The mountain, Mont Ventoux

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The mountain, Mont Ventoux

The mountain, Mont Ventoux


The mountain ‘Mont Ventoux’ is a French peak 1912 metres high. Also known as the ‘Giant of Provence’ or the ‘The Bald Mountain’ it stands sovereign, as its nickname suggests, over the other mountains in the Vaucluse region and can be seen from many miles away due to its geographical isolation. Furthermore it forms the linguistic frontier between the north and south langue d’oc.
Before the development of three main mountainous routes, which has allowed for the development of ‘green’ tourism and winter sports as well as the organisation of cycling courses among other things, the mountain belonged to the shepherds who traversed the slopes following the development of ovine farming between the 14th century and 19th century and formed tracks. These tracks from then on developed into footpaths like the GR9.
The mountain is predominantly formed from limestone which explains its vivid white colouration and due to water erosion and the resulting fracturing of rocks the presence of numerous boulders on its peak. There are particularly high levels of rainfall in spring and autumn. The rainwater seeps into the rocks and re-emerges further down at variable speeds thus creating the ‘Fontaine de Vaucluse’. Mount Ventoux is dominated by a Mediterranean weather system, from time to time causing blistering heats in the summer, although the differing altitudes provide a great variety of climates. The wind can also be very violent, the ‘mistral’ wind (as it is known in the south of France) is suffocating for practically half of the year. But the varieties of climate and landscape provide an incredibly rich and fragile environmental area, with thousands of plant species. For this reason it has been classed by UNESCO with the label MAB - Man and the Biosphere and has joined the Natura 2000 network.

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