Le Dérochoir from Plaine-Joux
The arrival on the Desert de Platé by the Passage du Dérochoir is amazing. The view is breathtaking; the green colors of Vallée de l’Arve and Mont-Blanc on one side, and a mineral landscape on the other.
View on Le Dérochoir
These various landslides created a passage making it possible to cross the Fiz ridge.
The mont Blanc before mountaineering
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 Mountain Ash
The fruits can be used to make to make brandy, jelly or jam. But be aware that they are toxic at maturity, so you have to pick them earlier!
In the nature reserve, the Mountain Ash is part of a participatory science program intended to measure the impact of climate change on the ecosystems of the mountain.
The alpine cabin
Excellent climber, it is able to catch insects hidden in the most inaccessible rock cracks, thanks to a long curved beak and clawed toes.
It is difficult to observe, except when flying in undulating waves reminding of butterflies, showing its shimmering colors of grey, black and red!
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!
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 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 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 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 mont Blanc
These two so-called crystalline rocks come from the core of the Earth in fusion.
The placid Ibex
Unlike most other mountain species, it remains at altitude even when winter and snow arrive.
It then reaches ridges and snow-cleared areas where it will more easily find grass to feed on. This search for food costs a lot of energy. So, if you see it, do not approach and let it leave quietly in order to avoid wasting its precious energy, especially in winter.
La Maison de la Réserve
- Take the paved road which passes in front of the restaurant "Lou Pacheran".
- Take the track that climbs towards the Col d'Anterne. Beacon 102.
- At the orientation table, continue on the track towards the Col d'Anterne. Beacon 103.
- Continue on the track towards Ayères des Pierrières, Col d'Anterne. Beacon 16.
- Cross the hamlet of Ayères des Pierrières.
- Beacon 18. Take the path on the left, and follow the direction Le Dérochoir. Difficult trail. Marked by red dots on the rocks.
- At the passage Le Dérochoir, take the opposite path.
- Beacon 18. Head towards Plaine Joux and cross the hamlet of Ayères des Pierrières.
- Beacon 16. Turn left towards Les Mollays.
- At the Châtelet refuge. Take the direction of Lac Vert - Plaine Joux. Beacon 143.
- Take the track that goes down to the left. Direction Lac Vert - Plaine Joux. Beacon 95.
- Cross the car park Lac Vert and take the paved road towards Plaine Joux. Beacon 159.
- Beacon 93. Take the path on the left towards Plaine Joux.
- Turn left on the paved road. Direction Plaine Joux.
Difficult and aerial passage, for experienced hikers.
Take water with you.
Access and parking
Parking at the entrance of the station. Bus line L85 (SAT Mont-Blanc).
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