The Buffe valley
The valley pastures are very popular among transhumant herders who bring their flocks from the South of France. Since wolves were seen in the area, the "patou" (a large dog belonging to shepherds) reappeared a few years ago.
Chazelet Cattle Fair
This an old market that still exists and gives local farmers the opportunity to sell young "Abondance" or "Tarine" cows, that are needed to make Beaufort and Reblochon cheeses, to farmers from Savoie, Haute Savoie and Italy. The traders, who are easy to identify with their hats and black cloaks, and the worried-looking breeders barter, whilst stalls of bells and other objects lend a festive feel to the event.
From the car park, head down towards the village. At the first crossing, do not go up into the village but take the hairpin to the right towards the ski lifts. At the second crossing, stay on the hillside (do not go down to the stream). Continue on the large track and at the following crossing, turn right towards the three hamlets of Les Rivets. Walk through them to reach La Croix (cross) de Tuf (1901 m). At the cross, go up to the right towards the Orliers mountain hut. Follow the track, cross the Chabanerie stream and go past the chalet that has the same name. Continue along the hillside until you reach the ruins located at the edge of the Courbeille stream. Go down towards the wide track and follow it left for 200 m then cross the Gâ stream (footbridge). Head back up the other side along a steep footpath until you reach the track for Les Combettes. Turn left and follow it to the end arriving at Le Querellé. Do not turn right onto the footpath that leads to Clot Raffin, but continue along the track that goes down to the "pont de la mine (mine bridge)". Cross the stream and head up towards Le Chazelet and the start of the itinerary.
There may be herds of cattle on the footpath: walk around them unless you want to face the patou dogs!
In mountain pastures, protection dogs are there to protect the herds from predators (wolves, etc.).
When I hike I adapt my behavior by going around the herd and pausing for the dog to identify me.
Find out more about the actions to adopt with the article "Protection dogs: a context and actions to adopt".
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Tourism Office of La Grave, La Meije - Villar d'Arène
RD 1091, 05320 La Grave
+33 (0)4 76 79 90 05
Bus Grenoble bus station/SNCF - La Grave / Villar d'Arène - Briançon (LER 35 - Transisère).
Access and parking
From Bourg d'Oisans, follow the D1091 and go through La Grave. As you come out of the tunnel, turn right onto the D33 and head towards Le Chazelet.
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