Le Col des Terres Blanches from Dormillouse
”Once we finally got to the plateau overlooking Lac du Fangeas and the Faravel pastures, at the foot of the Rochelaire, a huge bird soared up out of the blue. No doubt about it - with its diamond-shaped tail, it is a bearded vulture passing through the region!"
Blandine Delenatte and Jean-Philippe Telmon, regional park keepers
A few remains of the exploitation of the ancient mine are disseminated around the sector of Fangeas. These mines go back to the Middle Ages, a period during which we exploited silver-lead and copper. It was a small exploitation, no doubt associated with the mines at Fournel. The metal mined was used to mint feudal currency. The mine works are now filled in and flooded, which has enabled us to find well preserved remains: scaffolding, turned wooden bowls, the sole of a shoe. Archeologists have been excavating the mine for the last ten years they started by siphoning off the flood water from the tunnels. The mines are not accessible to the public and we have deliberately not communicated their exact location. For more information about this heritage, contact the mining museum at l'Argentière la Bessée.
The Oules stream
View of the village of Dormillouse
Eutrophic Tall herb fringe
Large flowered foxglove
Large mountain grasshopper
Terres Blanches pass
Park at Les Cascades car park, at the end of the road and at the end of the Freissinières valley. Take the path on the left, where the entrance to the National Park is, and three information panels (you will pass a footbridge on the right that leads to the winter trail). Cross the bridge over the Oules torrent and continue along the looping path alongside a large waterfall, then cross an area of scree. This “summer” trail is in an avalanche zone and is not visited in winter. The trail is wide and the climb is gentle, and the inhabitants of Dormillouse use it to fetch food using tracked barrows.
- At the next crossroads, turn left into the path towards "Lac du Fangeas, Col des Terres Blanches" and continue the only trail along the Oules torrent as far as Lake Fangeas.
- Walk around the lake and turn left to take the footbridge upstream from the lake. From there, the Col des Terres Blanches path is marked by cairns and white markings. In places, before the ewes have passed through it, the route may be hard to see in the tall grasses: follow the cairns and zigzag your way through a series of rocky bars to reach the first plateau. Continue following the cairns across the plateau and the torrent, then follow the well-marked path up to the col.
- The way back is along the same route or via Prapic, then Col de Freissinières over 2 days.
- Departure : Les Cascades car park, Freissinières
- Towns crossed : Freissinières, Orcières
Camping is forbidden in the Cascades car park, bivouacking authorised over an hour’s walk from the park limits. Fire is also forbidden inside the park limits.
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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Nearest SNCF train station: l'Argentière les Ecrins - www.voyages-sncf.com then taxi (Taxi Pellegrin 06 98 88 17 78 / Taxi Billau 06 08 03 45 90)
Access and parking
From the RN 94, north of La Roche-de-Rame, head for Freissinières along the D38, then the D38B as far as Freissinières. Go through Freissinières, then follow the D238 towards the right as far as the Cascades car park, at the end of the valley. This is the end of the road and the end of the Freissinières valley, except for periods of snow, when the road is closed.
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