Tarantaise “Wild Water”

Tarantaise means “wild water”. The name applies to the mountain catchment area for the Isère river. Perhaps this also explains why not only are the world champion white-water kayak championships held here, but why it contains an amazing collection of major international ski areas – with 11 main areas containing many small stations  The area is bordered by the Beaufort Massif to the north, the Aosta valley to the east and the Maurienne valley to the west and south. View point is “La Mont Jovie” (2558m) at la Plagne. Panaroma 1: Beaufort Massif ridge (left half), Mont Blanc is in the middle (clouded over) with the ridge for the Aosta valley on the right half. Near the middle in the valley we have Bourg St Maurice, sloping up toward the left to the Cormet de Roselend with the Col de Petit St Bernard straight ahead and La Rosière ski station sloping up to the right of this far central portion. Following the ridge to the right we traverse la Plagne, and Les Arcs. The view of St Foy is blocked by Mont Pourri and the view of Val d’Isère is blocked by the Bellecote.   Panorama 2: Aosta ridge on the right. The Grande Motte in Tignes and the Grande Casse (highest) left of middle, then Pralongnan beneath the big cloud and the far Maurienne valley ridge extending to the right with Courchevel just above the heads of the seated people.   Panorama 3: Courchevel, Meribel, Les Menuires ( The Three Valleys). Oddly enough there are actually four valleys – the fourth containing Valmorel and the Col de la Madeleine. You can see the four valleys diagonally sloping down to the right. The Maurienne valley is behind them. Hiking up the Mont Jovie we both used Chi Walking technique and flat “barefoot” style shoes. The effect was stunning in that neither I nor Christianne (beside the table d’orientation) had any muscle, joint or foot pain despite a steep 1000 metres vertical of hiking. Even descending was without strain or difficulty on the body. This transformation makes hiking appealing!

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