The “Ligne de Partage” Association (The Watershed Line Association) and the Club des Cent Cols
Article written by Pierre-Louis Blaix (Président de l’Association LP) and Gérard Galland (CC 933)
The « Ligne de Partage » Association (the Watershed Line Association) aims to develop all activities related to the watershed between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea (the so-called “A/M line”), a line that crosses the following 9 countries, classified from north to south: the Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, France, Andorra, Spain, Morocco.The association has set itself the following five aims:
- To make this line better known, to highlight the communities along its length, to unite their initiatives and to maintain a lasting link between them,
- To use this line as an educational thread to develop, in teaching and with the public, a curiosity for geography,
- To bring to life an international network of geographical exchanges on the theme of water and watersheds,
- To raise awareness of other major continental watersheds and to encourage twinning between them,
- To develop strong environmental values, especially in terms of the protection of water resources.
Its main activities are:
- Geographical researchalong this continental divide, little-known apart from a few roads or passes: mapping specific tracks and features (A/M line, contributory rivers and tributaries, other major dividing lines); studying all the characteristics and curiosities along this line.
- Meeting with the local councils crossed by the A/M line,toencourage them to highlight this geographical feature which is too often ignored.
- Completing long walks with multiple crossings of the watershed line and the 73 rivers concerned. At the beginning of 2019, over 21,000 km were walked by the president of the association throughout Europe. See this page: http://lpe-asso.org/marches/periples-a-pied/
- Holding conferences on the theme of watersheds. These conferences can be adapted in duration and content depending on where they are held.
- Constant updating of the association’s website, which is a reference with more than 220 pages or articles. An introductory page exists in the 10 languages of the A/M line. Site Address http://lpe-asso.org
- A page on this site is dedicated to cycling activities related to the watersheds: See this page
- Development of the network of members and supporters, especially through Facebook: Ligne de Partage.
The Club des Cent Cols is a group of mountain-enthusiasts with the goal of climbing passes.
The rules of the Club define our activity. The commentary in Article 2 of these rules states: “In French the expression “col” includes implicitly a topographic character. Taking into account the many possible types of terrain that can be encountered, the Club has adopted this minimum definition of a pass’s topographic character: a favoured passage, dictated by the relief, situated on a watershed and excluding summits.”
Any cyclist interested in geography will want to know, over each pass, which valley he has come from and which valley he is riding into. Often a pass separates the valleys from two tributaries of the same river, sometimes the valleys of two different rivers or indeed two rivers leading to two different seas.
On « Ligne de Partage » website,thecyclist will find a great deal of information relating to the main continental watershed (A/Mline), and its environment, rivers, countries, municipalities, canals, major peaks, passes, tunnels, etc.
Some activities of the Club des Cent Cols, and in particular its “Randonnées Permanentes”, directly involve the A/M line:
Certaines activités du Club des 100 cols, et en particulier les randonnées permanentes
- One Hundred passes on the Atlantic-Mediterranean watershed (from Cluny to the Port of Pailhères)
- The Divisoria: one hundred passes on the line Atlantic-Mediterranean watershed in Spain (from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Tarifa),
- The Road Passes Challenge located on the Alpine watersheds
- The “Ligne de Partage” Association would welcome any information from these Club initiatives, to enrich its own website and activities.