thomas11

2008-06-15

Hike: Sous-Dine

Filed under: geneva — Tags: , , — thomas11 @ 21:04

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to do a hike with just me and a charming girl :-) We climbed the Sous-Dine [fr], a 2001 meter summit, again in the Haute-Savoie.

Sous-Dine hike

As usual, it was quite cloudy and the view suffered, but we still managed to get a few breathtaking glimpses. In fact, concerning the panorama, this was the most impressive hike so far. The Sous-Dine has no clearly defined summit, but is a stretched range with a steep dropoff on one side. Along the whole range, you can see Lac Léman on one side and the giants of the French Alps on the other! The Sous-Dine itself consists to a large part of rocks that have been splintered, perforated and bleached white over time, which gives the scenery a feel of being more exotic or high up than it actually is.

Sous-Dine hike

The starting point is easy to find. Drive towards Thorens, and turn left at the sign “Col des Fleuries”, which is easy to overlook!, and drive until the end of the road. The path up is sign-posted all the way through.

We said that we definitely want to repeat this one on a day with clear view. There is a route circling the mountain, so we still have some variety to look forward to.

Hike: Lac de Gers

Filed under: geneva — Tags: , , — thomas11 @ 21:02

Yes, more hiking! Sorry if you’re fed up with it already (or just envious??). Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short. I’m just really happy that I manage to get out to the mountains every Sunday so far, with some nice people sharing this passion.

Glocals hike with Phillip - Lac de Gers Glocals hike with Phillip - Lac de Gers

Last week, the lake Lac de Gers [fr] in the mountains around the curiously named, but really beautiful village Sixt Fer à Cheval in the French Haute-Savoie region was our destination. To be honest, the hike isn’t that spectacular. It starts with a steep ascent, then follows some idyllic meadows with grazing cows towards the lake at the end of the high valley. There’s a cheese dairy, restaurant, and mountain hut all in one. It’s probably due to the again very obscured view that I didn’t find it that exciting, although I must say that it has everything a classic relaxed hike must have. It follows a beautiful river with some waterfalls, there are cows, a mountain lake with the characteristic stillness and mirror-like reflection, and a cool beer at the end.

2008-06-04

Hike: Pointe de la Gay

Filed under: geneva — Tags: , , , , — thomas11 @ 19:42

Last Sunday, I had a blast joining a hiking group from Glocals, a web site mainly for expats in Geneva. Phillip, opera singer and mountain freak, organizes a hike almost every Sunday. This time, the destination was the Pointe de la Gay [French], a summit of the pre-Alps in the Savoie (en. Savoy) region in neighboring France. With 1800 meters, it’s not that high, but its location between the high summits of the French Alps and the Lac Léman (Lake Geneva) allows fabulous views in either direction.

Glocals hike with Phillip - Pointe de la Gay

The glocals group was great. We were an impressive 17 or so people, and I didn’ t even count the different nationalities. It was great to meet so many nice people as I’m new in Geneva. That plus great hikes means I’ll join again next Sunday!

Glocals hike with Phillip - Pointe de la Gay

If someone finds this when researching practical hiking information: the French page I linked above has all the information. If you can’t read French, the gist is, drive to the tiny village l’Ermont, near Belleveaux; it’s on Google Maps. From there, the paths are signposted. It’s an ascent of 850 meters, and the round trip should take four to five hours. Some of the paths are narrow and steep, and while it’s not dangerous, it can be difficult to walk when it’s wet and muddy.

2008-06-03

Hiking has started! – Morges

Filed under: geneva — Tags: , , , — thomas11 @ 21:04

First a very short update for my poor regular readers: I’m really too busy to blog here, it seems. I feel bad about it, though, and will improve on this. Monday to Friday I really don’t do anything exciting, because apartment hunting takes up quite a bit of time in addition to work. Well, that is exciting, in fact. It’s really difficult in Geneva and probably deserves a post on its own! Add to that the usual everyday stuff and studying French a little, and there’s not much time left. However, I did start to follow one of my passions on the last two weekends: hiking!

Monnaz, Lac Léman

Starting with a short and pleasant hike at Lac Léman (Lake Geneva/Genfer See), I did a round trip starting in Morges, between Genève and Lausanne. Clocking in at around 2.5 hours, it leads through a lovely scenery where vineyards, pastures, and little villages alternate. There’s no need to describe the route in detail here, as it’s recommended by the Morges tourist office and thus marked and signposted pretty well. You can get a copy of a map with the route and a short description there. The hike starts at the train station, which is just five minutes from the lake, and leads to the villages of Joulens and Monnaz (lovely!), with great views over the lakes. From Monnaz, it crosses the valley to reach the castle of Vufflens (not open to the public). From there, it leads back in a similar fashion via the village Denes. Alternatively, follow the valley between Monnaz and Vufflen for a straight route back to Morges. It’s a pleasant footpath along the creek, and shady.

near Morges, Lac Léman

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