The good thing about heading up when most sensible people are heading to the bar is that you not only get the place mostly to yourself but also the late afternoon light is just spectacular.

Mrs P on the summit. Not even out of breath
Summit Elf atop La Tournette

It’s a very steep climb by the way. Even from the top we could still see Gandalf in the car park 1,100 metres below us.

All wave to Gandalf now…

On the way down I invoke my inner Mary Anning and spot a fossil. However, unlike Ms. Anning my palaeontology skills are limited to pointing and shouting; “Fossil!” I did at least have the wherewithal to take a photo and would be very interested to hear from anyone who can do better than; “Fossil!”

The fossil is the flowery rocky looking thing not the red thing (that is a shoe).

The setting sun added a whole new element of beauty to the already stunning views (did I just repeat myself?) changing the colour of the mountain pretty much by the second (I think I did you know…).

La Tournette doing its Ayers Rock impersonation

Anyway, finally got back to the campsite at 8.30 pm. Ate, thought about updating the blog (yeah, right) and Zzzzzzzzzz!

Tune in tomorrow for more photos to scare the mother-in-law and a tales of a very nervous climber.

2 thoughts on “Days 73 & 74 – Not all mountains are snowy & Asterix the Gaul

  1. Loved the post, especially the photo of La Tournette in the Orange light. We went up yesterday, our second time, wonderful mountain. The view over to Mont Blanc was clear and we had a great view of Mont Charvin our previous week’s ferrata, looking forward to your post on that.


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