Ayeres 's little loop
The mont Blanc
These two so-called crystalline rocks come from the core of the Earth in fusion.
The history of Plaine-Joux
As early as the 1930’s, the inhabitants of Passy were already practicing ski activities in this location enjoying a magnificent panorama. It was around 1965 that it officially became a communal ski resort. Even nowadays, Plaine-Joux remains, as well in summer as in winter, a popular family resort for skiing, hiking, paragliding... and contemplation.
The Common Minnow and the Common Chub
The Chub is a rather large fish, very widespread in France. It is an omnivore, which means that it eats everything. In many European countries, especially in the east, it is of highly culinary interest.
The common Toad
But you can look it in the eyes to observe its horizontal pupil and its orange iris. You will also notice its parotid glands on the back of its head. They are used to secrete a venom, the "bufotoxin" intended to keep away any possible predator.
The toads and frogs are not the same species; toads live mostly in the forest, out of the water, joining it only during the breeding season !
There are several explanations for its emerald green color, including the surrounding vegetation consisting mostly of spruces, which are reflected in its waters. But the presence of blue algae or cyanophyceae in the lake is also a probable cause.
The water comes from sources providing the lake by its surface and underground.
The Grass Snake
It's a protected species, like all reptiles!
It can be identified by its round pupils, its olive grey color and its double black and white or yellow collar shaped pattern. Or by another special feature: when it feels in danger, it spits out a foul smelling liquid and pretends to be dead, revealing its two-colored piano pattern on its ventral surface!
There are two stages in their lifecycle: a "larva" (or nymph) stage which is aquatic followed by a terrestrial stage, when the adults are grown to adults.
Dragonflies are predators: they are carnivores that feed on different types of prey depending on their stage. They eat other insects as well.
Their distribution is strongly linked to climate conditions and any change has a strong impact on their presence. Destruction of their wetland habitats is one of the main threats to dragonflies.
The mountain refuge of Châtelet d'Ayères
Built 100 years ago and currently runned by a family from Passy, it has welcomed some famous mountaineers in the 1950s: Roger Frison-Roche, Maurice Herzog...
Its renowned cuisine is loved by gourmets looking for delightful blueberry pies or the famous “farcement”, a very famous local dish.
The refuge is powered by solar energy. To be consumed with moderation!
The Rock Partridge
However, far from the mediterranean hinterland, it thrives in open and rocky mountain environments between 1000 and 3000 m of altitude all over south-eastern Europe, from the Alps to the Balkans!
It is the largest of the partridges and roosters and hens look alike: red legs and beak and a white throat lined with a well-designed black collar. Except from breeding season, these birds live in groups called "flocks".
The Hazel Grouse
It is much less known than the Black Grouse or the Rock Ptarmigan because it lives exclusively in the forest!
But it is as important as the others from a biological and scientific point of view: it is an indicator species of environmental changes. Its specific demands in terms of vegetation and diversity of tree species ask for an adapted forest management. Bad preservation management of this habitats is one of the main causes of regression of the species.
The Black Woodpecker
It is easily recognized by its entirely black plumage enlivened by a bright red spot, limited to the nape on the females and more extensive on the males.
The Golden Eagle
The Common Raven
Alternately feared or venerated, it is the hero of myths and legends in many cultures. Persecuted for a long time, it is now protected. The size of a buzzard, it can be specifically recognized by its diamond-shaped tail and its hoarse call. It is an omnivore, which means that it feeds on carrion, eggs, chicks or berries!
The couples, which are united for their life time, carry out aerobatic courtship rituals! Apart from humans, the Golden Eagle is its only predator.
The Griffon Vulture
This bird lives in colonies of different sizes, the closest of which are located in southern Vercors. Especially the young individuals who explore new territories. To feed, this bird is also able to cover hundreds of kilometers thanks to its gliding technique, depending on favorable weather conditions.
The mont Blanc before mountaineering
View on Le Dérochoir
These various landslides created a passage making it possible to cross the Fiz ridge.
- Take the paved road to Lac Vert.
- Take the track on the right between the treehouses.
- Follow the direction Lac Vert.
- Take to the right on the paved road to Lac Vert. Beacon 93.
- Take the track to the Châtelet d'Ayères refuge. Beacon 159.
- Stay on the track to the Châtelet d'Ayères refuge. Beacon 160.
- Take the track on the right to the Châtelet d'Ayères refuge. Beacon 95.
- At the refuge Châtelet d’Ayères, take to the left in the direction of les Mollays. Beacon 143.
- Stay on the track by taking to the left in the direction of les Mollays. Beacon 96.
- Cross the hamlet les Mollays.
- Take the track on the left in the direction of Plaine-Joux. Beacon 16.
- Straight ahead in the direction of Plaine-Joux.
- Stay on the track in the direction of Plaine-Joux. Beacon 13.
- Take de paved road in the direction of Maison d'accueil de la Réserve naturelle de Passy. Beacon 102.
Access and parking
Parking at the entrance of the station.
Bus line L85 (SAT Mont-Blanc).
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