With blue skies forecast it was time to enjoy a day walking in the Vanoise and in particular the walk from Laisonnay near Champagny-le-Haut to the Col du Palet (2625m).? We parked the car near the refuge at Laisonnay before heading off on the track following the valley.? The waterfall of Le Pys was magnificent and the thunder of the water tumbling down accompanied us for a moment.? On our right we were dwarfed by the bulk of the Grand Bec above us to the right and increasing views of the Grande Casse.
Soon we reached the small refuge de la Gliere but avoided temptation to carry on up a mixture of paths and tracks to the alpages.? Here a large herd of cows were soon heard with enormous bells adorning their necks.? A small herd of goats stood sentinel on a rock in a small enclosure.? It was nice to finally leave the tracks used by the farmers and head into wilder country and the path meandered between old moraines before arriving amongst gypsum type rock near the Col de la Croix des Fetes.? A short traverse led us on to the Col du Palet.? Looking down towards Rosuel and Peisey-Nancroix we could see the prominent waterfall near Rosuel and the gateway refuge to the Vanoise.? We sat and enjoyed a picnic watching walkers come up from Tignes and those coming up from Rosuel on the GR5.? It was a stark contrast looking down on the Tignes side of the col as this is outside the protection of the Vanoise National Park and hence the intrusion of the downhill ski industry – bulldozed tracks, ski lifts all looking out of place in this high wild environment.
The walk back down gave us continual views of the north face of the Grande Casse with a large serac barring the way to the Voie des Italiens one of the classic alpine routes on the face.?? Finally, back at Laisonnay, we had a well earned drink at the refuge before returning home.