La Tournette

The reason I didn’t post anything today was because I hiked up La Tournette, a 2,351m mountain which is the highest in the area around Annecy. It took me 3 hours and 50 minutes to get to the top from the village of Montmin, and another 2 hours and 30 minutes to get back down. According to the guidebook, it represents an altitude gain of 1,024m and it felt like it. Two hours in and I was on a grassy slope looking up at this towering wall of rock and I felt like turning back. If I’d known what was to come I would have, but if you live in Annecy and you tell people you go hiking then you pretty much have to go up La Tournette. Also, I didn’t want to be looking at it in future thinking “yeah, I almost got up there but wrapped my tits in”, so I kept going. I’m reasonably fit thanks to going to the gym and skiing, but I wasn’t hiking fit: the last serious hike I did was up Le Parmelan 3 years ago. By the time I got back to the car I could barely stand up. It didn’t help matters than an hour from the end half the sole came off my walking boot, and I did the rest with it flapping about underneath. They were very good boots, made by the Italian company Zamberlan, but in fairness I bought them in 1997 and have battered them since, so I probably shouldn’t ring them up and complain.

Anyway, here’s me at the top.

I’ve posted some other pictures here.

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10 thoughts on “La Tournette

  1. Nice!

    Incidentally, even without the selfie we can have a good guess at your age, because you used Flickr rather than Instagram. I’d be dialling up and trying to post the photos on Geocities…

  2. Well done. You would have certainly regretted not pushing on.
    Would you say the hike is dangerous at all? Do you need to use your hands at all to climb? (Trying to assess whether it’s something I’d be capable of).

  3. Nice one, Tim. La Tournette remains on my list. It may remain there until the end. . . .

    I’ve been up Le Parmelan too. It was plenty of exercise but a much shorter march in comparison.

    It’s hard to go wrong hiking in your part of Haute Savoie. You’ve probably got all the same local guides that I bought back when I was spending summers there, so no point offering major suggestions. However, there are some pretty, low-key (ie lady-friendly) and easily-overlooked strolls south of Rumilly that are worth a Saturday morning.

    What I’d love to do, but will probably never get to, would be to take on a few stages of the GR10 across the Pyrenees, or the southern end of the GR09 back of the coast.

  4. However, there are some pretty, low-key (ie lady-friendly) and easily-overlooked strolls south of Rumilly that are worth a Saturday morning.

    Yes, there’s some nice rolling hills over there. I occasionally play bluegrass at Rumilly and see them on the drive. Another nice, much easier walk, which I recreated in my book by transplanting it to the Catskills, is the Cascade d’Agnon behind Talloires.

  5. Would you say the hike is dangerous at all? Do you need to use your hands at all to climb? (Trying to assess whether it’s something I’d be capable of).

    There are some scree slopes to scramble across and I suppose you could tumble and fall, but it would be hard to. And yes, I was concerned about this before I set out. The hardest bit is you have to sort of climb up a vertical rock chimney hanging onto chains, and then ascend two steep ladders, just below the summit. Then you have to come down the same way. It’s not particularly easy, but I saw a bunch of old people do it without too much trouble.

  6. In some photos, you’re actually above the clouds!

    To be honest, I almost drove up to cloud level and after an hour of walking was well above them. But yes, it’s miles above the clouds.

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