PreambleThis page is dedicated to the mountains of the Italian Western Alps and French Hautes-Alpes.
Are the peaks that you can enjoy along with the countless bike dirt roads at high altitude, in Susa and Chisone Valley.
These peaceful and majestic giant form the watershed between Italy and France, they have been for centuries the border between the two nations.
Today, finally, with a united Europe, this paradise for mountain bikers, a wealth of beauty and nature, it is available to everyone.
I hope that my photographs, they are able to highlight all that beauty of which I speak.
French & Italian Western Alps.
Western Alps Classification.
In the traditional partition, the Western Alps are Cadibona from Col Col Ferret. The highest peak is Mont Blanc (4,810 m).
Partition of the Alps.
The Western Alps are further divided into:
Maritime Alps: Ligurian Alps - Alps of the Var
Cozie Alps: Group of Monviso Alps Monginevro-chain Cenisio.
Graian: Group of Gran Paradiso-Alps Tarentaise-Group of Mont Blanc.
Alps of Provence: Axis Group-Group of Bleone.
Alps of Dauphine: Group of Champsaur-Massif Pelvoux-Alps Moriana.
Pre-Alps of Provence: Chaînes des Plans-Sainte-Victoire Mountain-
Sainte-Baume Massif des Maures and the Esterel Mountains.
Pre-Alps of Dauphiné: Mountain-Luberon mountains Vaucluse-Dévoluy-Vercors massif.
Pre-Alps of Savoy: Chablais Alps-chain Reposoir-Baujes-
Grande Chartreuse Massif.
Geology of the AlpsThe Alps are a mountain fold-and-thrust, crustal shortening of expression due to the convergence between the placcha Europe and the Apulian plate.
The Alps are formed as a result of the collision between the African plate and the European plate, an event that ended the ocean of Tethys. During the Oligocene and Miocene tectonic enormous efforts have therefore begun to press on sediments of the Tethys Ocean, pushing against the Eurasia plate. The pressure has then created large folds, faults, ground and thrust, thus forming the current Alps Inside the chain is therefore possible to find portions of the old crystalline basement, which constitutes the substrate of the marine deposits, outcropping on the surface.
The Pennidic dominion.
The Pennidic dominion surfaces in large areas in the Western Alps, while in Central and Oriental Alps it is hidden dall'Austrian-alpino and reappears only in the tectonic windows of the Tauern and the Engadine.
It is a composite system which includes units derived from both oceanic and continental derivation. The continental units are Brianzonese Zone or multi-layered system of the Great St. Bernard, and Massive Crystal Interior of Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and Dora-Maira.
The Zone Brianzonese-Gran San Bernardo consists of a crystalline basement intruded by Variscan granitoids Permian (gneiss Randa), a sequence Permo-Carboniferous and Mesozoic-Eocene coverage, the term is reserved Brianzonese typically the sequence of coverage .
The Massive Crystal Interior are "tectonic windows" in the Piedmont area. Parascisti They are made with Variscan metamorphism in amphibolite facies and Alpine overprint, accompanied by gneiss occhiadini for the exclusive Alpine metamorphism, derived from porphyritic granitoids of age than coal.
The continental units are covered by the units that form the oceanic area Piemontese, also known as the Zone of Calcschists with Green Stones. It includes fragments of oceanic crust and Mesozoic sedimentary cover is characterized by schists (the "Schistes Lustres" of French literature).
In our days the Apulian plate and the European plate continue to converge, continue doing the formation of the mountain range. Measurements taken on roads, railways and tunnels show that the chain there is still a growth ranging from millimeters to centimeters per year. The growth is however offset the activity erosive. We also found some seismic features in depth, showing that the stress is still there. Even the formation of the basins of avanpaese (Po basin and the Molasse) go through subsidence of these areas.
Jewels of the Alps.In the seventies, during the summer holidays, I attended in the Aosta Valley with my parents. With my father went to make long and beautiful hikes in the Ayas Valley.
In addition to the love for the mountains, my father was able to transmit me his passion for speleological exploration and mountaineering.
The ancient Busson gold mines were the perfect place to find beautiful Quartz goldfields.
I still remember today the charm and excitement of going into an abandoned mine.
My job was to bring a lamp and especially......not to miss me in the tunnel.
I remember to this day, the dark noise of the chisel on the hard rock of the mine and the terrifying echo was produced in the tunnel.
The Auriferous quartz.
Gold is often found in hydrothermal veins going to be highly auriferous quartz veins, typically associated with pyrite and arsenopyrite. If the source subvulcanica is associated mostly silver and its minerals, sulfides, quartz, carbonates, fluorite and gold minerals such as nagyatite and sylvanite (the latter rare). In alluvial deposits is usually associated with magnetite but also monazite, zircon, corundum, sometimes the diamond.
The Fenillaz Mine.
Mining activity in the mining district of the Evançon valley has a very long history. Do not have, however, some news of exploitation by the Salassians and the Romans, the goldfields of these areas. From the archives of Challant is no news that the noble family was interested, since the thirteenth century, the exploitation of mineral deposits on their territories, among them, those represented by the various reefs of the Evançon valley.
The exploitation of mineral deposits (pyrite and gold) had its most prosperous period from 1850 (the period in which it was widely used in mining, gunpowder - the use of this technology dates back to the seventeenth century) until the first decade of the twentieth century and then slowly fade.
In particular, from 1900 (the current "Fenillaz" was allegedly found at the end of the nineteenth century), the cultivation and the search for gold becomes more organized (as well as inclined planes, warehouses, electrical substation, in 1903 the cable car was built to transport the ore to downstream) due to mining companies such as: Société des Mines d'or de l'Evancon, The Evancon Gold Mining Company Limited, the Agricultural Consortium of the province of Novara, the Company quarry of St. Victor and the Company rivets.
1905 and 1906 were the years of greatest development of mining. At the end of 1906 the underground vein Fénillaz was developed on the current seven levels with a total length of about 1573 meters. The seven levels are distributed in about 140 m of altitude. The galleries are connected to each other through comebacks, shafts and voids generated by the growing inclination fairly regular basis, corresponding to the inclination of the vein, from 30 ° to 45 °.
Since 1908, a slow decline of mining, linked to the decreasing cost of the same, led to the abandonment of the work in 1909 so that in 1911, after having imposed a deadline of two years for the resumption of field work, in 1913 was lifted on the company Evancon Gold Mining Company Limited, the mining concession, found the inactivity of the mine associated with a state of general degradation of the basement.
In 1929, by decree of the Ministry of National Economy was released, in M. Axerio and C. Panisari, the concession to mine Fénillaz for 50 years. The development of the work was so insignificant as to cause the forfeiture of the new dealer in August 1933.
In the following years were only granted permission to search (up to 1982) that were carried out by sporadic and artisanal mining activities. The limited results obtained did not allow the transition from research permit to mining concession.