A Walking Guide to the Massif de la Chartreuse

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Chartreuse 78
January 31 2010 Contributor: Dora Leemeijer

Wij zijn van plan om in juni de Chartreuse te bezoeken. De hele winter zit ik al op deze site en alles te lezen. Aangezien ik twee nieuwe heupen heb Moeten de wandelingen niet te inspannend zijn. Wij hopen DAT er ook wandelingen die niet zo erg hoog zijn.

The Webmaster writes:

I do hope that you have an excellent holiday. I suggest that you start with the the tour of the Grande Sure valley, followed by the suggested walk on Mont Outhéran. The former is a very straight forward walk which will test out your new hips, and the other involves a little easy scrambling. If you have no difficulty with these, then you will be able to manage most of the other walks - at least those up to "Difficulty 2".

Thank you for a Lovely Site 76
December 12 2009 Contributor: gill

I really enjoyed reading all the useful information.

I was wondering if you could help me in few more questions:

1. Is the Sardinian way and Gorges du Guires Mort are the same?

2. Is second half of May a good season for tracks?

3. In case of woman (hopefully...) in pregnant - could you recommend an shorter and easier route - something like 1 to 3 hours?

Thank you again for your lovely site

Gill and Adis


The Webmaster writes:

Thank you for your posting, and your kind words. To answer your questions:

1. The Sardinian Way is not the same as the Gorges du Guiers Mort. The latter enters the southern half of the massif from St. Laurent du Pont. The former is an old route which used to cross a western outlier of Chartreuse on the road between Les Echelles and Chambéry. The new road goes through a tunnel.

2. The second half of May is not a very good time to visit Chartreuse for walking. The weather tends to be wet and cold, with a lot of snow lying on the paths. Early June is much better - better weather and better flowers.

3. It depends on how pregnant you will be! Mont Outhéran is a fairly short walk which visits a nice top, and the walk around the waterfalls in the Cirque de St. Même is superb. However, I advise you to visit the Office du Tourisme when you arrive, where you will find leaflets with plenty of shorter walks.

Dogs on the Grand Som 74
August 11 2009 Contributor: Phil James

I've just got back from a splendid holiday in the Alps, my 1st visit for nearly 40 years, and I wonder why it's taken so long!

I went with a varying family group; our 1st day out (at the beginning of July) was on le Grand Som with partner and 10 year old son, using the route you describe from la Correrie. The walk was splendid - I'm a botanist and was thoroughly enjoying the plants after we rose above the forest....

On the way down we had a bit of an incident however. There was a flock of sheep near the shepherd's cabin - we walked through the flock, then were suddenly confronted by two large and aggressive shepherd dogs (I don't know what breed they were) that were unattended and loose. Within a few seconds I was bitten on the leg; my partmer and son ran back up the path and I took temporary shelter in the cabin before rejoining them, chased by the dogs. We ran quickly back up the path, then found the slightly longer route back down via le col de la Ruchere, where we found the 1st of many green notices giving rather inadequate information about the sheep and dogs.

The result of this was a very long evening finding a doctor to clean and dress the bite, then two visits to a hospital in Grenoble for rabies and tetanus vaccinations. I now have just a messy scab and some bruising that is taking its time to heal.

Have you come across or heard from anyone else who has had a similar experience?

I would also like to mention that the couple who run the campsite at St Pierre de Chartreuse were marvellously unflappable, for they helped arrange the doctor's surgery that evening. The man said, as we were waiting for the doctor to call back, "It's a mad world..."

Many thanks for the excellent website you have created - it's really one of the best.

The Webmaster writes:

May I say how sorry I am to hear about this most frightening incident. It must have been very traumatic.

People do need to be aware of the dogs - I have only come across them on the Grand Som, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if they were encountered in other upland grazing grounds. They are big, formidable looking animals.

There are two things to be aware of. Firstly, try not to walk through a tightly grouped flock of sheep. If the sheep are subsequently scattered, any dog that might be around may think that the sheep are being threatened and react accordingly.

Secondly, if you are approached by a dog, stand still and talk gently to it (any language will do!). It will probably come up to you and take a sniff - feel free to offer the back of your hand but don't make any sudden movements. After a few seconds it will decide that you are no threat, and go back to its duties. Do not shout, run, or make any other sudden movements.

Phil, I hope that your injury is now better and that it hasn't put you of this beautiful part of France.

Thanks for Grande Sure Notes 73
June 12 2009 Contributor: Natalie McCarthy

I'm an Australian that is fortunate to have an assignment in Voreppe for 3 years. Each morning I wake to a view of Grande Sure. A couple of weeks ago I woke to a view of stars and that gorgeous pre-dawn spring blue sky above the massif. I looked on the web for track notes to reach the summit and found your suggested path. I loved the suggested route as the climb up through the forest, followed by fields of wild daffodils and rock climbing were so very diverse compared to the hidden valley, bubbling stream, remaining patches of white snow and cliff edge descent with views out across the Vercors. Thank you for these notes. I look forward to discovering the remainder of your suggestions over the next couple of years.

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