The mountains, an environment that never attracted my parents
Despite being from Lyon, I did not grow up with a Mountain culture, to my great regret. It was an environment that never attracted my parents, and for a good reason; they had lived all their childhood in the countryside with very little money. They dreamed of modernity, luxury, and material goods.
The city offered them everything they liked. My father’s business could offer them all the comfort they dreamed of. When you are a parent, you think that what you want is what your children appreciate. That’s why I can’t blame them. But you are probably wondering, what is the relationship with Belledonne? Patience, I’m getting there.
My whole family lives in Lyon, and every year, I visit them during the Christmas holidays. December 2017, the snow is here, and I am with my family. Little Berzan is happy to see Medina, his favourite auntie! I think back to my childhood in Lyon, and I decide with Ozan to take my little sister’s family, including my favourite Berzan, to the ski resort of Sappey-en-Chartreuse, near Grenoble.
Berzan will discover the joys of tobogganing not far from Chamechaude, the highest point of the Chartreuse massif, which rises to 2,082 m above sea level.
My discovery of Belledonne
I’m introducing my brother-in-law to snowshoeing. The landscape is magnificent, and the sun is shining. On my way back, I observe the snowy landscapes of Grenoble. Deep down, I tell myself that, while I didn’t experience the pleasure of a day like this in my childhood, I was going to share one with my little nephew.
Today, he asks me, “Auntie, when are we going back to the snow?”
After one corner, I see even more beautiful peaks. But, what is this massif with these steep slopes? I access the application on my phone, and I discover that it is the Belledonne massif on the map. I am amazed by the number of indicated lakes that dot these mountains.
But how have I missed that until I was 26? With the feeling of having missed something precious in my childhood, I want to make up for the lost time. I will be back this summer 2018 to hike these beautiful mountains. All is decided and agreed with my sister’s family.
On the way to Belledonne
In August 2018, as promised, I am in Lyon. We are all on our way to Lac Achard above Grenoble. It is the heatwave! People rushed to the shores of the lake. They came to enjoy the fresh air and water. My brother-in-law, his cousin and I left my sister and her two children on the shores of Lake Achard to hike to Lake Robert.
We are all three fascinated by the beauty of the landscapes and scenery. My sister finally discovers that her children only need a stick and a few pebbles to have fun.
I returned with my brother-in-law to Belledonne for a long and magnificent hike two days later. A loop that starts from the Pré Conté car park at about 1,360m and that passes through the Col du Sitre (2,130m), a descent into a ravine, the Mousset footbridge (above the stream “the Vors”), the Habert Mousset hut (1,718m), the Jean Collet refuge (1,960m) to Lac Blanc. To access the lake, we climbed the Ravine des Excellences. It is a tough climb, but you are rewarded by the wild and indescribable beauty of the Lac Blanc site in its mineral setting, at the foot of the Glacier de Freydane and the Pics de Belledonne.
An unforgettable day for both of us. I promise one day, I will climb the highest peak of the massif, the Grand Pic de Belledonne, which culminates at 2,977m!