Col De Roche Noire East Face

Ski Areas > Northern Alps > Belledonne > Rivier d'Allemont > Col de Roche Noire east face


From the Rivier take the track of the GR549 walking trail to the south. Cross the Bruyant torrent then at the Frénet stream climb to the west on a steepish track that leads through some brushwood. At 1600 meters take the South-West to join the Combe de Roche Noire. From here the itinerary is clear. Climb a large slope to the west. The col is reached by a final steep slope and is usually guarded by a cornice formed by the prevailing wind. Take care if temperature is warming rapidly and don’t climb on the cornice!

Variations It is possible to climb to the Rocher de l'Homme from the col but mountaineering gear is a must : crampons, ice axe and a rope.

Mountain RangeBelledonne
SummitCol de Roche Noire
Starting Altitude1265m
MapsIGN n°3335 ET Bourg d'Oisans
GPS Waypoint 
GPS RouteGoogle-Earth:Rivier
Grade[1]Danger: 1, Climb: PD+, Ski: 3.1
Snowboarders2k of GR549 is flat
Road AccessGrenoble > N91 > Rochetaille -> Rivier d'Allemont
RefugesHotel Bar Restau "Le CABRI"

Trip Reports

10th March 2007

Beautiful sunny day but very cold, finally it feels like winter. The small overnight snowfall had whitened the Rivier and enabled us to put on our skis at the small carpark as you climb out of the village. We just had to remove skis to cross the torrent at the start of the valley.

Not that many people, three people ahead and three others who joined us at the col. The wind made itself felt just after the plateau and there, well everyone had to make tracks to advance… like the North Pole (90km/h). Slabs were forming with all the snow being moved around.

The steep section before the cornice was no problem but the cornice was enormous. There the wind dropped and it was relatively warm in the sunshine. Wonderful panorama onto the lac Blanc, Grand Lance, le Couttet which is still rocky at the summit.

Great descent even though the fresh snow was windblown. A slab had been triggered (remotely?) on the right bank and had covered our tracks on the plateau. Not thick but still. Other observations, a big avalanche had descended from the small col that lets you cross into the Balmette valley and some whoumps on the banks of the valley. The wind restarted at 2pm at Rivier, blowing in all directions. The track at the end was nearly skiable although the morning’s snow had melted in places.

col de roche noire
Bernadette and Bernard under the col
  • Weather : Cold with fresh snow, Very Windy, Sunny
  • Avalanche Risk: Considerable (3/5)
  • Participants: Anny, David, Guy, Bernadette, Bernard
  • Snowline: 1265 meters

Category: Trip Reports

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