Maritime Alps

Small Lake

A small lake below the Colle di Fenestrelle, a 2463 m mountain pass. Another pass we had crossed the day before is visible in the background, the Colle di Finestre at 2686 m.

Big Lake

From atop the Colle di Fenestrelle an artificial lake catches the eye, the Lago des Chiotas at 1978 m, completed in 1982 to produce electric energy. The background again shows a pass, the Colle del Chiapous, 2526 m high and yet to be crossed this same day.
Small lake Lago del Chiotas

From the Hut

That's what you see when in front of the Rifugio Morelli-Buzzi, a hut located just under the Colle del Chiapous.

Popular Place

On the left is the exit of a spectacular couloir, the Canalone Lourousa, which goes up to an altitude of over 3000 m. Over the years it has taken its toll from the many visitors, demonstrated by the memorial plates at its base.
Wall oposite Rifugio Morelli-Buzzi Underneath Canalone Lourousa


The following is all about the Ibex.

The Ibex knows that nobody is allowed to shoot at it. Guaranteed by the National Park. Their characteristic horns, carried by both males and females, makes it easy to distinguish them from Chamoises. Of course, the horns of males are much bigger.
Ibex Ibex

An Ibex is much less afraid of human beings when compared to a Chamois and thus easier to photograph. Which makes it even easier to photograph them is their strange behavior.
Ibex Ibex

Strange behavior that makes them come to huts to lick the concrete as if it was chocolate ice-cream. The Ibex is addicted to concrete. It takes all sort of turns to get on it. Must be a salty taste on the surface.
Ibex Ibex

This one, also an addict, is looking out of a window of an old military barrack, a leftover from strange human behavior. A "natural" Ibex, seen as anyone not familiar with them would imagine it.
Ibex Ibex


A hunting lodge of the House of Savoy, build more than a hundred years ago and today serving as Rifugio Valasco, maybe one of the most unusual huts all over the Alps.

Casa di Caccia


With its location at the border between France and Savoy, the military was much interested in the area to build fortifications, barracks, and in order to do so, the necessary roads.


Many of the military buildings haven't seen any use for many years, except of being licked slowly away by the Ibex. They do not respect the sign.
Old military road Old barracks


It's three of them, three Laghi di Fremamorta, whereas this photo shows the most northern one close to the Coletto del Valasco, the pass behind the snowfield.

Laghi di Fremamorta

Above the Valley

The view goes down into the upper Valle di Valasco, also at the Testa di Tablasses with an elevation of 2851 m.


One of several lakes up above the end of the Valle di Valasco, this one a lake with the same name: Lago di Valasco.
Upper Valle di Valasco Lago di Valscura


Clouds are getting denser in the afternoon, a witch's brew that later culminates in a thunderstorm. In the foreground the old military road.


Lago di Claus at 2344 m, the one I liked the most. Not far from Rifugio Questa, which is situated on yet another lake.
Bad weather approaching Lago di Claus


It looks older than it is, the Refuge de la Cougourde at 2100 m, build anew in 2002 and named after the impressive rock La Cougourde (2921 m) nearby.


A road leads from Saint Martin up to Madonna de Fenestre, a church with a saint sculpture, but also the Refuge Madonna de Fenestre at 1903 m. Due to the road the place is crowded, yet serves as a good starting point for a hike.
Refuge Cougourde Madonna de Fenestre