Mountain Adventures in the Maurienne

This rather all-encompassing title contains a wide mix of day walks, walking tours, scrambles, rock climbs, via ferrate, mountaineering routes and even mountain bike and cycling routes around the Haute Marienne valley in the French Alps. This inevitably means there's only space for a limited number of each of these, and my initial thoughts were exactly who is the book aimed at?

Mountain Adventures in the Maurienne, 73 kb

Mountain Adventures in the Maurienne

"This guide offers readers all the inspiration they need for a multi-activity holiday in the Haute Maurienne, in the French Alps. With many suggestions for day walks, mountaineering routes, via ferratas, rock climbs, mountain biking, road cycling and long-distance treks, there's something here for everyone in your party."

Author: Andy Hodges
Published: 10 Jun 2011
Edition: First
ISBN: 9781852846213
Price: £12.95

For more information or to purchase this book:

visit the Cicerone website

If, for instance, mountaineering is your thing surely you'd go for a detailed guide to the region rather than a book containing only twelve routes, and likewise with the other activities featured? On the other hand there are plenty of people who like to dabble at a bit of everything (I'd put myself in that category, in fact) and for them 'Mountain Adventures in the Maurienne' is actually a little bit of a gem.

"...It would make a particularly good purchase for families looking for a mix of days out that will suit everyone..."

Assuming you have the standard two-week in the Maurienne region there's more than enough to go at here whether you're doing it with boots, bike or rope, with a variety of routes and trails for each activity to appeal to all levels of ability.

It would make a particularly good purchase for families looking for a mix of days out that will suit everyone, from the easy Le Pichet via ferrata at Lanslevillard or the short Lac d'Arcelle walk in the same region to a good range of easily accessible rock routes, some reasonably adventurous scrambles/mountaineering routes, a range of cycle routes that include two regular Tour de France mountain climbs and mountain bike circuits to suit everyone from ten-year-old to full on techno-geek downhiller.

Haute Maurienne Overview Map:

Maurienne Overview Map, 52 kb

You'll clearly need to get hold of the relevant map for your chosen activity too, since although sketch maps are included in the book, for most of the routes – especially longer ones – a decent IGN map is also vital. The appropriate maps are in fact recommended in the book's Intro section along with lots of other basic advice on topics such as wildlife, geology, accommodation and weather which will be particularly useful to first time visitors.

Indeed, this is likely to be the biggest market for the book. If you're a committed mountaineer, mountain walker, rock climber etc. then you're likely to want to get hold of more detailed guides to your particular vice – but if you're planning to explore the Maurienne for the first time this summer then it would be well worth taking this small tome along.

In fact buy it well before you set off for the fun and anticipation of planning you mountain days before you leave.

Photos of the Haute Maurienne:

Looking down the Maurienne valley towards Bramans from the Lac Blanc path
© Cicerone / Andy Hodges
The airy but simple summit of Petit Vallon
© Cicerone / Andy Hodges
Ski lifts help to make riding less strenuous
© Cicerone / Andy Hodges

About Alf Alderson

Alf Alderson, 17 kb

Alf Alderson is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer based in Pembrokeshire, South West Wales. He specialises in ski, surf and mountain sports journalism and writes for a wide range of publications and websites in Britain, Europe, the USA, Canada and Australia. He is also the author of various guidebooks and is gear review editor at OE magazine.

More about Alf on his website.

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