Summits at 3000
Le Rateau3 131 m
The Rateau d'Aussois offers a 3000 meter climb that is quite easy in the middle of summer. The majority of the circuit passes by a perfectly marked altitude path.
From the parking of the Plan d'Amont dam, take the direction of the Pont de la Sétéria (2,206 m) then follow the GR5 which climbs steeply to a landing (the very beautiful "Plateau du Mauvais Berger" with its grassy carpets dotted with erratic boulders, playground of the marmots). Continue by multiple laces towards the Col de la Masse (2 923 m). Be careful, snow is often present in this area until the end of June. At the Col de la Masse, you may have the chance to see female ibexes, which often spend the summer in this area with their young (the éterlous).
Continue south to the summit. On this final ascent, the path is not marked but many cairns guide you to the summit where you have a panoramic view to the Mont-Blanc. From up there, you will also see the village right there, under your feet, as if you had just left!
Start / Finish : Parking du Plan d'Amont, Aussois
Difference in altitude : +1100 m/- 1100m
Distance : 11.5 km
The Point of the Observatory3016 m
A hike without technical difficulty taking you to the Pointe de l'Observatoire via the Col d'Aussois (2,916m). A "real summit", well pointed at the top and a nice "observatory" post on the Aussois valleys, the Vanoise glaciers and the Mont-Blanc. A pass and a summit that also mark the passage between the Mauriennne and Tarentaise valleys. If you continue along the path, you will arrive at Pralognan la Vanoise.
Except for the off-trail part to reach the Pointe from the Col d'Aussois, the path is well marked and not technical in the middle of summer (be careful, the snow remains well present until the end of June). The itinerary starts from the dam of the lake of Plan d'Amont and continues on the peaceful plateau of Fond d'Aussois, in the heart of the preserved environment of the Vanoise National Park, an ideal place to discover the fauna(especially the marmots) and the flora.
The Fond d'Aussois refuge, at the end of the valley, awaits you for a gourmet break before climbing to the pass and the summit. The final climb is not very technical but a bit long. Shortly before the pass, you will also see a cross that marks the arrival of a pilgrimage that takes place every summer on the first Sunday of August.
Departure / arrival : Plan d'Amont parking lot, Aussois
Difference in altitude : +1000 m/-1000 m
Distance : 11 km
Safety in the mountains
Even if the hikes up to the Rateau d'Aussois or the Pointe de l'Observatoire are accessible, the high mountain remains a delicate environment where each person commits himself under his own responsibility. These hikes require a minimum of equipment:
- Hiking shoes
- Spare socks and T-shirt + warm clothes in the backpack (even in hot weather, temperatures at 3000m can be very cool)
- Food and at least two liters of water per person
- Sunscreen, cap, IGN map, GPS and charged phone
These high altitude summits are accessible by "classic" hikers in July/August/September (residual snow may still be present until June or even early July). Remember to inform someone of your itinerary and let them know when you are back. Finally, for these high altitude hikes, the earlier you leave, the better: you avoid finishing the hike at nightfall and you limit the risk of thunderstorms at the end of the day (always possible in the mountains in case of strong heat). To be 100% safe, don't hesitate to call on a mountain leader: the professionals of Aussois know how to accompany you in your technical progress.