The 🌉 Passerelle Himalayenne in Plateau d’Assy, which straddles the 💦 Nant Bordon ravine and allows you to access the 💦 Lac Vert via the original route du Lac Vert, was inaugurated on the 21st December 2019 . . . and since then, MBFF has been across it (and back) THREE times!
On our most recent crossing, some Tibetan prayer flags had been attached to the bridge . . .
The nearest access to 🌉 the bridge is from the car park at the junction of route de Marie Paradis and the route du Lac Vert, and as long as there is not too much snow underfoot, you won’t need snowshoes on this short walk from the car park (20 minutes aller-retour), though you might consider detachable crampons and walking poles for comfort.
Some facts and figures
The ancienne route du Lac Vert was shut in 1984, as the path fell away in a landslide . . . since then, access on foot or by bike to 💦 Lac Vert has been limited to via Plaine-Joux or Servoz . . . This 🌉 new suspension bridge allows walkers and cyclists to access 💦 Lac Vert via the original route, and at the same time enjoy a new landmark!
The building of this 🌉 Himalayan suspension bridge was carried out by local company Altitude Construction, specialists in difficult-to-access mountain constructions (other notable projects include works on Plateau d’Assy’s via ferrata and works at the Aiguille du Midi arrival station). What was envisioned was a light and flexible bridge, one that would merge with the surrounding scenery, in order to fit with the environment. In effect, the result is both touristic and ecological, as one can only access it on foot or by bike!
🌉 dimensions: the bridge is set 20m above the Nant Bordon ravine / length: 160m; width: 1,20m; with a dénivelé of 10m; the height of the masts (12m) are restricted by the tension of the bridge, and environmental demands;
🌉 counting crossings: there is a system put in place to measure each crossing, and thus the frequentation of the bridge . . .
🌉 future sculpture plans: sculptures are to be placed at either end of the bridge . . . the competition to choose the sculptures will be launched shortly!
Return crossing . . . a race . . .
New artwork autumn 2020
Passy and Plateau d’Assy are great exponents of modern art ( « Route de la sculpture contemporaine » ) and the 🌉 Passerelle Himalayenne is the newest location for some new artwork: Les Regardeurs, by the duo OPJ Cyganek and Julie Poulain! This new artwork has been placed at either end of the bridge, and remember – it will be watching you as you cross the bridge! / more information here;
The idea is to incorporate this new artwork into a trail being developed from Plateau d’Assy up to Lac Vert, a « rando-culture », uniting culture, sport and nature!
Where to eat?
If you undertake a short family walk to the bridge or further up to 💦 Lac Vert or Plaine-Joux, then you have several options:
🍏 picnics – there is a table and seats carved from rock right there at the bridge, and you’ll also find some benches at 💦 Lac Vert (and the rocks on further side of the lake are facing the sun, and so ideal for a picnic!);
☕️ Restaurant du Lac Vert – right by the 💦 Lac Vert, is the Restaurant du Lac Vert, now open in winter. Food is cooked using 🔥 feu de bois (and there are no frites, as these are difficult to cook on an open fire! 😉) / you can get 🥞 goûter (crêpes and delicious desserts) up until 16h / 🗻 there is a south-facing terrace with beautiful views of Mont-Blanc . . . and when there is ❄️fresh snow, this is ⛄️ the perfect snowman-making playground!
