Photo Essay: The Bauges Massif

A visual journey through the 14 summits of Bauges.
BY MARIUS SIMON // FEB 25, 2024
Nestled in the picturesque French Prealps lies the Bauges Massif, home to 14 charming mountain villages. Situated between the vibrant cities of Chambéry, Aix-les-Bains, Albertville, and Annecy, this region boasts UNESCO World Heritage status. Here, the natural splendor is epitomized by 14 iconic summits that adorn the landscape, beckoning adventurers to uncover their hidden treasures. In August 2023, I embarked on a photographic expedition to capture the beauty and essence of the Bauges Massif through its 14 summits. My aim was not only to promote local exploration but also to capture the essence of life in this rugged terrain, challenging conventional travel notions along the way.

With its lush green pastures, diverse wildlife, and plethora of awe-inspiring summits, the Bauges serve as an ideal playground for trail enthusiasts.
One climb, in particular, stands out as a testament to the massif's allure: the ascent of Sambuy, reaching 2,198 meters and marking the seventh summit of the 14. This hidden gem in the Alps offers a glimpse into the technical skill required to traverse its ridges and vertiginous passages. It's these everyday micro-adventures that define the essence of exploration in the Bauges.
During a memorable excursion, I had the privilege of meeting René and Pierre, aged 82 and 73 respectively, who were pursuing the same project. Together, we summited the Sambuy, weaving through its rugged terrain and exchanging tales of adventure along the way. René, a seasoned adventurer, shared stories of his numerous accomplishments, including scaling Mont Blanc four times and completing the GR20 at the age of 78. Meanwhile, Pierre shared anecdotes of their enduring friendship and shared passion for mountain racing, spanning over five decades of exploration in the Écrins. Their inspiring stories remind us to nurture curiosity, persevere in the face of challenges, and, above all, share the joy of discovery with others.
My journey through the 14 summits of Bauges continues in 2024. While the path ahead may be uncertain, one thing remains clear: the allure of these rugged peaks and the spirit of adventure they embody are timeless.

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