A walk to Refuge de Sales in the Grand Massif French Alps

We were on holiday in Les Carroz d’Araches in the French Alps in late August, with fantastic weather, blue skies and hardly a cloud. I had wanted to walk some of the GR 5 towards Flaine, so I drove to Sixt fer Cheval, and started the walk at Le Lignon at an altitude of 1180m, with an expectation to climb to about 2000m towards either one of the refuges. Near to the waterfall called Cascades de la Sauffaz the path split with the GR 5 heading towards Refuge d’Anterne and the GR 96 trail heading towards the Refuge de Sales.

The route is shown in the photo, taken from a picture board on the walk.

Gr 5 or GR 96 in Sixt fer Cheval

The walk from Le Lignon was quite steep, below is a photo looking North towards the start of the walk.

Gr 5 walk looking North to Sixt

 

La Sauffaz waterfall near Sixt fer Cheval

 

 

The waterfall was quite spectacular even late in the season, when there is no snow melt. I can imagine in spring that this would be a torrent.

Cascades de la Sauffaz near Sixt fer Cheval

Cascades de la Sauffaz near Sixt fer Cheval

I decided to take the Gr 96 and head towards the Refuge de Sales at 1840m. The walk passed some dried out stream beds, past mountain goats or Chamois grazing on the mountain sides, more waterfalls, across plateaus and around some narrow paths with safety ropes.

I was very pleased to capture the wild mountain goats, so close to the path. On all other walks I have spotted them in the distance on high rock ledges but never grazing on the lower mountain slopes.

A few movies showing the path and the view due North are below, with a gallery of the photos following.

I started at Le Lignon at 1000 and reached the Refuge at 1230, which included a couple of breaks to drink and eat sandwiches. The walk back was slightly quicker, taking about 2 hours.

Video of Gr 96 walk towards Refuge de Sales

Video of Gr 96 walk south of Sixt Fer Cheval

Gr 96 looking North towards Sixt

Gr 96 sign of cross on route

Chamois or Mountain goat on Gr 96 walk

A chapel on GR 96 walk near Sixt fer cheval

Refuge de sales on Gr 96 signage

Refuge de sales on Gr 96 and mountain view

 

 

 

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