Yesterday’s ascent of around 800m to La Moucherotte was quite exhausting so I have decided to do a smaller hike. Today’s hike is in the Belladonna mountain range, which is one of the three mountains surrounding Grenoble, the other two being the Vercors and the Chartreuse. The receptionist at my hotel suggested I go to Lac Achard which is a small hike (~400m) from a small town named Chamrousse. The 1968 winter olympics were held in Grenoble and seem to have developed the city as well as neighboring towns.

On reaching Chamrousse, I could see that it has been developed for skiing in winter with many cable cars to take people to the mountain summits. In the summers, people come here to trek in the Belledonne range but this time of the year falls between winter and summer so everything was closed. Perhaps the restaurant and hotel-owners were themselves on a vacation!

I had a quick glance at the map on my iPhone and decided to go in the direction of the lake without looking it repeatedly. As it would happen, I soon lost the way but decided to keep going. My motto during hiking is: There is only one direction – Upward!

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After some more time of climbing, my Google Map suggested the lake is only a few meters away from where I was heading, although there was no trail leading to it. And how could it be; the map’s top view seemed close enough but not the side view!

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Lac Achard (Lake Achard)

Anyhow, I decided to go to the Croix de Chamrouse, which is a peak from where people ski (in winters). There was snow enroute, just as the Russian couple in the bus had suggested. I took some quick pictures.

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The cable car lines in the background, which carry people uphill for skiing in winter

The higher I went, the windier it would get. My investment in the NorthFace rainproof windproof jacket seemed to pay off since it was the only jacket I was wearing. It was surprising to see a couple climb without much cold protection and I was so amused, I asked them for a selfie.

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Crazy awesome Europeans!

I took some pictures at the top – la Croix de Chamrouse but it was windy so I started my descent soon.

IMG_6123Indeed there was a cross, the French word for which must be “croix”.

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The “croix” of Chamrousse

I quickly descended in under an hour and waited for the bus. Since there were two hours for the bus and shops and restaurants were all closed, I hitchhiked from the same aforementioned couple to reach a latter bus-stop with restaurants. The hike was excellent so far except that I forgot my hiking poles (borrowed from Shashank) in their car. I will buy a new pair (as good if not better) in Interlaken, Switzerland tomorrow hoping that he won’t be too mad at me! May be I can buy a        for him and his wife just to be sure 🙂

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Local French/Italian cuisine

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