Saturday, November 17, 2012

Dont d'Oche

The Dont d'Oche is part of the Chablais Trilogy, which also includes Mont Grnage and the Cornetts de Bise. Big lumps of rock, that stand in a great position, close to the shores of Lac Leman and can offer some awesome views. If you have driven towards Thonon from geneva, the Dont is the higher hill next to the spikey tooth like Chateau d'Oche


Having just got back from the UK and with busy season about to hit, there was just enough time before the winter arrives properly, to get one more day out in the hills! We had had snow whilst we were back in the UK, but have had a solid week of sunshine, so Chris and I thought that we would get as high as we could on the route and withdraw if we needed crampons etc as Chris doesn't have any. After a minor fuel issue, we started slightly late at 11:30, straight into the climb towards the Chalets d'Oche. d'Oche means green pasture and as we drew near to the alpage, we could see why. Then it was slog time, climbing up the grasss slopes before reaching shattered limestone rock and the start of the chimneys with some chains for the tricky bits.


Slightly higher up, we stopped to take some shots and were looked down upon by some Butan goats (this was what a woman we met called them, although I cannot find them on the web!) which were great!



After the goats, some gullies led to the refuge. Wow, doesn't really cut it. When you come out of the gully onto a 2 foot wide ridge with a refuge above you and quite simply an amazing view, it pretty impressive!


Anyway, after a spot of lunch we then headed up through some sugary snow and then on to the summit. Amazing views.




Coming back through the snow and ice steps was a bit sketchy (for me) but once past the refuge, we were down within an hour. A great day out in perfect late autumn conditions. 1800 meters of climbing apparently, which is why my knees now feel stiff! Bobbles at the ready, bring on the snow!



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