From Refuge du Prariond to Refuge du Carro via Val d'Isère
Countries crossed : France
Positive elevation +829 m
Negative elevation -691 m
Duration 5 h
Signposting PR, GR5
Distance 15.4 km
: From Refuge du Prariond to Pont Saint Charles
1 h 15
Heading off west, you’ll come across a large number of marmots which live along the alluvial valley of Prariond. Still on the right bank of the Isère River, enter the gorges of Malpasset. The path is raised but increase its width and equip it with chains to make it easier for hikers to use. At the exit from the gorges, a winding path leads to the car park at Pont Saint Charles (2050m).
Pont St Charles to Laisinant
Cross the bridge on the D902 towards the Col de l’Iseran. At the first bend, a path goes straight ahead towards the valley. Cross the moor and the junction with the so-called “Mangard” track which goes down to Fornet, continuing straight on into the forest of Petit Bois, then cross in turn the streams of Sounières and Iseran (2039m). This section, through the coniferous trees, overlooks the village of Fornet. At the 1969m point, follow the downward traverse of the nature trail to the Lessieres Stream bridge.
Laisinant jusqu’au fond du Manchet
You’re on the GR5. Cross the wonderful lane of the hamlet of Laisinant and, heading along the path that connects with Val d’Isère, walk past the stone gabions. Unless you decide to visit the heart of the village, you’ll arrive at the crossroads of the Saint Jean Chapel (1842m). Turn left, due south towards Manchet. Pass the sports facilities set up for the summer period. At the end of this valley, you reach the old inhabited hamlet of Manchet and the gateway to the Vanoise National Park
Ascent to the refuge
At the old hamlet of Manchet, follow the GR55 which crosses the bridge and turns to the south-east of the valley. You can stop for food at the Arcelle farm (2131m). At 2200m, the trail slopes over the dense and sometimes rocky high-altitude meadow to the Fond des Fours Refuge (2537m).
Points of interest
- Easy stage (the easiest of all)
- Diversity of landscapes
- Prariond: The old refuge, stele, waterfall, Gorges of Malpasset
- Fornet streams and forest
- Val d’Isère traditional architecture and religious sites
- Agro-pastoral activity
Before setting off, it’s important you:
- Are fully informed (advice from professionals – instructors, guides); choose an activity and route adapted to your physical abilities, motivation and experience; take into account those who are with you; check the weather forecast for the day and don’t hesitate to change your plans if conditions are unfavourable.
- Prepare properly: never head off alone, check your equipment, reserve your place at the refuge, check your personal insurance.
Equip yourself properly: take with you something to eat and drink; clothing suitable for what you have planned; a map
- Walking boots
- Protection from the sun
- Windproof jacket
- Head lamp