meeting in Thônes on July 20

The first edition of “Montagne Experiences”, the meeting place for mountain lovers, organizes an outdoor film screening every month in Thônes (Haute-Savoie), a village between lakes and mountains at the foot of the Aravis, from May to December 2021. A moment of sharing and discussion between outdoor enthusiasts and professionals, where you can enjoy an open-air cinema – and why not take the opportunity to double this evening with a 100% weekend outdoor? Hiking, mountain biking, Via ferrata, nights in bivouacs or even in a refuge, there is no shortage of activities around Thones. Next screening on July 20, with the screening of the film “L’Ascension”, a true story drawn from the experience of Nadir Dendoune.

A film screened outdoors in a village between lakes and mountains. This is the program that awaits you on July 20, on the occasion of the meeting of “Montagne Experiences”, a new festival offered by the tourist office of Thônes, in Haute-Savoie. Every month, a mountain film is screened in the town center of the village located 20 kilometers from Annecy – and because an outdoor cinema session may not be enough to convince you to take a detour, we have selected some outdoor activities to find on site. Hiking or mountain biking, bivouacs, nights in refuges or portaledge, discover our selection of unmissable outings in Thônes.

Which movie to watch on July 20?

Classified in the comedy category, “The Ascension” is a film that might not seem serious enough to the most seasoned mountain dwellers. However, it deserves that we look at its origin: a true story, inspired by the life of Nadir Dendoune – special guest of this unique evening of July 20, 2021 – having left his native 93 to settle in Australia, to begin a world tour by bike in Asia, then climb Everest in 2008. Without experience or training. A challenge met and successful, told (and a little romanticized) in the cinema in “Ascension”, a film by Ludovic Bernard released in 2017, where we find the actor and humorist Ahmed Sylla in the main role. To sum up, a film that approaches mountaineering with a rather quirky tone, without forgetting the inspiring and courageous story of Nadir Dendoune.

What activities to do around?

Thones is the starting point for many outdoor activities. There is notably the Via ferrata de la Roche à l’Agathe, 600 meters long, with 235 meters of vertical drop. The first part is of level D, the second D to D + (if exit by ladder), to be covered between 2 and 3 hours. The Via ferrata is free; you will also find car parks nearby to get there. Another possibility is hiking or cycling, and the unmissable trails of Thônes:

  • The top of the Tournette from the village of Serraval, with a view of the Aravis, Mont Blanc and Lake Annecy.
    Distance: 13.6 km
    D +: 1280 m
    Difficulty: difficult
  • The lake of Mont Charvin, with a panoramic view of the Mont Blanc range and the peaks around Thones.
    Distance: 12.6 km
    D +: 815 m
    Difficulty: medium
    Many bivouac spots are to be explored near the lake of Mont Charvin, and on the neighboring hiking trails. It is also possible to stop at the Aulp de Marlens farm (lunch, sale of cheese, refuge and visits every Thursday to discover the life of the alpinist).
  • Ride a road bike and climb the Col de Plan Bois from Thônes
    Distance: 9 km
    D +: 675 m
    Difficulty: difficult

Find all the hikes from Thônes and its surroundings here.

Where to spend original nights?

Unusual accommodation in the trees, mountain huts, bivouacs or portaledge (tent on the side of a cliff) are available in Thônes. It remains to choose your favorite:

Tree houses

In Écotagnes and Villards-sur-Thônes, enjoy nights perched in the trees in magnificent wooden cabins, facing Mont Lachat. Two are available, as well as a tipi in the forest for a moment of calm, with a view of the surrounding forests and mountains.
Number of bedrooms: 5
Maximum capacity: 16 people
Price: 195 € per person in a cabin; 150 € per person in a tipi

Mountain huts

Around Thones, find six mountain huts accessible from 30 minutes to 2 hours of walk:

Refuge des Fontanettes, in Bouchet-Mont-Charvin. Allow 20 to 30 minutes of walking and 90 meters of vertical drop from the Sardoches car park. From 25 €.
Capacity: 2 dormitories, 19 people maximum.

Refuge of Praz d’Zeures, in Serraval. Allow a 2-hour walk and a 700-meter drop from the Molloire car park (route de l’Hermite) – or take the Volets flight route. From € 42.
Capacity: 1 dormitory, 2 bedrooms, 27 people maximum.

Refuge Le Lindion, in La Balme-de-Thuy, to be reached from Morette. Allow 1.5 hours of walking and 500 m of elevation from the nearest car park. From € 39.
Capacity: 1 dormitory, 19 people maximum

Refuge de l’Aulp de Marlens, in Bouchet-Mont-Charvin. Allow 1 hour of walking and 300 m of vertical drop from the Sardoches car park. From 32 €.
Capacity: 1 dormitory, 20 people maximum

Refuge de Larrieux, in Thônes. Allow 2 hours of walking and 815 m of vertical drop from the nearest car park. From € 15.
Capacity: 2 dormitories, 19 people maximum.

Refuge du Parmelan, in La Blonnière. Allow 1h15 of walking and 390 meters of vertical drop from the Anglettaz car park in Aviernoz; or 1h45 and 715 m of elevation from the forest road of Villaz; or 3 hours and 800 m of altitude difference from La Blonnière to Dingy Saint-Clair. From 8 €.
Capacity: 7 dormitories, 45 people maximum.

Spend a night in portaledge

Accompanied by one of the Thônes guides, spend a night hanging on a portaledge, a tent suspended 50 meters above the void, at the edge of the wall. A very emotional moment, to be found on the site of the Morette waterfalls, near the Abri sous Roche. The ascent to the platform lasts 20 minutes, after a safety briefing and a reminder of rope handling.

On the program, the participants assemble the portaledges – available in one-seater or two-seater – which will then be fixed by the guides on the side of the cliff. After a night under the stars, all you have to do is fold up the equipment and abseil down the cliff for 50 meters.

From 14 years old, alone or in a group of 3 people maximum on the portaledges (possibility of inviting 2 additional people who will sleep on the platform – at the top of the cliff – with the guide). From € 130 per person, breakfast and dinner included, group rate from 4 people.

Header photo: Ludovic Bernard

Themes :
Via ferrata
Mountain biking

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