Cheminées des fées
Saint Francois Longchamp

The fairy chimneys “Cheminées de Fées” or “Demoiselles Coiffées” can be seen from the road up to the Madeleine Pass at an altitude of 1450 m between L’Epalud and Saint-François 1450 M – On the way up, look to the left. There is a car park for your use, from where you may safely observe these chimneys.
These Cheminées des Fées also known as Demoiselles Coiffées in certain regions are large columns, naturally formed, from sedimentary, flaky rocks whose summit is made up of a different rock type that is more resistant to erosion.
These columns can measure up to a few dozen metres in height.

The erosion of these columns is due to a number of reasons depending on their geographical location. It may be due to land slipping through heavy rains and the chemical reactions between these rocks and water. The force of the wind may also have an impact that is not negligeable, as well as a succession of periods of freezing and thawing which have damaged the rock through the process of expansion.