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France

France is inundated with crags, major mountain ranges (and sunshine!). Guidebook coverage of these range in quality from superb to abysmal. Unfortunately many are unavailable in the UK, but British publishers are beginning to plug the gap.

The major alpine areas are:
The Jura: The range bordering Switzerland north of Lake Geneva. Rather lower peaks, but still spectacular. Summits include Crêt de la Neige and Le Reculet.
Mont Blanc Range: Borders Switzerland and Italy and includes many famous peaks in addition to Mt Blanc, such as the Aiguille Verte, the Grand Jorasses and the Dru.
Vanoise: South of Mt Blanc and bordering Italy. Summits include the Grande Casse and Mt Pourri.
Écrins: Known to Brits as the Dauphinée, this range includes the Barre Des Écrins and the Meije.
Queyras: South of the Vanoise on the French Italian border. Monte Viso is the best known peak, though it lies wholly in Italy.
Vercors: Limestone peaks in Central France. Perhaps better known for its rock climbing on crags such as Presles and Archiane, but the highest peak is the Grand Veymont.
Maritime Alps: South of the Queyras on the French Italian border and also known as the Mercantour. Cime du Glas is the highest peak.
Pyrenees: Mountain range forming the border with Spain.
Corsica: Mountainous Mediterranean island.

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