Geneva — Mont Saleve

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Sunday, 9 September 2012

Shan and I met at 8, took the #8 bus to Veyrier-Douane. As usual, the border crossing into France was unattended, but we brought our passports anyway, just in case. We walked west past the golf course, and turned uphill to the Grande Gorge trail. The trail runs mostly through forest, and is steep enough that it sometimes helps to be able to grab onto a rock or tree with the hands. The photo below shows a clear view of the remaining cliff from a point maybe 75% of the way up.

According to the topo map, the bus stop is around 430m above sea level, and the top of the grande gorge trail is at 1250m. We descended from there to the top of the Telepherique (cable car), which is 150m lower, where we found water refills and munchies. Popular place; many people here by cable car, some here even by road: car or bicycle, and some of us who did it the hard way.

The view from the top of the Telepherique. Beyond the jet d’eau, the UN complex, and well to the left from the UN, the ITU buildings, where we will be working this week.

We had thought to go across the crest of the mountain and around on the backside to take the Monnetier trail down. We couldn’t find the trails marked on the map, ended up re-doing maybe 100m of the elevation gain before we gave up. So we did something like 900m of elevation gain on the day, getting on toward 3000 feet.

I had remembered the trail below Monnetier as less steep than grande gorge, maybe because, when I was here before, I came in the reverse direction, and up always seems less steep than down. Well, the down was seriously steep as well, including stretches where we had to hang onto the rail, feet slipping out on the loose gravel with every step.

But we made it down, caught the bus, and got back into town in time to go back to our hotels and clean up — greatly needed — before Shan was due to talk with newly-arrived Klaus at 5.

The view from my hotel room window. Picturesque, no? And being away from the street, it is pretty quiet.

I joined Shan and Klaus for good beer and dinner at Les Brasseurs, and Denis joined us after a while. A long evening of talk, which we finally broke up at almost midnight. Good day, good night!

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