Vallon de La Rocheure
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Vallon de La Rocheure
VAL-CENIS

Vallon de La Rocheure

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A family route in an open valley steeped in the history of man’s settlement in the alpine pasture where many alpine species can be observed.
“What a surprise to discover the alpine pastures in this lost valley, steeped in history and the endeavours of farmers across time. Human presence is implicit, nature is omnipresent, not mastered but humbly tamed by generations of mountain dwellers.” Jean-Luc Étiévant, Vanoise National Park ranger

Description

From Bellecombe car park (2,307 m in altitude), head in the direction of the Refuges of Plan du Lac and Femma. Go along the Lac de Plan du Lac (2,365 m in altitude) before arriving at the refuge of the same name. Take the trail leading north-east in the direction of the Refuge de la Femma. This path crosses a rock glacier then turns east at the Trou du Chaudron. A downward crossing leads to the bottom of the valley, at the junction with the vehicle track of La Rocheure. (2,180 m in altitude). Follow the path to the east, pass in front of the chapel of Saint-Jacques and cross the bridge over the Doron before arriving at the Chalet de La Rocheure (2,250 m in altitude). At the chalet, the track stops and turns into an easy path to the Refuge de La Femma (2,352 m), destination of the route. The return journey follows the same path with a possible variation.
  • Departure : Bellecombe car park, Termignon
  • Arrival : Bellecombe car park, Termignon
  • Towns crossed : VAL-CENIS

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

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

Vanoise Information Desk - Termignon

Place Vanoise, 73500 Termignon

https://www.vanoise-parcnational.fr04 79 20 54 54

Maison de la Vanoise, Place de la Vanoise, Termignon, 73500 Val-Cenis

https://www.valcenis.cominfo@hautemaurienne.com04 79 05 99 06

Transport

"
Rail connection to Modane. Information: www.voyages-sncf.com
Then transport by coach to the administrative centre of Termignon. Information: www.transavoie.com
Then free shuttle bus Termignon-Bellecombe, from July to August and the weekends from 15th June to 14th September.
Suggested hitchhiking organised in the Haute-Maurienne valley. Information: www.rezopouce.fr
"

Access and parking

From Termignon, head in the direction of Lanslebourg. Go on for about 500 m, then at the hairpin bend,
cross the main road and head in the direction of Bellecombe car park.

Parking :

In summer, park at Termignon, then take the free shuttle bus to Bellecombe. In the off season, park at Bellecombe car park.

Accessibility

Traffic licence to the Refuge-Porte de Plan du Lac to be requested at the National Park for those with disabilities. Disabled car park spaces available at the refuge.
Emergency number :114

8 points of interest

  • Fauna

    The rock ptarmigan at Plan du Lac

    The rock ptarmigan is also simply known as the ptarmigan. Present in France in the Alps and the Pyrenees, above 2,300 m.
    Expert at camouflage, it changes the colour of its plumage twice a year! From an immaculate white in winter, the male turns a dark grey and the female a faun-brown in summer. This allows it to blend into the environment and escape its main predators. In June, at daybreak, the male makes his hoarse song heard to seduce a female and defend its territory.
    National Park rangers carry out counts of the singing males in early June and breeding of the species is tracked in August with the help of exceptionally trained setter dogs.
  • Lake

    The Plan du Lac

    The Plan du Lac is a grassland lake. The banks are alive with rushes and sedges. The bottom is lined with stoneworts, edged by some broad-leaved pondweed. The lake is stocked with brown trout and schools of minnows wander here and there. It’s a good breeding ground for the common frog. The permeability of the limestone substratum leads to a significant drop in the water level at the end of the season.
  • Pastoralism

    At Plan du Lac

    The pastoral road which passes in front of the Refuge de Plan du Lac serves the various alpine pastures where the farmers graze their herds of cows and sheep. This is where Beaufort, Tome de Savoie and Bleu de Termignon are made. This road is an old communication and trade route between the valleys of Tarentaise and Maurienne, via the Col de la Vanoise that links Pralognan-la-Vanoise to Termignon. It’s the “salt and cheese road”.
  • Glacier

    The Vanoise Glaciers

    Between the Dent Parrachée (3,697 m in altitude) and the Pointe de La Réchasse (3,212 m in altitude) this glacial icecap complex extends across approximately 13 km. From the Refuge-Porte de Plan du Lac, with Chasseforêt, Pelve, Arpont ... A full-scale lesson in glaciology is on offer with various glacial forms, moraines and tracks of disappeared glaciers. The tour of the glaciers can be done in 4 to 6 days over marked trails with stopping points at the refuges.
  • Geology

    The rocky glacier of Lanserlia

    The rocky glaciers are original and spectacular forms in high altitude and latitude landscapes. They are large-scale rocky debris tongues (in the order of several tens to hundreds of thousands of square metres), with fast, viscous flows spread on the slopes, moving under the influence of the inner ice. For half a century, they have generated numerous investigations and debates that have widely affected the dynamics of mountain slopes and the environmental variations in cold environments.
  • Fauna

    The rock ptarmigan

    The rock ptarmigan (lagopus muta) is part of the mountain galliformes (grouse, hazel-grouse). An artico-alpine species and champion of camouflage, it is particular for its almost white plumage in winter and grey brown in summer. This place replicates the characteristics of its original environment: the tundra. Vanoise National Park is one of the partners of the mountain galliformes observatory and the Plan du Lac area is a reference area for the monitoring of this species.
  • Small heritage

    The Chapel of Saint-Jacques

    Founded in the 17th century and restored in 1985 and 1997, the chapel of Saint-Jacques is a reminder of just how important religion was in these harsh and remote places. To make a visit here, Irène Rosaz is the person to ask for the keys. Her alpine pasture of Pierre Blanche is the closest to the chapel. It is accessible by a track that crosses the Doron de La Rocheure.
  • Pastoralism

    The alpine pastures of La Rocheure

    Inaccessible in winter and at more than 15 km from Termignon in summer, the Rocheure valley has long been farmed thanks to its quality alpine pastures. Dairy cattle for the manufacture of Beaufort, Tomme and Bleu de Termignon and small flocks of ewes for meat, the farms are primarily family-run and occupied between 15th June and early October. For the keen observer, traces of human existence over time are everywhere from alpine pasture chalets, barns, hay meadows, chapels, to engraved stones.