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Grande Sassière: From Chenal-Nant Cruet

Climb: From the Chenal parking lot, take the road suitable for motor vehicles which leads to the upper part of the hamlet (vault, alt. (1,743m). Follow the horizontal path which heads south towards Châtelard. Stay uphill from the buildings and easily cut across the meadows to arrive 50 meters above the hamlet of Nantcruet. Continue the climb in the southeast to reach the surroundings of the "Nant Cruet" torrent channelled in a deep ice gorge. Stay uphill of this gorge until penetrating the bottom of the dale bearing the same name. Via the right bank of the torrent, pass under a first rock band  (spot elevations 2122 and 2358). Be careful of the avalanches which can occur on both slopes of the peak. By small progressive steep pitches, go up the dale which gradually widens to reach the foot of the rocky crags supporting the Sassière glacier (spot elevation 2532). It takes 2h30.

Climb towards the large rocky Rognon separating two glacial arms (direction SE). At the altitude of 2750, traverse on the left (NE) towards the northern arm of the glacier to reach a broad plateau (alt. (2,900m).

Note: this sequence of 350 meters is rather steep (S3 unrelenting, expo 1) and formidable seen from far away. Facing west and long in the shade, the snow can be frosty there. The glacial part is often crevassed.

Avoid a very crevassed area via the right and go up the glacier in its centre, parallel to the NW ridge of Petite Sassière. At the altitude of 3350 meters, traverse the large plateau towards Grande Sassière to reach the western ridge before the large final steep pitch (alt. (3,500m). The last 250 meters are very steep (S4) and exposed in hard snow. Based on the conditions, you can reach the summit on skis or crampons, along the ridge line. It takes 3h.

Descent: From the summit of Grande Sassière, you reach the foot of the final steep pitch via the western ridge. The NW wall can be travelled in good snow conditions (250m, D -, S4, Expo 1 if the bergschrund is blocked, convex slope). The follow the ascent route until the parking lot. It takes 3h.

Small return variant: Around 2650 meters (after the sequence in S3 under final arm),if skiing conditions allow it, descend on the left on the northern slope of the Rocher de la Davie to reach the bottom of the dale where it narrows (to "Revers de Doumé", to be located when ascending).

  • Difficulty: S4 - Difficult (<45°)
  • Danger/Exposure: E1 - Low
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 2050 m
  • Total elevation drop: 2050 m
  • Highest altitude: 3747 m
  • Lowest altitude: 1700 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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