Col des Fours from Manchet
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Col des Fours from Manchet
VAL D'ISERE

Col des Fours from Manchet

Fauna
Flora
Viewpoint
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A day’s hike is not without effort but the scenery is well worth it.

“This hike is especially made for those fond of efforts rewarded and those who love the mountains. An encounter with the chamois remains an exception and is only more magical. To be consumed liberally!” Mylène Herrmann, Vanoise National Park Ranger


12 points of interest
Architecture

The hamlet of Manchet

This small group of abandoned houses is the only alpine hamlet of Val d´Isère. Ÿou will notice that these buildings are built of local stone. Wood, which is a rare material at this altitude, is used only for framework and woodwork. Its use was reserved solely for the summer. Currently, it is part of the Tutel family’s mountain pasture, which they don’t use in their farming activity. The municipality of Val d´Isère has launched a project to renovate these buildings in order to bring them back to life.
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Fauna

The white-throated dipper

At the edge of the creek a short, shrill “zit” can be heard. A brown and white bird about the size of a blackbird shoots over the water like an arrow. The white-throated dipper (Cinclus cinclus) is an indicator of good water quality. It likes the pure mountain torrents where it finds numerous invertebrates at the bottom of the water. A natural in the water, it can run along the bottom of the water even against the current. The dipper also knows how to swim on the surface of the water.
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Fauna

The butterfly bird

In the small cliffs, take the time to watch… and with a bit of luck and mostly patience, you will see a small grey bird the size of a nuthatch climbing. When it spreads its wings, you’ll see a glimpse of red. There is no doubt about it: this is the wallcreeper (Tichodroma muraria), also called the “butterfly bird”. Its long, curved beak allows it to delve into every little fissure in search of the insects it feeds on.
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Fauna

Marmots

Marmots (Marmota marmota) are social mammals that live in small family units: a male, a female and several young from 2 to 3 generations. The day of a marmot consists of 3 main activities: feeding, napping and playing (for the young). These activities are regularly interrupted by alerts due to the appearance of an eagle or a fox, its main enemies.
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Flora

The yellow gentian

This great majestic plant with yellow flowers is yellow gentian (Gentiana lutea). It is well known for the many uses of its roots. A root can reach 1 m. It is rich in sugars and therefore ferments easily. Pay special attention to this beautiful plant that flowers only after 10 years!
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Pastoralism

The ramaz

"The ""ramaz"" is an old sheep pen made of dry stone walls, which was used to enclose the sheep for the night. Ÿou will notice that the vegetation consists of a single species: the alpine docks or écot for the Savoyards or monk´s rhubarb. The large thick, tough leaves were used to keep the butter cool."
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Flora

The arnica montana

The grasslands are dotted with little rays of sunshine. The arnica montana resembles a slightly dishevelled yellow daisy. Its medicinal properties have been known since antiquity. Not to be confused with the Senecio doronicum! The arnica has foliage on its plants, a rosette laid flat on the ground.
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Fauna

The eagle

If you want to see a royal eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), you must listen out for the marmots. These rodents form the bulk of its diet during the summer. As it appears in the sky, the alert is given by a single shrill and powerful cry. The marmots disappear in to their burrows and you must then scan the sky ... Ÿou can recognise the young or immature birds from the large white areas under the wings and on the tail. These white patches reduce with age and disappear at around 5 years.
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Fauna

The alpine accentor

The alpine accentor (Prunella collaris) is far from shy. It is the most easily observable of the mountain sparrows. It spends most of its time on the ground pecking at insects, or perching regularly on the stones. From afar, it looks dull in colour but draws attention with its red flanks. But close up, its plumage appears variegated with grey-brown on top, a broadly striped black back, white breast with black mottling, flanks with red sparks on a white background and two rows of white dots on the wings.
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Flora

Saxifraga aizoides

The edge of the stream is blanketed by a magnificent carpet of yellow flowers which are called the yellow mountain saxifrage, or Saxifraga aizoides. Look closely at these beautiful little yellow stars. The plant is also particular for hosting an extraordinary guest: the small Apollo (Parnassius phœbus). This small butterfly, white with two red eyespots, is protected. It only lays its eggs on these saxifrages. The fleshy leaves will then serve as a meal for the butterfly caterpillars.
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Flora

The glacier buttercup

In the small streams and seepages you will find garlands of small pink and white flowers: the glacier buttercup (Ranunculus glacialis). The plant is rather small, but the flowers are large. They are white and turn pink, sometimes even violet. As the name suggests, it likes wetlands fed by the meltwater from the glaciers or névés. It also holds the record as the highest rising flowering plant in Europe at 4,275 m.
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Viewpoint

The Col des Fours

From the Col des Fours (2,976 m in altitude), you can enjoy an extraordinary view of the glaciers and summits bordering Italy, from west to east: the Albaron (3,637 m in altitude) and the glacier of Vallonnet, the Petite Ciamarella (3465 m in altitude), the Grande Ciamarella (3,676 m in altitude) and its glacier of Évettes, the Pointe de Bonneval (3,320 m in altitude) followed by the glacier of Grand Méan, the Roc and the glacier of Mulinet (3,442 m in altitude) and the glacier of Sources de l’Arc... and finally the pretty Lac du Grand Fond under your feet, from the eponymous glacier which has now disappeared.
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Description

When leaving the car park of the Manchet ski lift, follow the paved road, which merges into the terrain path. Walk around the hamlet of Manchet following this path. Cross the bridge over the Fours stream. Take the trail to the left of the Park information boards. Walk 150 m to fall back on a vehicle track. Follow it to the left in order to get back to the trail that leads to the right after 300 m. Follow the direction of “Col des Fours”. 400 m after the Refuge du Fond des Fours, at the fork in the path, follow the direction of “Col des fours 1h10”. To return, walk back the opposite way.

Departure : Manchet car park and ski lift, Val d'Isère
Arrival : Manchet car park and ski lift, Val d'Isère
Towns crossed : VAL D'ISERE

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Catering and accommodation available at the Refuge du Fond des Fours. Catering available at the Ferme de l´Arselle.


Information desks

Immeuble le Thovex<br>Place Jacques Mouflier<br>B.P. 228<br>73155 Val-d'Isère,

http://www.valdisere.com

info@valdisere.com

04 79 06 06 60


Find out more

Transport

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Rail connection to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Information: www.voyages-sncf.com
Then transport by coach to the administrative centre of Val d´Isère. Information:www.transavoie.com
At Val d´Isère, free shuttle buses serve the Manchet valley to the Parc des Sports car park.

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Access and parking

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From the roundabout of the Tourist Information Office of Val d´Isère follow the RD 902, in the direction of the “Vallée du Manchet”. Go past the ski-runs roundabout, cross the hamlet of Châtelard, pass in front of the restaurant ""Les Clochetons”. Continue as far as the ski lift car park of Manchet.

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Parking :

Manchet car park and ski lift

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