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Running the peaks — reach the summits of the Bauges 2000ers

Guilhem Vellut (CC BY 2.0)

Running the peaks — reach the summits of the Bauges 2000ers

Running Collection by Chloé Perceval

13

Tours

45:57 h

137 mi

56,825 ft

L'Arcalod, la Sambuy, le Pécloz, le Trélod, Chaurionde... in this region of the French Prealps, these names are famous. They may not be the 14 legendary Himalayan 8,000ers, but these 14 peaks of more than 2,000 metres (6,500 ft) in altitude promise you as many beautiful scenes in an exceptional setting: the Massif des Bauges.

Straddling Savoie and Haute-Savoie and located between the Aravis chain and the Chartreuse Massif, the Bauges are characterised by green pastures, extremely rich fauna and flora and a multitude of incredible summits. In short, an awesome playground for trail lovers.

In this Collection, I bring you 13 day routes, which allow you to set foot on each of the famous 2000er summits. I have ordered the Tours from the highest peaks to the lowest. Some routes allow you to easily integrate several in a single outing, as you will see.

These are routes for intermediate level runners. It is, of course, possible for beginners to take them on, but make sure you take into account the amount of time runs are expected to take and give yourself enough daylight hours to return safely. There are many ways to reach these peaks and this Collection does not aim to present an exhaustive list. It does, however, offer you magnificent circuits that end where they started — ideal for running.

All the routes begin in villages and there is always a car park. The best way to access the routes is by car. However, there are other options, such as by bike or by bus if you are leaving from neighbouring towns. The Transdev line Y51 allows you to get close to many circuits from Annecy.

For all these routes, I strongly advise you to wear trail shoes and take plenty of water and food. Some routes pass through refuges where you can refuel. You will be taking on beautiful ridges overlooking the massif and most of these runs hit trails that are quite exposed. It is therefore strongly advised that you only attempt these routes in good weather. The risk of falls or bad slides becomes much greater in poor conditions. When the weather is good, take your foot off the pedal and enjoy. You will be back again for sure — the possibilities are almost endless!

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    04:23
    13.8 mi
    3.1 mph
    5,450 ft
    5,425 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This is a demanding but splendid loop, which takes you to Pointe de l'Arcalod, the highest point of the Bauges.From the car park, you start your ascent in the forest towards the Col du Chérel on the GRP du Massif des Bauges. From the Col, we already have some nice views of the surrounding peaks. It motivates!You continue …

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  • Difficult
    03:12
    10.4 mi
    3.3 mph
    4,375 ft
    4,400 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This demanding but magnificent loop takes you to the second highest summit of the Bauges, the Pointe de la Sambuy.The route begins at the Tamié Abbey car park, where you begin your ascent on a wooded path along the Bard stream. At the end of the forest, a beautiful balcony path will take you to the chalet de la Bouchasse. You continue your journey on a fairly steep path, partly equipped with cables to facilitate the ascent.

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  • Difficult
    03:30
    9.73 mi
    2.8 mph
    4,250 ft
    4,250 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This pretty loop starts at the Couvent à École car park and takes you to the top of Pécloz, the third highest peak in Les Bauges.You follow the paved road along the Chéran to start. This allows you to warm up quietly. After the Nant-Fourchu car park, you fork to the right and start your ascent in the forest.

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  • Difficult
    04:06
    12.4 mi
    3.0 mph
    4,350 ft
    4,350 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This route begins and ends in Bellecombe-en-Bauges, and takes you to the summit of Trélod, the fourth highest summit of the Bauges.The warm-up is quick on this lap: in fact, the path quickly becomes quite steep. You are however on a pretty singletrack surrounded by flowers, and the setting is quite exceptional from the start.You arrive at the …

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  • Difficult
    03:27
    11.4 mi
    3.3 mph
    4,350 ft
    4,350 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Here is a nice route, which takes you to the top of the Pointe de Chaurionde from the Nant Fourchu car park.You follow the road for a little less than a kilometer before taking a winding forest path. You arrive at the Col de la Fougère, then continue on a fairly flat path to the Aulp du Four chalets and then to the Col du Haut du Four.

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  • Difficult
    04:04
    8.31 mi
    2.0 mph
    4,175 ft
    4,175 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    A nice loop, which takes you to the top of Mont’Armenaz and Mont Pécloz in an incredible setting where marmots and chamois are numerous.From the Couvent car park, you start by gradually climbing up a wooded path that runs along the Lanche stream. You pass the Notre Dame de Bellevaux chapel and the ruins of an old Benedictine monastery, and continue your ascent on a winding path out of the woods.

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  • Difficult
    04:06
    9.23 mi
    2.3 mph
    4,800 ft
    4,750 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This very aerial circuit takes you to the top of Pointe des Arces, the seventh highest peak in the Massif des Bauges. Be careful though: the final ascent to Pointe des Arces is not on a marked path. There is indeed no official trail leading to the summit. I strongly advise you not to climb to Pointe des Arces in bad weather, and if possible not to climb to the top alone.

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  • Difficult
    02:42
    10.2 mi
    3.8 mph
    3,550 ft
    3,550 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    From the Nant Fourchu car park, this pretty loop takes you to the top of Mont de la Coche.About 300 meters after the parking lot, you leave the road and take a forest track. It gradually takes you to the Orgeval refuge. From the refuge, you continue your journey through a superb valley at the foot of the Arcalod. It’s quite impressive!

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  • Difficult
    04:05
    11.9 mi
    2.9 mph
    5,000 ft
    4,975 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This very aerial loop takes you from the Combes car park to the top of the Dent de Cons, at an altitude of 2,063 meters.Your outing begins with a warm-up on the road. After Planchard, you begin your ascent in the forest towards the Dent de Cons, first passing in front of the Cabane des Gardes, an unguarded refuge.

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  • Difficult
    01:56
    7.77 mi
    4.0 mph
    3,700 ft
    3,725 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This loop takes you from the Couvent car park to the top of Pointe des Arlicots and Grand Parra, the two lesser-known peaks of the Bauges. And for good reason: they are very difficult to access, and no marked path allows you to go there. I therefore advise you not to venture on this circuit in bad weather.From the …

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  • Difficult
    03:40
    9.55 mi
    2.6 mph
    4,600 ft
    4,575 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    A nice loop, which takes you to the top of Mont Colombier via the Dent de Rossanaz.From the Aillon-le-Jeune car park, the circuit begins with a little flatness, which allows you to warm up. You then take a nice path in the forest, and start your ascent to the Col du Colombier. The setting is green and flowery, it's really pleasant!

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  • Difficult
    04:04
    11.6 mi
    2.8 mph
    4,750 ft
    4,750 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This very nice loop takes you from the Col du Frêne car park to the top of the Dent d´Arclusaz, at 2,040 meters above sea level.From the Col du Frêne, a pretty wooded path takes you to the Col du Potat, in the heart of the mountain pastures. From the Col, you take a winding path and arrive at Pierre Besse, at an altitude of 1,730 meters. You are under the Arclusaz cliff, it is quite impressive!

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  • Difficult
    02:43
    10.3 mi
    3.8 mph
    3,500 ft
    3,525 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    The loop leading to Tré le Mollard is more or less the same as the one which takes you to Mont de la Coche (komoot.fr/tour/474280334), the two peaks facing each other.The circuit starts at the Nant Fourchu car park, at École. About 300 meters after the parking lot, you leave the road and take a forest track. It gradually …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    13
  • Distance
    137 mi
  • Duration
    45:57 h
  • Elevation
    56,825 ft

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Running the peaks — reach the summits of the Bauges 2000ers