Words by Pierrick Aubert
Have you already found a hike that surpasses your expectations? The one which overtakes everything you imagined. If not, I’m sure you will. In my case, I found it last weekend while wandering around my home. A friend of mine told me that there was a tunnel a few kilometers away that goes through the mountain and ends up with massive arches of stone. It’s called “Le Trou de la Chapelle” (“Chapel’s hole” in English) and I had to see this with my own eyes.
Chapter one: Hiking
Considering the fact that I will have to go underground, I of course needed some additional gear in my bag: a headlamp obviously and a jacket in order to not catch a cold down there. I started on a popular trail that many tourists visit when they come on holiday in the Annecy area. After hiking a few kilometers in the forest, it gets steeper until reaching a mountain refuge of Lindion.
As it was early morning, it smelled of coffee and breakfast around the chalet. But no break for me! Instead of following the main route, I had to continue higher in the woods on a small track until I reached a huge cliff equipped with a ladder and chains. Time to store the poles in my backpack and continue on a more vertical route!
Chapter two: Climbing
The more I climbed, the more fun I had, but I was also thinking that none of my friends would dare to crawl here. They are too afraid of heights, so I will have to tell them about this great adventure the same way I’m writing it here.
When you look at it from the valley, the cliff seems impassable. Yet, the ladders keep winding between and over rocks until a final climb to the top of the ridge. Hidden in the woods, it feels like a very secret spot. You can see the mountains around between the trees but no-one can see you, and a little further a gigantic hole marks our final destination.
Chapter three: Caving
Jacket on. Headlamp on. This is where the fun begins! As I penetrated the cavern, the light of the sun disappeared and I climbed over rocks to cross this big tunnel. Once down here, you guess the light coming from the exit and forget that you are in a cave. It feels more like a vast mineral church with natural vaults and limestone columns.
I could have spent hours in it: taking pictures, exploring every nook and corner. But, as they say, all good things come to an end. Not a goodbye though. I’ll be back!
Of course, not everyone lives in the mountains, but adventure is everywhere. There is always a hidden gem waiting to be discovered and it’s now your turn to find it.
Pierrick is an outdoor geek, always on the hiking trails around his home with a camera. Living and working as a Social Media Manager in the Aravis mountain range (French Alps), not a day goes by without a short walk, or a long hike. Running, hiking, skiing, camping… No matter the weather or the hour, he simply enjoys sharing his adventure.