/ Solo-able routes around Grenoble

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samharrison7 - on 15 Aug 2013
Hello all,

I posted in the HILLTALK forum earlier asking for walking suggestions around Grenoble, and also mentioned that I'd be interested in easy solo-able Alpine peaks.

I'm at a summer school in Grenbole for three weeks, and will get the weekends free, so was hoping to get out into the mountains. I'll be on my own and don't have access to a car (though if the route is good enough I might consider hiring one).

Does anyone have any suggestions for easy Alpine routes that either have no glacier travel or on glaciers that aren't heavily crevassed and would be considered "safe" to cross not roped up. After a quick look on Camp to Camp I discovered Pic de l'Étendard and Pic Bayle, both with accounts of people doing them solo. Anyone here have any experience of those?

Cheers,
Sam
Simon4 - on 15 Aug 2013
In reply to samharrison7: IIRC, there is a small glacier on Pic l'Étendard, so it is fine for solo skiing in Spring but not so good for a Summer Alpine ascent (though mostly will be fine). The Aiguille du Goleon (3440) is fine as a solo ascent for most of the year, picture taken on it here :#

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=223220
samharrison7 - on 18 Aug 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Thanks Simon, that's good to know. Aiguille du Goleon looks good, thanks for the suggestions!
Simon4 - on 19 Aug 2013
In reply to samharrison7: Taillefer (c 2850) that dominates the city skyline is also a straightfoward walk in Summer. It would be quite hard to get to the start point without a hire-car however.

Similarly several walks to the crest of the Vercors that finish up overlooking the main valley, above spectacular drops. Some of these MAY be accessible by busses from Grenoble gares, but you may well have to walk/hitch from somewhere like Lans en Vercors to get to the walk start-points.
samharrison7 - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to samharrison7: Thanks again, I was thinking just looking at doing something over the Vercors.

I've figured I can get up to La Berarde by bus pretty easily and noticed Mont Gioberney and Pointe Richardson as easy looking routes. There seems to be a fair bit of glacier travel on them though, does anyone know what this glacier is like?
Simon4 - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to samharrison7: Well I wouldn't have thought Gioberney in Summer is at all suitable for soloing.

La Grande Ruine MIGHT be viable, as the steep zig-zag path should be viable in Summer, leaving you only a short glacier to cross to the summit.
altirando - on 20 Aug 2013
In reply to Simon4: It is years since I went up Gioberney solo, can't remember much in the way of a glacier. Grand Ruine has a very tumbled glacier.
Simon4 - on 21 Aug 2013
In reply to altirando:
> It is years since I went up Gioberney solo, can't remember much in the way of a glacier.

Well when I went up it (admittedly in Spring, on skis), there were extensive snowfields/glaciers, while the map certainly shows permanent glaciated (and crevassed) approach and descent, so I am not sure how you get to that conclusion.

> Grand Ruine has a very tumbled glacier.

Er, the zig-zag path from the East is entirely up rocky hillside - it was even largely rock this May. I agree that the path was anything but obvious from below on the Glacier de la Plate des Agneau, but there is no good reason to think that getting to the Adele Planchard hut will be glaciated, while from the hut to the summit is most likely over an even snowfield. Can't guarantee against crevasses of course.

Did you perhaps go up via the Glacier de la Plate des Agneau?
altirando - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to Simon4: Sure you have the right mountain? Have you got confused with Les Rouies (if I have remembered the spelling correctly) nearby. That does have an extensive if easy snowfield approach. And I suppose you could traverse across to Gioberney.
samharrison7 - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to samharrison7:

As far as I can gather, there is a path leading up parallel to the glacier from the Refuge de la Pilatte that would bypass a lot (if not all) of the Glacier de la Pilatte, leaving only the Glacier du Gioberneys to contend with - it's for this reason I thought it might be solo-able.
Simon4 - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to altirando:
> (In reply to Simon4) Sure you have the right mountain?

Perfectly sure :

http://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=220209

Which is taken from the Adele Planchard.

As can be seen from their own site :

http://www.refuge-adele-planchard.com/ski-de-rando/

(click on "Access a Adele Planchard", button 3
Simon4 - on 22 Aug 2013
In reply to samharrison7: Well here is a picture from the hut site :

https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=refuge+pilatte&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&...

This one is clearly taken in Summer. You can judge for yourself, but I would be pretty sure that there is certainly some glacier crossing involved.
samharrison7 - on 01 Sep 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Did Aiguille de Goléon this morning - lovely peak with great views (helped by a rather impressive cloud inversion), cheers for the suggestion! Haven't decided what else to do yet...
Simon4 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to samharrison7: Glad to have helped - any piccies?

Did you go direct from the valley or did you stop at the mid-point refuge?
samharrison7 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Yep, you can see all the photos here if you like: http://www.flickr.com/photos/50907229@N06/sets/72157635352325812/

I bivvied at the end of the Lac du Goléon valley actually, a mile or so past the refuge. Was tempted by the one day push from the valley but I like a good bivvy too much to miss out!
Simon4 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to samharrison7: Very nice pictures indeed!

I see you found the valley floor with people's names in the stones?

Some excellent dawn/dusk pictures, you just need to crop them a bit when you get home maybe. Some great shots of the Aiguille D'Arve with Mont Blanc behind and the sea of clouds below.

Any snow still on the summit ridge, or is it all gone now? Did you have to cross a boulder field to get too the glacier? Which is presumably fairly residual now?
Simon4 - on 02 Sep 2013
In reply to samharrison7:

> Haven't decided what else to do yet...

You could always go up Taillefer.

It is a bit of a lump, not so elegant as the Goleon (and certainly not the Aiguille d'Arve), but it IS Grenoble's local peak. Absolutely towers above the town in the most dramatic fashion in Winter when it is all snowy, a bit less impressive in Summer but still worth doing.

Can't guarantee that you will meet a French works party on their annual office outing to offer you wine, cognac, chocolate cake, salad and all manner of other goodies as I once found on its summit though. You have to pick the right day for that!
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samharrison7 - on 03 Sep 2013
In reply to Simon4:

Haha, I might head up Taillefer on the off chance of meeting that French works part! I'd forgotten about that option actually.

No snow at all on the ridge (and lacking a bit on the glacier as well). Yep a boulder field lead up to the glacier, and there's a very good (signposted!) path leading the way through it.

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