The characteristic silhouettes of the Dents de Lanfon erected above Lake Annecy inevitably catch the eye, even if you have to be a good hiker to access these rocky towers, it seems impregnable. For all the others, the name of Aulp Riant evokes the richness of the mountain pastures, indicating a pleasant place that we will be satisfied with.
Savoyards do not often go to the neighboring department of “Yaute” (Haute-Savoie), as they say. And yet, Annecy and the shores of its lake are much less distant than the Tarentaise or even the Maurienne. The hike is not always conditioned by access to a summit. This one is open to families, to contemplatives too. There is no need to go through it in its entirety: it is an “à la carte” hike.
The name of Aulp Riant evokes the richness of the mountain pastures, indicating a pleasant place. Without going so far, the Col de l’Aulp is already a good objective for a walk. The view is exceptional on the slope of the Tournette, Lake Annecy and the nearby Bauges. The other classic departure from the Prés Ronds or the Aulp chalet (by the road above Montmin) saves 50 minutes of walking. You will reach the Col de l’Aulp (1,424 m) by car. This is what most hikers do, despite the stony path, which is not very suitable for vehicles, thus avoiding the climb from the Prés Ronds car park (1216 m). The start is identical to that of La Tournette.
Next to the Aulp chalet, take the path that descends to the right through the undergrowth, direction Aulp Riant, then pass the Crottes chalet and go up to the Col des Nantets (1,426 m – cross) . We then fork to the left to go towards the chalets of Nantets and La Froulaz. Above, the trail becomes steeper and you have to try to climb as many switchbacks as possible. After passing the Froulaz chalet, a short steep path leads to Roc Lancrenaz via the Pas de l’Aulp. This passage is the only place that is very slightly “technical”, but since it is equipped with a handrail and the path is wide, it is ultimately easy to negotiate even for the most fearful. You thus bypass, on the lake side, the Roc Lancrenaz, the summit of which is a few minutes on the right. From there, the view of Lake Annecy is magnificent. You will then come to a small plateau in the mountain pastures of Chalet de l’Aulp Laughing above. Between the Dents de Lanfon and the Tournette, the Lanfonnet is much more easily accessible. This is why you can reach the low wall which closes the pasture below and walk along it for a while: the path approaches an area of lapiaz that you have to climb to its southern summit, the Murraz rock (1,768 m) . Like all summits that offer a view of Lake Annecy, this hike is the opportunity for a magnificent panoramic route.But, even if it does not offer any particular technical difficulties, it still presents some passages. exposed and some mountain familiarity is required. Too, you can content yourself with this first summit and retrace your steps in the valley. You then have to follow the GR 96 which crosses due north towards Pointe de Talamarche (1850 m) which you can also climb without problem, but which is of less interest.
The Col des Frètes, more easily accessible, will be rather a wise choice to fully enjoy a superb view of Lake Annecy and the Annecy basin. Further on, in the direction of Alex (another possibility of departure to join the Aulp Riant), you will reach the chalets of the Aulp Riant Dessous. The return is done by the same route.