Ski-Areas > Northern Alps > Isère (38) > Chartreuse > le Sappey > l'Ecoutoux


L'Ecoutoux is the characteristic triangular shaped mountain that is clearly visible from Grenoble. It is rarely skied but the route is very avalanche safe and is best during exceptional snow condtions. The forest is dense and the slopes are not particuarly steep. The overall altitude is low which means that snow transforms quickly and the forest is not threatened from slopes above. On the other hand watch out for tree-wells and collisions.

l'Ecoutoux with Grenoble below

From the Colonie des Vacances des Bens take the track that leads to the col de Bens. There is a fork with a signpost, follow the Ecoutoux route and immediately on entering the forest take a left track that climbs through the forest to the north. This rejoins the Ecoutoux summer path before point 1207m on the IGN map. The track climbs over a hill then descends for 20 meters before zig-zagging up to the summit of the Ecoutoux (yellow markings).

Descend to the first right hand hairpin then follow the north-west ridge through the forest by the clearest route. It is skiable under good snow conditions. You rejoin the track at 1224 meters. Follow the track, or the forest to the right or left which is skiable to the col de Bens, traverse across the track to an open field which you can ski back to the car-park.


From the summit follow a north-north-east course through the trees into a valley (terminated by point 1224m on the map) pick up a forest track to reach a field about la Bouliere to ski down to 950 meters. Return via the fields and a forest track at les Beauches to reach the colonie des Vacances. This gives a total vertical of 450 meters and is rated 2.3. Exceptional snow condtions only.

Mountain RangeChartreuse
Starting Altitude1080m
MapsIGN TOP 25 3334 OT Chartreuse Sud
GPS WaypointN 45.2530° E 05.7578°
GPS RouteGoogle-Earth:Ecoutoux
Grade[1]Danger: 1, Climb: F+, Ski: 1.3
Commentsforest skiing, attention branches and roots
SnowboardersNo - too flat in places
Road AccessGrenoble -> Le Sappey -> Cross St Bruno xroads (left) -> les Bens

Trip Reports

22nd March 2007

col de Bens
col de Bens

The snow cover in the Chartreuse has been very poor this year. Finally we have had a taste of winter with 50cm of new snow. However there is little base. Skiing is fine on grassy slopes down to 1000m but it is a bit limited in the forests (roots, branches) and the strong northerly winds have stripped snow higher up.

  • Weather : Low cloud and light snow
  • Avalanche Risk: Considerable (3/5)
  • Participants: David
  • Snow line: 950m - snowing at 450 meters.

Category: Trip Reports

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