Ascent of Le Tabor on 2010-08-02

Climber: Lee Newton

Date:Monday, August 2, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Le Tabor
    Elevation:7838 ft / 2389 m

Ascent Trip Report

I woke up to a wet tent but a sky with broken clouds. It was noticably colder (about 7C, the day before had been 16C at dawn).

I broke camp and drove up to the ski station at le Chad St-Honore 1500 (denoting altitude). It windy, with some threating looking clouds, interspersed with a few blue patches. In contrast to the weekend, there were no other cars or people. I followed the marked and signposted route to the summit, which started by heading easily northeast to the lac de charlet on a very well graded path (actually the lac is just past the path junction). From there the route doubled back and climbed through a steeper corrie, exiting left and made the ridgeline at the col between le Tabor and pt. 2312m just to the north. This route is not marked on the 1:25K map 3336 OT, except a a winter ski route, but is nevertheless easy to follow with paint marks and cairns. Ignore the final painted arrow as you reach the ridgeline, and head right (south) over easy ground to the summit, perched on a steep crag overlooking the Roizonne river below. You get a good feeling that this hill has a prominence of over 1000m despite it's modest altitude.

It is also a very fine viewpoint, alhtough the higher peaks were hiding in dark clouds with a base of about 2700m. Looking south the sky was clearer and Ceuse, Pic de Bure and Obiou sat all in a row, each with it's own distinctive shape. Looking west to the Grand Veymont, the cliffs of Vercors were also lit up by the sun.

I then proceeded to traverse the ridge to the south, which has a short scrambly section if you are so inclined, and an easy traverse path if you are not. After crossing the peak of Le Banc (2235m) the actual path descends all the way to the col before making a switchback to the slopes below. The direct route looks awkward with blocky rocks but oddly this is what is shown on the map. It is well worth contiuing to the end of the ridge (le Piquet de Nantes). The ground falls away below you in one sweep to the wide valley below and Obiou looks particularly fine on the other side.

Back on the descent there are some exaggerated zigzags but overall not so steep and easy on the knees (which was appreciated since mine were quite tired by this point having done over 4500m of somewhat unaccustomed ascent since Friday evening).

The hill is also one for Marmot fans, there were hundereds of the little furry guys running around and I got quite close on several occasions.

On the way down I kept looking over to La Peyrouse, and decided I just about had time for that before the drive home.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3195 ft / 972 m
    Total Elevation Loss:3199 ft / 975 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.8 mi / 11 km
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Windy, Overcast
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2900 ft / 883 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:via Lac de Charlet
    Start Trailhead:Le Chaud St-Honore  4938 ft / 1505 m
    Time:2 Hours 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:3199 ft / 975 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2904 ft / 886 m; Extra: 295 ft / 89m
    Gain on way out:295 ft / 89 m
    Distance:3.7 mi / 6 km
    Route:via south ridge and west slopes
    End Trailhead:Le Chaud St-Honore  4934 ft / 1503 m
    Time:2 Hours 20 Minutes

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