Copyright: © 1998 - 2013 John Gardner
|A Walking Guide to the Massif de la Chartreuse|
Walks on l'Alpe
L'Alpe is the long synclinal valley, and surrounding ridges, that stretches between the Roche de Fitta overlooking the Cirque St. Même to the south, and the col de l'Alpette to the north, which marks the southern end of the Granier massif - a distance of some four or five kilometres. It is separated from its neighbours by two prominent geological strike-slip faults both of which provide easy access to the area. The Tour de Chartreuse follows the line of the valley (map).
There are three main ways up into the valley. To the south, the GR9A ascends via the Pas de l'Echelle. To the east of there, another route reaches the valley more gently via the col de l'Alpe; and to the north the GR9A enters the area via the col de l'Alpette. Here we recommend a couple of more esoteric routes to the ridge, both returning by the Pas de l'Echelle. The given walks are fairly short, so once on the plateau, it is strongly recommended that you explore the area, and make sure that you vist the summit of le Pinet which is a wonderful viewpoint.
Like the Dent de Crolles, l'Alpe not only offers magnificent walking - it is also a place of pilgrimage for cavers with the Biolet system alone having over 60 km of explored passages, 35 entrances, and a depth of over 600 metres. Whilst most expeditions are for experienced cavers only, you should take the opportunity to take a look in the entrances of some of the more accessible caves. It's always worth taking a couple of lightweight headlamps with you.
|l'Alpe via the Sangle de Fouda Blanc||l'Alpe through the Ceiling|