address: 1600 chemin des Parchets, Passy / tel: 04 50 78 55 14 / FB page ;
☕️ La Bergerie (Plaine-Joux) – a firm favourite chez MBFF on a ski or snow day! And it is pretty much open year-round and has frites 😉 (but still check opening hours!) / FB page;
address: 314 chemin des Parchets, Plaine-Joux / tel: 04 50 93 80 51 / FB page ;
☕️ Le Refuge le Châtelet d’Ayères – is accessible on foot over both summer and winter seasons (and on snow-shoe routes) / an extra 35 minutes up from 💦 Lac Vert;
address: route du Châtelet, Passy / tel: 06 60 81 37 82 / FB page ;
Hikes in the area
❄️ wintertime hiking :
[ the following hikes are possible in ❄️ wintertime, with or without snowshoes, depending on snow conditions / if you prefer, you can use detachable crampons for boots and use poles for balance ]
❄️ aller-retour from car park, over the bridge and back (20mins) – a short walk to the bridge (10mins) and then back to the car park is the perfect short walk for little ones or older relatives not able to walk too far . . . a slight uphill saunter, 🌉 an amazing landmark to experience, 🗻 super views of Mont-Blanc . . . this walk could be extended by starting from Plateau d’Assy (at the church, for example);
❄️ to the 💦 Lac Vert (1260m) and back (1h30 to 2 hours) – with slightly older children or older relatives wanting a decent (but not too long!) walk, this would be the perfect distance (tried and tested by us, and with a post-viral 5 year old too!) / 6km, uphill on the way to 💦 Lac Vert and slightly downhill back (perfect!) . . . we took 🛷 a sledge (do not let go, this could be very dangerous on this path!) for pulling children up and back part of the way;
❄️ boucle du 💦 Lac Vert – it is a 20 minute jaunt around the lake . . . 🐟 fish to spot, and perhaps the odd person 🎣 fishing, maybe a 🦅 bird of prey overhead . . . (be very careful with small children, as the path can be slippery);
[ for more information about 💦 Lac Vert, see separate MBFF article here ]
There are ❄️ several snow-shoe routes available from 💦 Lac Vert, and these are outlined on pink signs:
- ❄️ boucle du 💦 Lac Vert & Plaine-Joux – there is a short snowshoe boucle (loop) above and around the lake / about 4km and 1h30 to walk (alternatively, you could also head up to Plaine-Joux via the direct road – this route is perfect for pulling a sledge . . . for this, add on another 40 minutes aller-retour) / up at Plaine-Joux in wintertime, you can have fun with a sledge, snowtubes, watch parapentes taking off);
- ❄️ boucle du Barmus or ❄️ Le Châtelet and Les Ayères – from 💦 Lac Vert up to Le Châtelet is 35mins, and further to Les Ayères (so for more steady, older walkers!) . . .
- ❄️ boucle de la Côte – above Le Mont and Servoz to 💦 Lac Vert;
🌸 late spring, summer & 🍁 autumn hiking:
💦 Lac du Pormenaz & Lac d’Anterne – this is a much longer route, and so recommended for families with older children and good walkers / see separate article MBFF recommended family hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc for more details;
[ 🚵♂️ another option along the route du Lac Vert down to the 🌉 Passarelle Himalayenne is bikes and in winter, fat bikes ]
Other things to do in the area
⛪️ Eglise Notre-Dame-de-Toute-Grâce (Plateau d’Assy) – a visit to this beautiful church is well worth a visit. It was made famous by the work of several renowned artists: the façade’s mosaic was created by painter and ceramist Fernand Léger; Georges Braque added a bronze tabernacle and Marc Chagall a baptistery;
🏥 guided tour of old tuberculosis sanitoriums (Plateau d’Assy) – Passy Mont-Blanc organises tours of the 🏥 1930s tuberculosis sanitoriums: huge and often garishly coloured buildings on bends of the road, and then on the plateau itself you’ll see many that are in a state of total or half-abandon . . . [ to read more about this rich medical history, see MBFF article Lac Vert ]
🎨 route de la sculpture contemporaine – you’ll also see some unique sculptures gracing bends in the road on the drive from Passy to Plateau d’Assy / see here for more information;
🌻 Le Jardin des Cimes – on the drive from Plaine-Joux to Plateau d’Assy, you will pass this delightful alpine garden (NOTE: not open in winter / 🗓 open end of May until end of September). This magical spot is a firm favourite chez MBFF; read more about it here;
🗺 how to get there: the Passarelle Himalayenne is located on the ancienne route du Lac Vert;
🚗 where to park: for handicapped parking, there is a small car park for 4 cars, at the junction of promenade Marie-Curie (lower road from Plateau d’Assy up to Plaine-Joux), and the ancienne route du Lac Vert (two wooden totems mark the spot) – from here, it is a 5 to 10 minute walk to the passerelle / for everyone else, you now need to park on Place Tobé, near l’église de Notre-Dame-de-Toute-Grâce, as a barrier has been placed preventing parking sauvage! From here, you walk along the path that runs beside Sancellemoz (this path has been re-worked for pedestrians);
address: route du Lac Vert, Plateau d'Assy;