We headed up the windy road to Peisey-Nancroix and to the parking near Rosuel, a “gate-way” to the Vanoise National Park.
The via ferrata des Bettieres has three sections, progressively more difficult but each with the option to take the “escape” route back down to the valley. Although considered to be easier than the past two days via ferratas the final section has a challenging section and of course the setting is superb.
Above the towering summit of Mont Pourri with it’s dark rocks and glaciers. Further up the valley waterfalls tumble over the cliffs carved by a long gone glacier.
A short walk past Tarine cows and up amongst larch trees took us to the foot of the via ferrata. The valley was almost deserted, it seems that once the French school holidays have finished that “the lights on but there’s no one at home”. Still all the better for us to enjoy the mountains without the madding crowd.
Having “geared up” at the car it was straight on to the via ferrata after a final double-check on our equipment. The first section is not steep and wends it’s way up ramps and slabs and past larch trees clinging to the inhospitable rock. A lovely section though and a great introduction.
A flattening in the rib and now it’s time to look up at the steep tower that provides the meat of the second section. A small overlap guards the steeper wall before you can enjoy the verticality and the growing space below one’s feet. A short wire bridge over a grassy gully took us on to another wall but this time a descending traverse. A short steep downclimb took us to the end of section two and another option to “bail out”.
Onwards and upwards to the third section and I positioned myself to get a get video sequence of Mark as he tackled the impending wall. A few feet of easy climbing and then the wall leans out and so do you for several feet before some moves right lead to a more relaxing position. The hard section is over here but there’s still some delightful climbing in a great position before the ascent is over.
Time to sit and drink in the view, chat about the last few days and just “be” in such a wonderful environment.