In the footsteps of the peasant miners of Guisane

A Le Monêtier-les-Bains walk posted on 23/02/16 by jploust. Update : 27/11/18

The Briançonnais region had several hundred peasant-mines each operated by 2 to 3 people.
This route lets you access two of these sites in the Guisane valley. Here you can still find remnants of these operations.
It also offers stunning panoramic views of the Guisane valley and the Les Agneaux mountain. You can enjoy this in both summer and winter, with snowshoes (the southern exposure allows for rapid stabilisation of the snowpack).

Technical sheet
Author's time Author's time : 2 hr
Distance Distance : 3.91km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 308m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 301m
Highest point Highest point : 1706m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1421m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Snowshoeing Snowshoeing
Areas Areas : Alps, Cerces
Location Location : Le Monêtier-les-Bains (05220)
Starting point Starting point : N 44.963458° / E 6.536764°
Map IGN Map (Click to buy) : Ref. 3536OTR
Download : -

Description

Park in the car park at the bottom of the village of Freyssinet, on the edge of the D1091.

(D/A) Walk up the main street (Rue Sainte-Luce), in a north-easterly direction, pass the church and reach the top of the village.

(1) Take the Route de la Mine to the right, which quickly turns into a broad stony path. Walk up it until you get to a fork. Don't take the GR® parting to the left (signposted Puy Freyssinet) but continue on the main path which takes you east to the first mine.

(2) Step onto the mine's alluvial fan. To your left you can see the bricked-up entrance from the main gallery. There's a stunning panoramic view of the summit of Les Agneaux (right), the Dômes and the Col de Monétiers (left). Continue along the heap and at the end, take the path that climbs up to the left. Walk up through the mountain pastures (in a north-easterly direction) staying on the ridge overlooking the gorges of the stream. You'll arrive at the second mine.

(3) Cross the platform of the mine and join the trail that climbs from Serre-Barbin to Puy Freyssinet. Follow this down and after a rocky barrier, you come out by a small bridge over the river Roche Noire.

(4) Cross it and continue down the trail. Follow the marked trail in the direction of the village of Serre Barbin which you can see down below. When you get to the top of the village (water catchment) go down the street up to the fork.

Turn right (signposted "Au soleil de la Guisane") and follow the small Route du Freyssinet that leads back to the start point (D/A).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.32 - alt. km 0.32 - Top of Freyssinet
2 : km 0.98 - alt. km 0.98 - Gallery of the first mine
3 : km 1.52 - alt. km 1.52 - 2nd mine
4 : km 1.66 - alt. km 1.66 - Bridge over the Roche Noire river
D/A : km 3.91 - alt. km 3.91

Useful Information

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3536OTR.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

The peasant mines (see the interesting leaflet for the Briançon mine museum edited by the Briançonnais mining and geological society which is available at the geology centre and tourist offices).
The panoramic views of the Guisane valley and the Les Agneaux mountain.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.