Col De Freydane From La Gorge

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From la Gorge follow the path up the left bank of the river to a reservoir at 906 meters. There is a barrier on the track at around 850 meters which was open. Presumably this section of the track can be closed to traffic, otherwise it seems possible that you could park at the reservoir. From here a track continues up the left bank of the river (it is marked as climbing through the forest but since the flooding in the summer of 2005 things are a bit confused). The track is not very pleasant walking being strewn with debris from the floods. At 1240 meters cross the river on a narrow bridge. Continue through the forest of le Pleynet to Rafiodur. Here you can continue straigh ahead on the Chemin des Excellentes which climbs a scree slope or take a detour via the Jean Collet refuge which adds about 1.5km but is a much clearer trail. Climb to the lac Blanc then to the foot of the glacier de Freydane via the right bank. Cross around the glacier and turn south-west to the col.

You need crampons for the glacier, it is extremely icy and there are crevasses and a steep and dangerous icefall.

Mountain RangeBelledonne
SummitCol de Freydane
Altitude2645 m
MapsCarte IGN Top 25 3335 OT Grenoble
GPS Waypoint 
GPS RouteGoogle-Earth:La-Gorge
Grade[1]3 (due to glacier)
EquipmentCrampons for the glacier / sticks or long handled ice-ax
Road AccessA41 -> St Nazaire les Eymes (D165) -> Lancey -> St Mury Monteymond
Starting Altitude760 m
Ascent1885 meters
Time4-5hrs (one way)
Refugeshabert du Mousset?, refuge Jean Collet?


The landscape seems to have changed above la Gorge since the terrible floods of August 2005. It rained for a week and a dam of logs and mud built up below the lac Blanc. This burst and sent a cascade of water down the valley as far as le Versoud. Many houses were damaged. A considerable flood protection programme is underway in la Gorge. Some of the original chalets are very charming.

I took a track to the left of that marked on the map as the ravin des Excellents, according to my GPS, after a shor traverse to the south under a waterfall this continued up the mountain to join the higher Jean-Collet trail. The paths around the lac Blanc are not overly clear. The lac Blanc is probably the remains of the extent of the glacier de Freydane during the middle ages. None of the neves marked on the map remain below the glacier but the glacier itself looks in a fairly good state. There are some impressive crevasses at the ice-fall.

Contributed by david on the 17 October 2006

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