Gerbier: accès Variante de gauche - depuis Villard de Lans
{{ '2016-07-11' | amDateFormat:"dddd Do MMMM YYYY" }}

Gerbier: accès Variante de gauche - depuis Villard de Lans
{{ '2016-07-11' | amDateFormat:"dddd Do MMMM YYYY" }}

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Licence

General

activities

quality: medium

Location

Rating

PD  
3c
    P3 

heights

elevation_max: 2109 m

elevation_access: 1160 m

height_diff_up: 1000 m

participants

Ken Roberts

weather and conditions


Dry, little wind.


Dry surface, no snow or ice, lots of vegetation, some loose rock on the approach/access Variation.

access_comment

On the day I went out to explore the Left / North access Variation, the instructions on the French version were as follows:
"Variante de gauche ... Lorsque le sentier vient affleurer la falaise, ne pas monter vers la droite et la double brèche mais remonter des pentes d'herbe raides un peu vers la gauche, jusqu'à la barre suivante située au dessus. Traverser vers la droite (cairn) et remonter un couloir d'éboulis. On vient buter sur une barre d'une trentaine de mètres de haut.. gravir des gradins faciles vers la droite en direction d'une cheminée herbeuse que l'on escalade (3b max, 3 spits-équipé par t.Margueritat). Remonter un cirque herbeux droit au dessus, puis une pente raide à droite et suivre ensuite les rochers vers la droite pour aboutir au sommet de la double-brèche."
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What I found was:
. * no cairn
. * only 1 bolt instead of 3 bolts, and
. * much more complicated navigation required to connect with the Double Breche and the main route for the Traversee des Aretes du Gerbier.

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[b]details[/b] of what I explored ...
. . . (GPX track linked from [url=http://www.roberts-1.com/c/v/e/16a/index.htm]this page[/url]).

From parking at Les Clots, I hiked up the usual marked trails leading toward the couloir up the West side of the Double Breche, until the Combe Charbonniere junction. Instead of going right (SE) toward the couloir and Pas de l'Oeille, I went left and up to try to follow the Left / North Variation ...

From the sign-marked trail junction of Combe Charbonniere (elev 1640m) (N45.03483 E5.58876) just below a rock wall. Go up around L end of wall + up 70m NE to another wall 20 meters high (N45.03519 E5.58938). Staying about 10m below the base of the all, traverse R horizontally 70m S, at first on grass, then on slabby rocks, to reach a rock-slide gully (N45.03452 E5.58930). Up this trending a bit L for 30m ENE, then diagonal R 70m SSE, some on rock, then on grass (exposed), then up along the base of a 5-meter wall ... to reach a steep spot (N45.03415 E5.58988) overlooking the main couloir.

Next up 30m ENE to wide gentle grass platform (N45.03421 E5.59023) below rock 12 meters high. Go around Left end of rock 15m N then up 40m E to a small cirque (N45.03440 E5.59069), like a half-section of a bowl.
. . . (note: Instead going R from the platform 20m is a chimney with loose rock and no bolts).

The steep upper section of this cirque could perhaps be climbed in various ways, but obvious is a narrow gully toward the R 20m SSE. This has a section at difficulty 3, and protectable by at least one shiny bolt (N45.03430 E5.5907 6) as of 2016.
. . . (note: An earlier description mentioned a chimney of difficulty 3b with three new bolts. Perhaps it refers to this gully -- or perhaps to something else farther right?)

After this another steep section which could be taken toward the R for 20m SE, either on vegetated slope or by another narrow gully, perhaps with some moves of difficulty 3.
Next traverse 15m N into center of a mini-valley which runs W-E. See a rock wall far above. Avoid that by ...

Go up only 25m E, then exit the mini-valley diagonal R on grass 100m S to small col (N45.03352 E5.59134) in a W-E sub-ridge. Down + up 30m S to another small col in another W-E sub-ridge. Down + traverse 70m S to meet (N45.03265 E5.59158) the obvious track coming up from main couloir. Up this toward the Double Breche for only 15-20m E, then turn off R onto another track which goes S up to the crest of the main Aretes du Gerbier ridge traverse.

--> (GPX track linked from [url=http://www.roberts-1.com/c/v/e/16a/index.htm]this page[/url]).

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[i]variation[/i]: Different option to reach the "small cirque" (which I had tried on another earlier day but stopped by rain) . . .
Start from the sign-marked trail junction of Combe Charbonniere (elev 1640m) (N45.03483 E5.58876) just below a rock wall. Go up around L end of wall + up 70m NE to another wall 20 meters high (N45.03519 E5.58938). Instead of traversing right, go up around Left end of this wall 30m NNE, then diagonal R 40m SE. Next traverse R horizontal 80m S (crossing a small rock-slide along the way), then up 50m E to a small cirque (N45.03440 E5.59069).

personal comments

I explored the Left / North variation of access/approach, from parking at Les Clots by Villard-de-Lans. I did this because two previous previous times doing the Traversee des Aretes du Gerbier, when using access by the main couloir up west side of Double Breche, I had experienced rockfall or been delayed under other parties in the couloir.
. (of course I prefer parking on the West side because it avoids the extra vertical of returning to the East side over the Pas de l'Oeille.

I found the Left / North Variation much more complicated than the instructions of the French variation seemed to mean, but I did reach the Double Breche. Then I traversed North along the crest to Col Vert (because I'd been there before), then returned West on trails to parking Les Clots.

An interesting fun route with great views that I would gladly do again - (but more likely I would instead start at Col Vert, traverse S to Double Breche, then continue south on the crest through the main classic Aretes du Gerbier.

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