Bisitak 50, kokapena 1
Nondik gertu Saint-Jean-d’Aulps, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes (France)
Walk up from the car part at L’Abbaye du Aulps where the Via Ferrata board is. Turn left out of the car park up the path to the minor road and turn left, just after a barn and before a house on the right look for the sign for the approach/return path. The path is extremely steep and climbs 190m to the start, it is well marked with red dots/arrows and there is a signpost to the Via Ferrata where it leaves the descent path. There are two ferrata starting at the same place L’Oeil de L’Elephante (Eye of the Elephant) ED and La tête de L’Elephante (Head of the Elephant) D+, both start at the same place. We intended to do both but the approach and descent were so arduous and the heat (32 degrees) sapped our strength. Both ferrata are in excellent condition (tour companies use the easier one) with well spaced rungs and plates and a thick well bolted cable. The Eye of the Elephant had tough overhanging sections and we were glad we had put a carabiner in the front loop of our ferrata gear and taken our Petzl connect so that we could clip on for awkward changes and a rest. The ferrata is challenging to the end and finishes in an uphill scramble. The descent path is obvious and marked by red arrows/dots and initially continues to climb until it descends sharply into the woods where a cable is provided for extra security. The descent path is well marked with red dots but torturously steep with small zig zags of limited effect and can be made easier with walking poles. It seems to go on forever before reaching the ascent path and continuing back down to the road and the start/finish. Nice bars and cafes in Saint-Jean-d’Aulps and we needed them!!