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The Alps by the Sea

Mountains

The snow covered peaks of Gelas (A. Rivelli/PNAM).

The Maritime Alps, the first and southernmost sector of the chain, have 24 peaks over 3000 metres. The highest point is the South Peak of Argentera, which is less than 50 kilometres from the beaches of the Côte d'Azur.

On the shadier side of these mountains are the remains of the great glaciers that covered the Alps during the ice ages. In the upper valleys there are around 300 lakes, deep blue in colour, that were formed in that period. There are also plant and animal species typical of colder climates.

Despite the vicinity of the sea, the Maritime mountains have the flavour of "real mountains", because of their often harsh and wild nature they win over anyone who comes here: whether to climb the hardest routes on Corno Stella or for a relaxing walk to the Valasco plain; or for ski mountaineering in the middle of winter to Rocca d'Orel, or for a day walking among the hundreds of lakes dotted around Valle Gesso.

Argentera

The roof of the Maritime Alps

The Argentera Ridge, with the South Peak at 3297 metres, is the highest part of the Maritime Alps.

Monte Matto

The highest wall in the Maritime Alps

Seen from below the Matto massif counterbalances the Argentera range; the valley looks like it was drawn by a child, hemmed in precisely by two symmetrical mountains.

Gelas

The southernmost glacier in the Alps

"The weather is superb and we couldn't ask for more, the wide panorama that stretches from the Apennines to the distant eastern Alps is a truly grand picture". Meo Figari, Alpinismo senza chiodi ...


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