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planetFear - Rock Climbing, Adventure Racing, Mountain Biking

IGN Guides: Vanois & Mont Blanc

Review by Review
Friday 1st January 1999
They both offer a mine of useful and current information for climbers and hill-walkers — as well as skiers, bikers and canoeists — that can easily be dug out even by those with modest French.

These are the latest highly interesting additions to IGN’s French-language guides published through its IGN Espace subsidiary.

The Vanoise guide usefully includes not only the main Savoy Alps but also up-to-date info on the Gran Paradiso. The Mont Blanc guide covers not only Chamonix-Mont Blanc but the Aiguilles Rouges, the main Aosta valley, the hills between Geneva and Albertville (Clusaz, Sallanches, Megeve) and the area stretching through from Chamonix to Champex and Martigny in Switzerland. The set-up provides hut routes, addresses, phone numbers and status (private, open all year/seasonal) together with a selected range of hill-walking, climbing, ski-touring, biking and paragliding options. The section of the Vanoise guide dealing with options from Pralognan, for example, includes the Mont Charvet ridge walk, the west arete of the Petit Arcelin (12 pitches, one of 6a), the Vion route on the Arcelin (TD+ with three pitches of 6a), routes on the Aiguille Vanoise, glacier excursions, and circular walking tour of the Grande Casse. The Chamonix-Mont Blanc of space to easily accessible crags including the Duchere (Val Montjoie), the Chapeau and to ski-touring. Information on huts, gites, hotels, campsites, guiding etc is extensive. Perhaps the real value of these guides is to suggest alternative places, routes, summits, crags and ski routes at all levels to those long familiar with these regions of the Alps. They can be obtained direct from IGN Espace at 107 rue La Boetie, 75008 Paris but just as easily and quickly from The Map Shop, 15 High Street, Upton-upon-Severn, Worcs WR8 0HJ. Each is priced at FFr115.

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