Via Alpina – Traverse of the Alps (7 countries): story and photos

Here is the story and 30+ photos of our traverse of the Alps along the Via Alpina.

Via Alpina (© Anna Gatta)
Via Alpina (© Anna Gatta)

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Trail: Gorges de l’Ardeche (France)

After a couple of climbing days in Seynes and Russan -a bit too polished, and old style for our taste- we went to the Gorges de l’Ardeche for a great to trail running day. There was too much water to cross Ardeche river, so we had to improvise some off trail sections to complete our planned loop. I am not sure that besides wild boars many have seen the Gorges from that angle but it was fun, the scenery was amazing and we had the place for ourselves

Gorges de l'Ardeche (© A. Gatta)
Gorges de l’Ardeche (© Anna Gatta)

We made a first loop from Chames but there was too much water to cross the Gué de Charmassonnet so we went off trail and joined the road close to the Belvédère du Serre de Tourre and then back to Chames.

Gorges de l'Ardeche (© P. Gatta)
Gorges de l’Ardeche (© P.Gatta)

The we made a second loop, parked below Belvédère de Gournier, ran down to the river close to the Bivouac Gournier, follow the trail down along the river to The Templiers.

Gorges de l'Ardeche (© P. Gatta)
Gorges de l’Ardeche (© P.Gatta)

From the The Templiers we went up to the road D290 and ran back to the parking.

Gorges de l'Ardeche (© P. Gatta)
Gorges de l’Ardeche (© P.Gatta)

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Alpinism: Aiguille de Roc – Children of the Moon l’intégrale (Mont Blanc Massif)

For the first time of the year, I went with Julien to l’Envers des Aiguille to climb Children of the Moon l’intégrale at Aiguille de Roc (Mont Blanc Massif).

Aiguille de Roc – Children of the Moon l'intégrale (© P. Gatta)
Aiguille de Roc – Children of the Moon l’intégrale (© P. Gatta)

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Alpinism: Aiguille du Midi – La Dame du Lac (Mont Blanc Massif)

Yesterday Morgan and I climbed La Dame du Lac at Aiguille du Midi (Mont Blanc Massif), a nice route overall with a very nice first half, especially the second pitch. As often in the Aiguille du Midi, the second half is a bit confusing and we mistakenly climbed some pitches of Quand Yannick s’en mêle.

Aiguille du Midi – La Dame du Lac (© M. Baduel)
Aiguille du Midi – La Dame du Lac (© M. Baduel)

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Alpinism: Aiguille du Chardonnet – Forbes Ridge (Mont Blanc Massif)

Aiguille Chardonnet (3,824m) is a beautiful peak of Mont Blanc Massif and the Arête Forbes (Forbes Ridge, AD, III), probably its most popular route.

Sunrise on Aiguille Chardonnet and the Arête Forbes on the left (© A. Gatta)
Sunrise on Aiguille Chardonnet and the Arête Forbes on the left (© P. Gatta)

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Alpinism: Roi de Siam – Petit Capoussin (Mont Blanc Massif)

Roi de Siam (3,693m) is a relatively small peak surrounded by famous ones like Grand Capucin, Mont Blanc du Tacul… Nevertheless, it offers great routes on a perfect granit such as Petit Capoussin (ED-, 300m, 6b+) that we climbed yesterday with Pascal, Marie No and Matthias. Great conditions, dry route and sunny day.

Roi de Siam, Petit Capoussin, 2nd pitch (© P. Gatta)
Roi de Siam, Petit Capoussin, 2nd pitch (© P. Gatta)

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Alpinism: Aiguille du Peigne – Contamine Vaucher (Mont Blanc Massif)

Contamine, Labrunie and Vaucher opened their route on Aiguille du Peigne almost 60 years ago. It is a classic, nice, logical route and despite the reasonable grades (TD, 6a 400m), we ended up with pumped arms.

Summit of Aiguille du Peigne (© P. Gatta)
Summit of Aiguille du Peigne (© P. Gatta)

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Alpinism: Brévent – La Piste Oubliée (Aiguilles Rouges)

The La Piste Oubliée is a nice short route in Brevent (2,525m) with a nice 6b pitch. It is a good alternative to the crowded Frison-Roche (yellow), La Fin de Babylone (red) or Poème à Lou.

Brévent – La Piste Oubliée in green (© P. Gatta)
Brévent – La Piste Oubliée in green (© P. Gatta)

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Trail: Traverse of the Alps completed

We finished the green trail of the Via Alpina in Lenk as planned. Then we had several options to reach Chamonix… and since the weather was really bad we chose to cross Rawilpass to quickly join Sion, then Martigny, Vallorcine and Col des Montets to Chamonix.

Traverse of the Alps - Tre Cime di Lavaredo (© A. Gatta)
Traverse of the Alps – Tre Cime di Lavaredo (© A. Gatta)

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Trail: Traverse of the Alps – 1,200 km and +62,000m

Mid June, Philippe and Anna will start their Traverse of the Alps, a 1,200 km challenge across 7 countries.

Traverse of the Alps (© A. Gatta)
Traverse of the Alps (© A. Gatta)

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