From Alex to La Rochette
Park at the church in Alex and follow the "Route du Chateau" and "Chemin du Cret Vert" (do not follow the official green hiking trail). At some point you will see see a sign with a blue diamond and "La Rochette". That's the correct trail to follow. The trail winds up through the forest to La Rochette. Sometimes a bit faint and occasionally washed away but reasonably obvious.
To La Rochette dessous
Enjoy the nice view at La Rochette and then continue the trail back into the forest. Once you reach the next clearing the trail becomes almost invisible in the rather high grass (this may improve later in the season). We kept wandering and following some faint tracks until the we reached what is marked "La Rochette dessous" on the map (pt 1460) which is really just a pile of construction material from an old hut(?). Turns out there is no need to go there and it is better to always stay very close to the forest where the actual trail seems to go. Our GPS track shows this unnecessary loop, which we could have just short-cut.
To La Grotte de la Chapelle
The trail again goes into the forest and becomes much steeper until it reaches the cave. Traverse the cave (headlamp very useful) until you reach the highest point at around 1650m.
To Pointe de la Talamarche
Next you need to descend about 300m to reach the official trail (GR96) to Pointe de la Talamarche. There are some fixed ropes and chains and a lot of very loose rock. In a bigger group, a helmet is advisable. Once you reach the trail there are two options and you have to follow the one up-hill (SW). After all the rock scrambling this is a very pleasant trail that leads to the Crête des Tervelles from where it is another 15 minutes up to the Pointe de la Talamarche.
Back to Alex
There are several trails back down from Pointe de la Talamarche but instead we decided to just follow the arete and find our way down to the Chalet d'Aulp Riant. From there follow the trail all the way back to Villards-dessus and Alex (we did not manage to find the shortcut at Gue described in the route description).
weather and conditions
Beautiful hike, trail is difficult to find in some places
11:10 La Rochette dessous
12:40 Trou de la Chapelle
14:30 Pointe de la Talamarche (~1h break)
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