Terraced trail of Carro
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Terraced trail of Carro
BONNEVAL-SUR-ARC

Terraced trail of Carro

Architecture
Lake and glacier
Pastoralism
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A walk along the rocky alpine pastures, facing the majestic glacial cirques of the Arc springs.
“Come here to walk in October, when the wind ripples through the yellow grasses, and where there are only steppes, peaks and glaciers as far as the eye can see. And no reminders of the hustle and bustle in the valley below... Ÿou will feel so small amidst the spectacular Great Alps!” Jérémie Jourdan, Vanoise National Park ranger.

12 points of interest
History

Lenta Valley

On the slopes of this high-altitude valley, the people of Bonneval-sur-Arc continue to maintain the hay meadows. The alpine chalets scattered across the valley, now restored for use as secondary residences, were used primarily for making butter and cheese, or to store hay. Some chalets are semi-buried, so as not to stand in the way of an avalanche. Others are protected by a “tourne”, a stone bow built upwind of the building.
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Fauna

Chamois herds

If you leave early and have a pair of binoculars, you will be able to spot herds of chamois on the slopes of Arses or Reys. The goats, suckling their kids which are born in June, remain wild despite the protection offered by the National Park. Males live apart, rejoining the females during the mating season in autumn. It is to preserve their peace that visitors are prohibited from taking their dogs there, as even if they are on a leash, their barking and odour are a cause of stress for the ungulates.
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Lake

The lakes of Plan des Eaux and Pys

If you come across these small mountain lakes in the summer with their peaceful waters, you’ll find it hard to imagine that a whole life grows there according to an annual cycle. At the end of autumn, the surface of the lake freezes over from the ice and snow. Its thickness increases and deprives the body of water of dissolved oxygen, essential to life. The lake will only resume its nurturing role when the ice-pack breaks down during the short summer. It is then that life suddenly resumes for the plankton, the dipteran larvae, the dragonflies, the damselflies, the common frog, and more rarely the introduced salmonids such as brown trout or arctic char.
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Pastoralism

Flocks of sheep

In the summer you will be sure to come across the sheep grazing freely, sharing the pasture with the wild ungulates (chamois, ibex) often perched high up on the mountains. This is the local breed known as “Thônes et Martod” named after the village of origin. Rural and a good producer of milk and wool, this horned ewe is experiencing a renewed interest from local breeders. The recent return of the wolf to the French Alps has forced breeders to put in place means of protection which are not always adapted to these small flocks of Haute Maurienne.
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Viewpoint

View over the Evettes Glacier

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Glacier des Evettes and the Petite Ciamarella depuis le Plan des Evettes

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Fauna

The wheatear

Typical of the alpine grasslands, this passerine is easy to spot as it seems to be pretty active. Its song will accompany you along your journey, provided that it has some rocks for keeping watch. Admire the fine livery of the male, entirely black, ochre and white. It is a migratory bird that flies to tropical Africa in the winter. It shares the alpine pastures with the water pipit and the skylark, that can be heard more than seen...
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Refuge

Lakes and Refuge du Carro

At the foot of the Refuge du Carro of the Club Alpin Français built in 1925, there is a geological curiosity: two twin lakes, separated by a glacial moraine which are radically different. Lac Blanc has a milky colour due to the muddy waters of the glacier located upstream. Lac Noir is clear, fed by the gneiss outcrops. It’s all about watersheds! Do not disturb this fragile ecosystem by introducing organic matter! The buoys anchored in the middle are used for scientific tracking led by the Federation of Fishermen and the National Park.
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Architecture

The hay barns

Barns can be spotted along the entire route up to Duis, which were previously used to store hay. Their architecture is particular to the Haute-Maurienne: the locals used the materials most available locally such as stone. This explains the dry stone walls as well as the lauze roofs. Large openings made it easy to store the hay, while other smaller openings allowed it to be aired. The upper parts of the barns and chalets are often semi-buried to merge into the slope and thus guard against winter avalanches.
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Flora

The flower meadows

These hay meadows are vital for farmers, allowing them to provide for their animals during the winter. The mowing promotes biodiversity and makes these meadows colourful in July. How many different species can you identify?
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Architecture

The hamlet of l'Écot

Wood became a rare commodity in Bonneval-sur-Arc, and so the builders of yesterday used the most abundant resource in this high valley - the stone. Walls, lintels, roofing, drinking troughs and even intermediate floors were mounted in lauze! Thanks to a wise restoration, the hamlet of l´Écot blends harmoniously into this landscape. Walk through the narrow streets and imagine how life once was when the hamlet was populated all year by men and their animals...
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Viewpoint

View over the Hamlet of Ecot

The abandonment of agropastoral activity also affects the habitat. Whether conserved or not by the original families, this built heritage is subject to regulatory measures aimed at preserving its original appearance, in the absence of any occupant to fulfil the role. These measures do not prevent the disappearance of suspended drying balconies for solarium terraced balconies, and the appearance of bays, shutters or double roofs to meet modern standards of comfort.

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Small heritage

Before you leave, a little tour around the hamlet of l'Écot!

L’Écot was at one time, like Bonneval, a hamlet of Bessans. In the heart of L´Écot is the Romanesque chapel of Sainte-Marguerite, dating back to the 12th century. Although the hamlet is no longer inhabited permanently today, it was until about 1960. A number of houses have been restored in keeping with this exceptional building heritage. With wood being rare at this altitude, the local stone is used from wall to roof.
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Altimetric profile


Recommandations

A long hike, leave in the morning or plan a night at the Refuge du Carro. Some passages can be covered in snowed in early summer.
Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Information desks

La Ciamarella<br>73480 Bonneval-sur-Arc,

http://www.haute-maurienne-vanoise.com/bonneval-sur-arc

info@hautemaurienne.com

04 79 05 99 06 / 04 79 05 99 10


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Maison de la Vanoise<br>Place de la Vanoise<br>Termignon<br>73500 Val-Cenis,

http://www.haute-maurienne-vanoise.com/val-cenis

info@hautemaurienne.com

04 79 05 99 06 / 04 79 05 99 10


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Vanoise Information Desk - Termignon

Place Vanoise, 73500 Termignon

http://termignon.haute-maurienne-vanoise.com/

04 79 20 51 67

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Transport

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Rail connection to Modane. Information: www.voyages-sncf.com
Then transport by coach to Bonneval-sur-Arc Information: www.transavoie.com
In July-August, a shuttle bus connects Bonneval-sur-Arc to Ouglietta twice a day.
No public transport for l´Écot.
Suggested hitchhiking organised in the Haute-Maurienne valley. Information: www.rezopouce.fr
Additional information:
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Access and parking

Take the D 902 which climbs from Bonneval-sur-Arc towards the Col de l´Iseran. Once you’ve passed the Lenta valley, the road makes two bends and crosses the Pont de l’Ouglietta. Small car park upstream of the road.

Parking :

Car parks at Ouglietta and Écot

Accessibility

Trail not adapted
Emergency number :
114

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