Draille Du Charmille
From the car-park at Pre-Orcel (1405m) take the path that leads off to the Pas de la Rousse. This path passes just behind a water source on a flattish path to the south. After a bit more than 10 minutes the forest begins to thin and the cliffs are visible through the trees to the left. After another 100 meters there is an opening in the tree canopy into the Gresivaudan valley and a cairn on the ground. To the right you should see a clearly defined path that climbs a steep couloir. There are a few cairns here and there but in principal just keep heading up the couloir. As you exit the forest the marks change to the red spots that I had previously spotted exploring the plateau. The path traverses to the right (north) rather than following the couloir then parallels the couloir up a grassy slope before rejoining the cliffs. It traverses to the north-west, there is a little scramble up a small, angled rock then the route exits onto the plateau via a narrow gorge. Follow a path to the north-west to reach the col de l'Alpe. Descend by the Col de l'Alpe, Col de Belles Ombres or even the Pas de la Rousse.
Possible to start from St Mary du Mont, check the Col-De-Belles-Ombres route. This adds about 400 meters and 1 hour to the climb.
|Summit||Croix de l'Alpe|
|Maps||IGN TOP 25 3333 0T Chartreuse Nord|
|Markings||Cairns, red spots|
|Equipment||Good walking boots|
|Road Access||Grenoble -> Montalieu -> St Mary du Mont|
|Time||1h15 for the climb, 45 minutes for the descent by the Belles Ombres|
|Guide Books||Chartreuse Inedite, Pascal Sombardier, ISBN 2-7234-5396-0|
28 July 2007
I'd come across this route while exploring between the col de l'Alpe and the Pas de la Rousse and while scrutinizing the mountain from St Mary du Mont with my binoculars. A series of red dots lead down to a steepish gorge and the hills below. The draille is ignored with walkers either heading for the easy Col de l'Alpe or the much harder and austere Rousse. The Charmille is much more verdant and is not as fearsome as its reputation but still seems to be largely reserved for climbers using it as a return from the Rousse.
Page last modified on July 28, 2007, at 05:34 PM