Tour of the Pointe du Chardonnet
>Tour of the Pointe du Chardonnet
Tour of the Pointe du Chardonnet
Embed this item to access it offline
Although some days the ski lifts are more important for me, during the climb from Tignes, I will never tire of the joy in rediscovering the valley of Peisey-Nancroix from the Col du Palet. Like the God Janus, this route takes place over two different faces of the mountain, one which is natural and the other which is equipped with amenities. Thierry Arsac, Vanoise National Park ranger
9 points of interest
Their cold clear waters served as a setting for the film "The Big Blue"!
The gypsum tuffs of Tovières
Above the Lac de Tignes, you can see a geological phenomenon particular to the Vanoise - funnels of gypsum dissolution. These shiny-grey rocks were formed more than 200 million years ago. Malleable and soluble, they form surprising shapes and reliefs over time.
The common hawker
Thanks to a stop near the Lac du Chardonnet, you may be able to see the common hawker flitting about. The exclusively aquatic larva of this dragonfly takes nearly 3 years to reach maturity. It emerges from the water and sheds its skin to become a flying adult whose short life (a few weeks) is devoted to reproduction. With nearly 100 species, France has the greatest wealth of dragonflies in Europe.
Among the birds that inhabit the alpine meadows, the wheatear is recognised in flight by the broad inverted T against a white background which colours the end of the tail. This far from shy insectivore only honours us with its presence in summer before flying back to its grounds in Africa in late summer.
The north face of the Grande Casse
At the Col du Palet, you enter the restricted zone of the Vanoise National Park. Here, the view over the north face of the Grande Casse is impressive with its hanging glacier. Highest point of the Vanoise massif (3,855 m in altitude), this 900 m dark face is comprised of limestone derived from marine deposits. To its left, the summit of Grande-Motte and to its right, the Aiguille de l´Épena.
Lac de Grattaleu
Lac de Grattaleu is one of the 130 high-altitude lakes of the Vanoise massif. Trapped in the ice for nearly six months per year, only certain invertebrate species survive in these conditions. The lake surroundings are a spectacle of cotton grass. These plants with white bristles form a cottony carpet and although located at 2,500 m in altitude, the mallard ducks enjoy stopping here.
The linaria alpina
The linaria alpina, a scree plant, “dazzles” you with its violet flowers and orange heart. Its long, hard root allows it to anchor itself in to this unstable environment. The flowers of this honey plant attract honey bees and bumblebees thanks to their rich nectar which accumulates at the bottom of the spur.
The Aiguille Percée
At this level, you can see the hollow needle, an unusual arch constituting another geological curiosity along the route. On the other side of the valley, the panorama extends over the Grande Sassière Nature Reserve with left to right: the Rocher de la Davie (3,157 m in altitude), the Grande Sassière (3,747 m in altitude), the glacier of Rhême-Golette, the Tsanteleina (3,602 m in altitude), the Aiguille du Dôme (3,028 m in altitude).
The mountain hare
"Inhabiting the scree up to 3,000 m in altitude, the mountain hare, or ""white hare"", is a relic of the glacial period. Its name owes to the fact that its coat changes according to the seasons: grey-red in summer and white in winter to better camouflage itself in the landscape. Difficult therefore to spot, it makes itself visible in winter by the Ÿ-shaped tracks that it leaves on the snow."
From the wooden terrace of the Maison de Tignes (tourist information office), follow the building to the right, get back on to the trail that starts to the right of the Palafour ski lift. Join a track which you follow on your left for about 150 m. The trail leaves the track on the left. After about 600 m, the trail passes between 2 mountain bike trails. Follow the route in to the middle. After 250 m of gradient, take the vehicle track on the left. It will bring you to the Chardonnet Lakes. Continue along the track that leaves to the right between the two lakes, until you reach the GR®5. Follow the GR®5 to the Refuge du Col du Palet via the pass of the same name. From the refuge, follow the GR®5 until the next fork in the road, 50 m after the Lac du Grattaleu. Take the trail on the right in the direction of “Col de la Tourne 0h50”. About 1 km uphill where the path forks again, take the trail on the right. From the Col de la Tourne, follow the trail until you reach the vehicle track 50 m before the Beau stream. Continue on the track for 80 m, turn right and walk for another 600 m. Join the trail that brought you from the Maison de Tignes. Follow the trail downhill.
Departure : Maison de Tignes, Tignes Le Lavachet
Arrival : Maison de Tignes, Tignes Le Lavachet
Towns crossed : TIGNES, PEISEY-NANCROIX
Part of the route takes place in the Tignes-Champagny nature reserve. Please respect the park’s special regulations that may differ from the National Park regulations.
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.
Tourist Information Office - Tignes
Maison de Tignes-le-lac BP 51, 73321 Tignes
04 79 40 04 40
Find out more
Vanoise Information Desk - Val d'Isère
Immeuble le Thovex Office de tourisme), 73150 Val-d'Isère
04 79 06 06 60
Find out more
Rail connection to Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Information: www.voyages-sncf.com
Then transport by coach to the administrative centres of Tignes or Val d´Isère. Information:www.transavoie.com
Access and parking
"RD 902 then RD 87a, in the direction of ""Tignes"""
Covered car park of Lake 1 or 2, Tignes-le-Lac
Report a problem or an error
If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: