Col de l'Aup Martin
"It is in the unstable scree around the pass that the two-flowered saxifrage has chosen to grow. It is a small, rare, pink and white flower, whose petals are spread apart from each other. A very hostile environment for such a small flower!
Blandine Delanette, Warden for the Vallouise area.
Pastoral activity in the Selle valley, dale
The ibex, a survivor
The alpine ibex
The pastoral hut and the walkers' shelter
White throated dipper
Above the Jas Lacroix hut, the Chanteloube valley opens up to the right in the form of a cirque. The highest peak in the cirque is the Verdonne point, which rises to 3328m. Sometimes a glittering object can be seen at its summit. This a Grand Réseau Radio des Alpes (GRA) radio relay station, serving the mountain rescue network. It is used to make radio contact with police and emergency services in Briançon.
Yellow (mountain) saxifrage
Above the Saume ravine, the footpath’s tight loops are supported by stone walls, the remains of the mule-driver’s path that the army once kept maintained, just in case, between Vallouise and Champoléon...
Champoléon farmers once took their livestock along the path to the Vallouise sheep fair on 4 October.
The Col de l'Aup Martin is a surprising desert of dark grey, shiny schist forming fine parallel sheets. The rock was formed under techtonic influence that laid down the minerals making up the rock in parallel layers. Highly friable, the rock makes access to the col slippery or even dangerous, according to the weather conditions, and has given the col its poor reputation: a monstrous col according to Simon. Exactly like the Mordor region described by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings, says François!
Park at the Cascades car park, at the end of the road to the bottom of the Fressinières valley. Take the footpath to left at the end of the car park.
- At the first crossing, take the footpath to the left, GR54, cross the footbridge over the Onde towards Col de l'Aup Martin. Follow the cairns in the riverbed of the Onde to join the footpath that follows the Selle stream. This will take you to the pastoral hut of Jas Lacroix, which is next to a shelter for walkers on the GR54 trail. Continue on the footpath, which heads to the bottom of the valley, over a ledge next to a waterfall, then continues along the south slope on a ledge, sometimes between large stone walls, until it reaches a shale zone at the foot of the Aup Martin pass.
- The return trip can use the same route to get to Vallouise. The descent via Le Pas de la Cavale and Le Pré de la Chaumette enable you to continue on the GR54 to the Champsaur area. It is also possible to get to l'Argentière la Bessée via Le Pas de la Cavale and the Fournel valley.
Get information on snow conditions over the pass from la Maison du parc (04 92 23 32 31) or the Vallouise Tourist Office (04 92 23 36 12). If necessary, take cleats to get over the pass. Please do not disturb the work of the shepherd and respect her privacy at the Jas Lacroix pastoral hut.
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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Vallouise Park house
, 05290 Vallouise
04 92 23 58 08
Information, documentation, models, exhibitions, screenings, product sales and works of the Park. Guided tours for school, reservation required. The new Park House opened in Vallouise since June 1, and offers visitors an interactive permanent exhibition inviting to explore the area and its heritage. A temporary exhibition space will allow a renewed offer. Finally, the device is completed by an audiovisual room to organize screenings and conferences Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.
Nearest SNCF station: l'Argentière les Ecrins (www.voyages-sncf.com). L'Argentière les Ecrins / Vallouise by bus (www.05voyageurs.com or 04 92 50 25 05) or taxi (Taxi Pellegrin 06 98 88 17 78 / Taxi Billau 06 08 03 45 90) Vallouise / Entre les Aygues: shuttle service to be reserved 36 hours in advance ( 04 92 50 25 05) or taxi (Taxis-Ecrins-Pelvoux 04 92 23 42 48 / 06 62 13 34 30).
Access and parking
In Vallouise, take the small road to the right of the church towards Le Villard and Puy Aillaud. From the Villard de Vallouise, go straight ahead on the small road that crosses the hamlet and continues into the Onde valley. Go past the Béassac chapel to reach the Entre les Aygues car park. Caution: The road leading to the car park is closed in winter and opens earlier or later in the spring depending on avalanche activity.
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