Sangle De La Source Du Guiers Mort

Hiking -> Routes -> Chartreuse -> Sangle de la Source du Guiers Mort


From the car park at Perquelin follow the forest trail to the east. At 1070m the trail turns north and directly ahead you should see a path signposted to the Source of the Guiers Mort. Follow this to the Fontaine Noire (small concrete building) at 1200m and turn right at the junction, a few meters further on there is a branch to the Guiers waterfall. Turn left to join the forest trail. Follow this southwards for 100 meters then take a path off to the left. At 1330 meters you exit the forest, to the left is a waterfall and the source of the Guiers Mort river. In front are some metal stepping stones. Do not cross these, instead follow a path on the right bank of the Guiers Mort which brings you up to the cave you can see from below. This is the start of over 50km of subterranean passages that cross the Dent de Crolles eventually exiting on the plateau at the Puit Thérèse. You can explore the start of the cave, although a sign at the entrance warns of the dangers but you are soon blocked by some tight passages accessible only to expert cavers.

dent de crolles, overview
Overview of the West side of the Dent de Crolles

Cross the entrance to the cave, there are some cables but be very careful as the rocks are humid. There are a series of stepping stones just inside the entrance. Then follow the track on the other side. A signpost warns that this is dangerous but apart from a small step near the end and of course, the possibility of rock fall, it is fairly pedestrian. When climbing the path you always keep the cliff face close by to the left - don't be led astray by tracks to the right. At around 1620 meters there is a small scramble up some steps, the path then exits onto the GR9 just north of the Trou du Glas. Here you turn east, using cables to climb up the steep, rocky slopes. Nothing too technical, I've seen Octogenarians climb up here. After the first cables there is a tight fissure then two hairpins which also have cables. About 50 meters after the last cables you will see a small path lead away to the left. Follow this.

Source of the Guiers Mort
Source of the Guiers Mort

You are now on a sangle which loops around under cliff walls. The track is clearly marked and not difficult albeit a little exposed in places. You will see some occassional old red markings on the cliff walls. After about 20 minutes there is a steep, grassy couloir on the right. The path continues on the same level from the bottom of this couloir eventually joining the GR9 to the west of the Rocher Pointu. At the top of the grassy couloir is a natural arch with a pinnacle on top.

Variation - Couloir of the Pinnacle Arch

pinnacle arch couloir
Couloir to the Pinnacle Arch

When you reach the grassy couloir you can climb straight up this to a bowl with an arch surmounted by a pinnacle. Continue up a chimney with a couple of hard moves to reach the summit plateau.

Pinnacle Arch
Pinnacle Arch
Mountain RangeChartreuse
SummitRocher du Midi
Altitude1993 m
Distance4.7km from the car park to the GR9 + 1.5km to le Prayet + 3km descent
MapsIGN TOP 25 3334 OT Chartreuse Sud
GPS WaypointN 45.3211°, E 05.8580° (junction Sangle/GR9
GPS RouteGoogle-Earth:le-Perquelin
MarkingsSome orange on the sangle
Equipmentgood walking boots
Road AccessGrenobe -> D57a -> Col de Porte -> D512 -> St Pierre de Chartreuse -> le Perquelin
Starting Altitude990meters
Ascent750 meters to the GR9
Time2-3 hours to the GR9 + 2 hours for the descent
RefugesHabert de Pravouta
Guide BooksChartreuse inédite : Itinéraires insolites; ISBN-13: 978-2723453967

Trip Reports

18th August 2007

My original plan was to climb the Rocheplane via le Prayet but low cloud was hanging along the ridges. It is not the cloud that bothered me but it would be nice to have a view. Instead I took the little used link path from the source of the Gueirs Mort to the cabled section about the Trou du Glas then followed a little path under the cliffs on the west side of the Dent de Crolles.

Guiers Mort
Steep section above the Guiers Mort

Apparently there is a splendid arch and pinnacle at the top of the grassy couloir half way along the "sangle" but it will have to wait for a second visit.

17th September 2007

Pinnacle Arch
Pinnacle Arch from another angle

This was going to be a rapid sortie after a hard day at work. I arrived at 6pm at the col du Coq and followed the trail to the couloir I'd spotted on the 18th. A short scramble revealed a small ampitheatre and the pinnacle arch. I followed the path along at this level to the north but it ended in drop. A small track lead down to an intermediate balcony but this only seemed to be a goat trail. The arch is splendid and you could climb to the top with a rope and a bit of safety. I followed a chimney up onto the plateau. There were a couple of climbing moves but the route is not exposed or overly difficult. I think returned via the cables but following the ridgeline to a spectacular viewpoint that is marked on the IGN map. It was getting dark now - 7.30pm, a reminder that autumn will soon be here. On the walk down to the car I came across a group of 6 potholers, black faces, helmets and headlamps, looking like miners, the famous gueles noir one used to see at la Mure, knocking off shift.

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