Looking down on the Château de Bourdeau, the Dent du Chat is a lovely little walk to do close to Chambery. From the Dent du Chat television relay station car park, the summit can be reached in less than an hour and a half along a ridge. Cables make progress easier over the last, more difficult, metres. The summit enjoys a terrific panorama and in one glance you can take in Mont Blanc, the Vanoise, the Bauges, Belledonne, the Chartreuse… Moreover, the view over lake le Bourget and the Chambery basin is very impressive in clear weather. Crossing the col opens up the Savoyard hinterland, the town of Yenne and the village of St Jean de Chevelu with its two lakes.
Legend has it that one day a fisherman, waiting in vain in his boat for a bite, vowed to release the fish if he managed to catch one in the hope of being rewarded for his generous gesture. Providence heard him and he got a bite. He was so happy after hours of waiting that he forgot his vow and didn’t release the fish, kept it and recast his line. He then got another bite, but it was so big it almost capsized his boat. He pulled out a little kitten. He went home with the kitten in his pocket. Over the years it grew into a beautiful adult cat. One fine day, it left the fisherman’s house and climbed into the mountains, where it settled on a rocky peak, now the Dent du Chat, from where it began to terrorise travellers crossing the col. In the end, it was the companions of King Arthur, Bérius and Mélianus, who rid the country of the horrible cat by piercing it with several arrows, having trapped it by luring it with a lamb. As a reward, the king offered Bérius a field (Field Bérius : Chambéry) and Mélianus a mountain (Mount Mélianus : Montmélian). A single one of its teeth remained up there, the Dent du Chat (the cat’s tooth).
The story of the great fire of 1813 was told by Alexander Dumas, who was staying in Aix-les-Bains at the time. For three days, the spectacular fire ravaged the mountainside. It appeared to have been caused by a camp fire lit by some careless walkers which was not fully put out. The guilty parties were denounced and arrested by the Royal Carabineers and sentenced to a substantial fine.
Source : Wikipedia