Its characteristic landscape is shaped by hundreds of sinkholes where Swiss pine and larch trees grow. 12 ha of extremely rare geological and natural formations in the ski area. The result of an equation that is unique worldwide, this ecosystem combines gypsum soil and an equilibrium that rests on the delicate wings of a specific bird.
The spotted nutcracker is the keystone
Reforestation actually depends on the spotted nutcracker’s stock of Swiss pine cones. This bird hides the seeds in different places and then finds them again in the winter. However, it has not mastered this treasure hunt perfectly and sometimes forgets some, which can then germinate.
A fragile balance
Its situation in the middle of the ski runs requires our full attention to guarantee its sustainability and the harmony of the ecosystem. The area is ZNIEFF listed (Natural Area of special Ecological, Faunistic or Floristic Interest) but this does not mean that it is an impenetrable sanctuary.
A stealthy visit
An outing on snowshoes is really the only way to discover all its secrets. Going with a guide prevents erosion of the site and noise that can endanger the survival of its inhabitants (foxes, squirrels, ermines, mountain hare and black grouse). The guides can reveal the secrets of the animal tracks in the snow. 2 ½ hr outing from 28€/person
The glacial valley
Champagny-en-Vanoise has a natural treasure that you have to go that little bit further to discover… right to the very end in fact.
You see straight away that the valley is “U”-shaped. This is because it was occupied by a glacier for thousands of years.
To understand a glacier’s mechanisms, a visit to the Espace Glacialis will raise your awareness of climate issues. espaceglacialis.fr
Six picturesque hamlets stand in a dotted line along the stream. This is a place where agro-pastoral mountain culture finds its full meaning. The Nordic site can be discovered on cross-country skis, ski joëring (pulled by a horse), snowshoes or behind a pack of sled dogs.
The valley is classified a national heritage site. 2 370 ha are protected by the code of the environment for their scenic quality.
Met in the valley:
Marion, ranger-instructor in the Vanoise National Park
Her role: to preserve the park. Educating the public and raising awareness play an important role here. She spends hours on touring skis monitoring and observing the fauna and making sure the unsupervised refuges are being used correctly.
Anny, a former teacher in the village
Anny arrived from the Gers department in 1969 and never left. After all, this is “her corner of Paradise”. There are not many inhabitants year-round, so they all help each other out and appreciate opportunities for getting together.
The Marathon du Grand Bec – 21 February 2021
This popular Nordic skiing event is celebrating its 10th edition! The courses range from 1.5 to 42 km. marathondugrandbec.com