Traversing the Chartreuse - Rémi Loubet

A Vertical Ambassador's Story

The report from Rémi

A visit to the Chartreuse mountains

On Tuesday 11th January Olivier invited me to attempt a traverse of the Chartreuse Alps. The objective was not to do
an express spring crossing with competition skis, but a crossing alone in the world, in fresh snow, and in touring mode.

After several days of precipitation, the anticyclone had settled back over the Northern Alps and the Chartreuse. When a high pressure system is installed, it means a sea of clouds. This dense stratus layer settles at the end of
night and it plunges our Alpine valleys into filth, cold and humidity.
Above the cloud inversion, it is generally paradise, provided that you are certain to be above, and provided that you have been able to access the high zone in satisfactory safe conditions.

This was the big unknown of the day, it was out of the question to cross the High Plateaux in fresh snow if the visibility was reduced. Moving in avalanche terrain would then seem far too risky. Luck smiled on us, we emerged 150m below the summit of the Lances de Malissards, the sea of clouds then settled at an altitude of around 1700m, which corresponds exactly to the lower limits of the technical passages. We were therefore in ideal conditions to cross our island in the sun, from the Col de Marcieu to the Col du Coq. Our calculation was right, we finished the crossing with the majestic descent of the Pas de L'oeil at sunset. This exposed descent, done "on sight", requires a very good knowledge of the route. For that I could trust Olivier. Thank you to him for inviting me to his island in Chartreuse.

Itinerary:

Col de Marcieu -> Aulp du Seuil -> Lances de Malissards -> Dôme de Bellefond -> Rocheplane -> Rocher du Midi -> Cheminée du Paradis -> Dent de Crolles -> Col du Coq 

In numbers:

- 19Km

- 2100m of climbing