Ascent of Chamechaude on 2014-08-28

Climber: Peter Stone

Others in Party:Twm Stone -- Trip Report or GPS Track
David Stone
Date:Thursday, August 28, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
    Elevation:6831 ft / 2082 m

Ascent Trip Report

A beautiful and mighty mountain despite being only just over 2,000 metres in elevation. An Ultra, the highest point in the Chartreuse Massif and fourth most prominent peak the whole of Metropolitan France.

It is said that the finest way to ascend is by Le Tour de Chamechaude which corkscrews clockwise up and around the mountain via Le Jardin and La Brèche Arnaud, however, given limited time and unsure of how exposed and difficult the rock climb up the Brèche might be we opted for the "voie normale" up the western side. Another interesting route up the north end of Chamechaude and indeed other hikes in the Chartreuse are described on the website but I only discovered this later.

Taking time out from a cycling holiday in the Vercors we drove north, got somewhat lost in the back streets of Grenoble and eventually arrived at the large parking area at the ski centre at Col de Porte. From there it's a straightforward, mostly signposted and very clear trail zig-zagging up to the top. The path is nicely graded with tree shade for half the way. Very sociable and popular with a wide range of family and other groups. Getting onto the summit block requires an easy and not too exposed scramble of ten metres or so diagonally up with a fixed plastic-covered cable that one can use for assistance and/or security if you feel it necessary (being older and with more social responsibilities I made use of it, but my teenage sons did not). The summit is adorned by a large wooden cross and has simply stupendous views in all directions particularly to Mont Blanc and the cliffs of Dent de Crolles and the Grand Som in the NE, to the Vanoise and Ecrins in the E, and the Vercors in the S. We spent a happy half-hour on top sun-bathing, soaking up the views and watching paragliders circling below.

A stunning mountain which shouldn't be missed if you're in the region!
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
The summit of Chamechaude looking north towards Mont Blanc (2014-08-28). Photo by Peter Stone.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2481 ft / 756 m
    Trailhead:Col de Porte  4350 ft / 1325 m
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time:1 Hours 15 Minutes

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