La Galoppaz et la Sauge depuis Puygros
Parking de l'église, 73190, Puygros
From 01/05 to 31/05. Subject to favorable snow and weather conditions.
The Galoppaz Peak, visible from the transverse valley of Chambéry, reaches a height of 1,681 m. Iconic summit of the Leysse Plateau, this hill with wooded slopes and crowned with an alpine pasture, is situated in line with the range which goes through the heart of the Bauges Mountains.
Route -From the car park in Arvey take the small trail which climbs up along the Dard Brook and follow the red paint markings. -Continue on the path staying on the left bank of the brook. -At the junction there are two possibilities for joining the regional GR path (red and yellow markings): a steep-sloping trail, going straight up the hill or a wide path which is less steep. The two arrive at the same place. -Then follow the regional GR path on the left. At the signpost marked "Sous la Galoppaz, 1 200m)", turn right on the abruptly climbing trail towards Pointe de la Galoppaz. -The trail winds its way through the forest and then comes out onto the alpine pastures. -Follow the trail that ascends the vale and make your way to the summit by following the ridge. -To return to the hamlet of Arvey in Puygros go back down the same way. Discover -The Pointe de la Galoppaz Cross: spectacular panorama of the transverse valley of Chambéry and the summits of the Bauges Mountains. -The summit of the Galoppaz is a small alpine pasture grazed by heifers during the summer season. -The wild tulip: a solitary flower with yellow petals and a red blush at the base on top of a reddish stem of 30 cm; it blooms from April to June. It is found in the mountains of the south of France up to an altitude of 2,000 m. It is present in the rocky areas of the alpine pastures below the Pointe de la Galoppaz, on the south and south-east facing slopes; it reaches its northern range limit in Puygros. Picking them is prohibited. -Lady's-slipper orchid: this flower is also called "slipper orchids" and is characterised by its clog-shaped yellow pouches. It is a spectacular orchid, Europe's biggest and fully protected in France since 1982. It is fond of bright afforestation starting at an altitude of 750 m. Picking them is prohibited. -Black grouse also called western capercaillie or heather cock is a bird of medium-altitude mountains and is the size of a big hen. The male, black with blue tinges, is recognizable by its lyre-shaped tail, which is white and indented, and its red growth (wattle) above the eye. The courtship ritual of males takes place from May to June: when searching for females, it coos like a turtle dove and makes a squawking noise, a sort of strange hiss. Searching for it needs patience, but the spectacle is worth it! The sector of the Galoppaz with its mosaic of natural environments (forests, moors, grasslands, alpine pastures, etc), is favorable to the reproduction of the black grouse. Interesting titbits The Galoppaz Forest is difficult to exploit because of its steep slope. In recent years attempts of cable logging have been carried out. This technique consists of installing in the forest a cable capable of measuring nearly 1000 m, and attaching trunks to it which can weigh up to 4 tonnes. In this way the felled trees in the slopes are airlifted to lumber yards. They are then transported by logging trucks. On the mountainsides of the Galoppaz you can see gaps due to cable logging, that natural regeneration has not yet filled in.