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Grande Casse: Via the Grands Couloirs (standard route)

The standard route climbs the prominent glacier on the west side of the mountain, finishing via a magnificent summit ridge. A classic glacier route, the Grands Couloirs is best climbed in the early season

Climbing to the Hut

During the winter, the trail to the Fontanettes is a ski run. One may walk up the run on foot, or take the chair lift to the top.

From the parking lot for the Fontanettes, take the trail (GR) following the chair lift to the Barmettes Lodge (2010m). Cross the stream at the small bridge and continue up the valley to Lac des Vaches (Cows' Lake). Turn right. The Hut is on the right side of Lac Long (Long Lake).

In case of fog, follow the lift towers, as they go nearly all the way to Lac Long. From there, climb onto the ridge and follow it to the Hut, which is just below the ridge. As the Hut is difficult to see from the ridge, look for a cairn on the ridge indicating the location of the Hut.

Climbing the Grands Couloirs

Due to glacial retreat, the route indicated on the map is no longer valid.

During the winter, descend from the Hut crossing Lac Long before climbing SW towards the tongue of the glacier. Climb the right bank of the glacier. The left bank may also be climbed, conditions permitting.

During the summer (as of 2008), climb the moraine on the left bank, joining the obvious trail (look for numerous, small cairnes). Follow the moraine to the rock face (approx. 20min). Look for fixed lines leading to the lower snow field. Climb the snow to the snout of the glacier.

Put on crampons to climb the Grands Couloirs via the glacier: 300m, 40-43°. Near the end, the slope levels somewhat before the saddle of the Grands Couloirs (3700m). From the saddle, continue climbing N to the false peak (3775m; end of the Italian Couloir), then E up the ridge to the summit.

Hiking: 2:30 to the hut, then another 2:00 to the parking lot.

  • Difficulty: S4 - Difficult (<45°)
  • Danger/Exposure: E2 - Medium/High
  • Total climb: 0 m
  • Total elevation drop: 0 m
  • Length: 6.61 km
  • Highest altitude: 0 m
  • Lowest altitude: 0 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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