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Le Refuge du Laisonnay: History.

" "From Friburge a increasingly narrow and poor track leads to the edge of the National Park, in Laisonnay, a simple summer hamlet, gilding its lichen-covered stones at the foot of a beautiful waterfall. One of the old houses, well renovated, is run by an old lady who received us in hostess; she offers us a haven of rest, softness and unmistakable serenity, simple dishes: country bread, ham, dairy. Here we are certainly at one of the most beautiful entrances of the National Park." Roger FRISON-ROCHE. La Vanoise - National Park - 1972

 

The founders. Serge et Catherine Mino ont fondé le premier refuge privé de Parc National de la Vanoise

Everything started in 1960 when Serge and Catherine Mino, owners of a hotel in Champagny-en-Vanoise, bought a small mountain pasture in the valley of Champagny-Le-Haut. The couple worked hard to transform the place into a nice chalet and decide to retire to this remote village when the winter seasons was over in the village.

But it was not counting on the reputation of this couple.

Soon the locals visit them, and Serge and Catherine resume their habits by offering them hospitality The few hikers (and the hunters at this time) wishing to make a stop in the hamlets get used to the place, the demand was growing very rapidly. Thus, in 1963 they decided to officially open a tavern and restaurant offering sleeping facilities. The Refuge du Laisonnay, first private owned refuge of the Vanoise National Park, was born ...

 

The birth of a tradition.

At that time, the shelter housed 70 people and banquets were very frequent. Ancient hunters or people of Champagny can now tell you a story about the character of "Mother Mino" and good atmosphere that was always at in the place. This was perhaps due to the vegetables from Catherine garden or to the taste that the wine takes at that altitude...

 

 

See some pictures

 

 

The second generation.

 

After the death of Catherine, one of the son, Jean Mino, took over the business. Fan of mountain and gastronomy, guide of the Savoie heritage and inexhaustible lecturer on the history of Savoy, he was very involved in the development of Champagny as a station.

He was initiating the creation of the Refuge de la Glière as well as many events that are always present in Champagny (development of Saint Sigismund Church, painting and creation exhibition...).

Jean decided to rehabilitate the refuge to be able to welcome new walkers and good food enthusiasts. With the help of many people, he could achieve this in 1992 after major works were carried out in order to make a proper restaurant and dormitory while respecting the authenticity and originality of the building.

The refuge accommodation capacity decreased from 70 to 16 people, providing very much comfort ...

Jean died suddenly in 1996.

 

The continuity.

 

Recognizing the need to continue the tradition, his wife, his brother, his children and grandchildren decided to not give up the activity. Françoise, daughter of Jean Mino, left her previous job and place for the refuge remains the meeting place for all mountain enthusiasts.

 

Françoise Deschamps and her husband, with her children took continued this family business. Today, people are still coming here to taste the real traditional Savoy food and the local products with ease and friendliness. Now with one of her son running the place, the refuge du Laisonnay has been going for four generations.