Tour Of La Pinea

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Le Pinea is at the southern end of the Charmont Som? - Mont Fromage? ridge. The summit is an impressive looking wedge with a steep western rampart. The eastern face, although must less steep, is protected by some impressive cliffs. From the parking at le Croz (or St Gervais if you want to save 15 minutes and 50 metersof climbing) follow the path to the north, after about 100 meters of steep climbing you have a choice of continuing to the north or turning left, crossing the Pissou stream and traversing to the parking at St Gervais. Both are similar in terms of time.

From St Gervais double back to the north, the track climbs steeply through the forest and leads into a series of zig-zags at 1320 meters. It joins the Col de Porte trail at 1544 meters. Turn left, the path heads west then south-west and is very well made and flat. It turns north west again and zig-zags up through the forest to Plenom where it joins the Mont-Fromage trail. Head south-west, the path climbs out of the forest and traverses under the north-east face of Le Pinea. The last 100 meters are a steep scramble up through rocks and give the route is 2 rating. Be careful not to dislodge lose rocks onto walkers below.

To descend retrace your steps, just below the Plenom crossroads there is a left hand hairpin. Continue straight ahead, there is a red cross on a tree. Traverse down through the forest on a clear and well made track that is never too steep in the direction of "l'Essaday" (ruins). You rejoin the track you climb up on at 1217 meters.

Mountain RangeChartreuse
Summitle Pinea
Altitude1771 meters
Mapse.g. IGN TOP 25 3334 OT Chartreuse Sud
GPS Waypoint 
GPS RouteGoogle-Earth:
Markingsred/yellow (GR)
Road AccessGrenoble --> Le Sappey --> Sarcenas --> le Croz
Starting Altitude 
Ascent768 meters
Time1h - 1h30 to summit


We had been having an unseasonably warm autumn with temperatures +5C above normal. I set-out in t-shirt and shorts. Despite the dry weather the path was muddy in a few places. On exiting from the forest I was hit by a chilly icy wind from the south-east. I'd seen no-one on the climb from le Croz but the path from the Col de Porte was very popular with both kids and elderly folk out on their constitional. It was half term school holiday week. A quick stop of the summit to admire the view, the sun had gone behind high clouds and it was really quite chilly. The short cut via l'Esseday saved a good 15 minutes on the descent.

Contributed by davidof on the 31 October 2006

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