Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Forgotten mountain

I've been meaning for ages to correct an injustice. I've put up pictures on my blog of all the imaginable mountains and cliffs that surround me at Gamone. But I'm not sure I've ever included a full photo of the great bald peak up behind my house, to the west.

The reason for this negligence is that I have to move at least several hundred meters away from my house, to the east, in order to get a good view of this mountain, named Les Trois-Châteaux (the three castles). My stray sheep have been living on the lower slopes of this mountain for over three years. There are a few wild mountain goats up there, too.

On the righthand side of the photo, you can glimpse a corner of my house sticking out behind a low hill in the foreground. The road to my house runs up alongside Gamone Creek, which flows in the hollow between that low hill and my property.

This mountain is located entirely on the territory of the commune of Choranche. On its lower slopes to the left, a much lower mass of rock, located on the territory of Pont-en-Royans, bears the same name, indicating that three ancient castles down on the nearby plains could be observed from these vantage points.

Not only have I never climbed up onto this mountain, but I've never seen or even heard of anybody doing so. The rock appears to be rather flaky and crumbly, making it a relatively dangerous place for casual visitors. On the other hand, I've spent a lot of time sliding around on its lower slopes (in the adjacent valley that belongs to my neighbor Gérard Magnat) trying to catch up with my stray sheep... who no longer consider me—if ever they did so—as their good shepherd.

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