A weekend hike up Mt. Salève – Slideshow

A weekend hike up this beautiful mountain provides an amazing view of Geneva and the French Alps.

The steep trails only took us about 2 hours to traverse, I'm pretty sure we would have lost our way with out Jean, our guide!

The steep trails only took us about 2 hours to traverse, I'm pretty sure we would have lost our way with out Jean, our guide!

Fossil of a prehistoric (?) shell

Fossil of a prehistoric (?) shell

Nearly at the top...

Nearly at the top...

WE MADE IT!!!

WE MADE IT!!!

We figured we walked enough getting up there that we took the tram down. Needless to say it was quite a bit faster.

We figured we walked enough getting up there that we took the tram down. Needless to say it was quite a bit faster.

Mt. Salève is technically in France and part of the French “Pre-alps,” or foothills of the Alps. We joined a group of hikers that go up the mountain every Sunday.

We learned from our guide that the Alps formed roughly 500 million years ago. Back then, the area was filled by the Tethyan Sea. The materials the Alps are made of, such as marble, limestone and granite, developed during many millions of years at the base of this sea. About 100 million years ago the African tectonic plate started to move towards the tectonic plates of Europe and Asia. Under the influence of this gigantic pressure the bottom of the sea rose to form new mountains. This is why there are fossils of shells on top of this huge mountain!

The lookout over Geneva and the lake, just stunning!