Mon, 18 March 2013
Minimum altitude: 950 meters
Slope Aspect: EastTrip Reports
Vertical Climbed: 980 meters (3,215 feet)
Climb to the Col de l'Alpe
From the village of les Prés take the forest road direction in the direction of Pre Orcel. At 960m (reservoir) follow the path left that cuts directly up to the Pre Orcel through the woods (Parking marked at 1405m on IGN map). Continue to the Cabane de l'Allier before traversing south under cliffs. You arrive at the foot of a wide couloir that you climb to the Croix de l'Alpe.
Traverse to the Rousse
At the col (1780m) do not descend into the Practel valley but climb left 20 meters to a little gap in the cliffs. Traverse a wide bowl to the south (stick to existing tracks as this is a ptarmigan wintering zone). Climb to a col at 1768 meters zig zagging around small cliff bands. Do not take off your skins, there is about 50 meters of descent. At the col climb 50 meters then traverse south to find the Pas on your left.
The first few meters are very steep and and narrow. Then traverse into a bowl on the right before coming back to the left under the Rousse cliffs. Depending on snow you can ski straight down or traverse to the right again to exit. At the end of the couloir traverse left for some 500 meters before skiing down to join the forest road at the hairpin at 1230 meters.
Comments on route: 55° at the start then 45°/200. One of the steepest lines in the Chartreuse. Danger of avalanche in the Rousse (the snow sits on smooth flagstones) and on the traverse to the Col de l'Alpe. Danger of falls.
Access: Grenoble > La Terrace exit > Saint Vincent de Mercuze > Montalieu > Les Prés, park in village or on the forest road at the snowline.
Equipment: Ski crampons, crampons, a length of rope may help with the entrance.
Country: France Area: Chartreuse Trailhead: Les Prés