Plan well ahead 

We recommend that you prepare thoroughly (hiking gear, food and drink, weather-appropriate clothing, hiking maps, arranging overnight accommodation) for your hike. Here are a few useful tips from the mountain hiking guide: 

Preparation: Hiking in the mountains is a challenging pursuit. Careful planning helps prevent nasty surprises and prepares you for unexpected eventualities. Plan your route and the time you will need to complete it. Also, give yourself a margin of safety by factoring in additional time as well as an alternative route. Familiarise yourself with the route, as well as current trail and weather conditions. Tell a third party about your plans and the route you intend to take, especially if you intend to hike alone.

Assessment: Not knowing your limits increases your risk of having an accident and could spoil what should otherwise be an enjoyable experience. Mountain hiking paths (signposted in white-red-white) can be steep, narrow and exposed. Only sure-footed hikers should venture there. Be realistic about your abilities at the time and adapt your route accordingly. Never undertake a difficult hike alone.

Equipment: Mountain hiking paths can be slippery. Ensure that you have sturdy hiking shoes or boots that have deep treads. Bring sun and rain protection with you as well as warm clothes because the weather in the mountains is more extreme and can change quickly. Make sure to take a recent map with you. Do not forget to bring a first aid kit, and a mobile phone for emergencies.

Check: When you are tired, you can lose your footing more easily. To keep your energy and concentration levels high, drink, eat and take breaks regularly. Make sure that you keep within the schedule you have set yourself and remain alert to changing weather conditions. Stay on marked paths and, where necessary, do not leave it too late to turn back, where necessary.

 

LIVESTOCK GUARD DOGS

The itinerary of the Grand Tour des Vanils has been designed to avoid crossing mountain farms with livestock guard dogs. Nonetheless, it is best to know what to do should you encounter one of these four-legged sentries during your hike.

This advice applies in particular to the following stages:

Rossinière – Allières

Montbovon – Bounavau

Bounavau – Charmey

Interactive map indicating the presence of guard dogs

 

Behaviour to adopt if you encounter a livestock guard dog:

- If you arrive on grazing land protected by a guard dog

A sign indicates the presence of dogs. Carefully read the information, stay calm, do not frighten the animals and don’t be scared. If you are cycling, dismount and push your bike. If you are on foot, do not run; keep walking at a slow and steady pace.

- If a guard dog begins barking, runs towards you and blocks your way

Stay calm and give the dog enough time to assess the situation. Do not approach the cows and avoid provoking the dog, whether with a stick or sudden movement. Once the dog accepts your presence and calms down, calmly continue on your way. If possible, take a detour around the cows. Do not feed or pet the dogs.

- If you are hiking with your own dog

Livestock guard dogs tend to react more aggressively to other dogs. Do not let your dog off its lead and keep it under control. Do not attempt to walk past a herd of cows with your dog. Take a detour. When in doubt, turn back. If a guard dog attacks your dog while it is on the lead, let go off the lead and do not attempt to separate the two animals.

- If you feel threatened by a guard dog

Avoid eye contact and do not turn your back on the dog. If the guard dog does not calm down even though you have remained composed and kept a safe distance from the herd, turn back.

 

 

 

 

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