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Emosson Dam

November 5, 2022

One of the largest hydro-electric projects in the alps, the Emosson Dam, is situated just outside the Chamonix valley in Switzerland. The border between France and Switzerland was actually moved to ensure that the whole project was in one country.

The Dam itself is at 2000m and was built between 1967-1972.  At 180m high it is the third highest dam in Switzerland.  This is a great area for hiking and the dam is easily accessible by road and funicular, although the latter has not been in operation in 2022.

The most popular destination in this area are the fossilised dinosaur footprints  located at 2,400m, although  I must be a bit of a philistine as I found them underwhelming.  

Dinosaur Footprints

Far more interesting for me was the climb up through the Gorges de Veudale, which is the route to the footprints.

The route up to Col de Terrasse (the snowy bit in the middle) – up the gorge.

From the top of the Gorge I took a detour  to the top of the Col de la Terrasse at 2675m. On a clear day this would have   amazing views back  towards the Col du Montet and Col D’Balme in France but unfortunately my luck was out and thick cloud on that side of the mountain meant all I saw was a wall of white.

On the plus side, the upland area around the Col is itself very beautiful  with  views back to the Vieux Emosson or the old Emosson dam. This is a much smaller dam with an upland lake and is the route back from the dinosaur footprints.

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