Col de la Cicle : From Notre Dame de la Gorge, with the Col de la Fenêtre

Col de la Cicle : From Notre Dame de la Gorge, with the Col de la Fenêtre

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Associated waypoints

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Map

  • Swisstopo - 45 - Haute-Savoie
  • IGN - 3531OT - Megève - Col des Aravis

Licence

General

route_types: loop
activities:
durations: 1 day(s)

quality: medium

Rating

2.1 / E1
PD / S3

heights

elevation min/max : 1200 m / 2245 m

height_diff: +1000 m / -1300 m

orientations

E W S N

description

These two cols situated close together give many possiblities for ski touring.

Col de la Cicle Col de la Fenêtre (routes up or down)
Col de la Cicle Col de la Fenêtre (routes up or down)

Ascent

From the parking just beyond the Telecabin de la Gorge, cross the Bon Nant river and go along the track for 300m to opposite chapelle de Notre Dame de la Gorge 1210m, (bridge.)
Go up the track on the true right bank, (Roman road, often iced, crampons sometimes useful!) You cross a Roman bridge, (worth a closer look) to reach the hamlet of Nant Borrant and a long flat area, Rollaz (1530m).
From the beginning of this flat section go to the right, SW, (signposted Les Prés, Col de la Fenêtre). Climb 50m through the fields then follow the line of a path through the woods to the Prés chalets (1797m). Continue to the W until the Plan de la Fenêtre (about 2000m) which you traverse to the SW to reach the foot of the gully leading up to the Col de la Fenêtre. Climb the gully for 150m to the col.
Alternative: From Rollaz follow the track until La Balme, 1706m, (route shared with the Col du Bonhomme and Mont Jovets tours.) From la Balme go up the valley to the W until 2880m where you reach the S end of the Plan de la Fenêtre. Cross this flattish area to the N to rejoin the above route at the foot of the gully. Longer than the first option.

Traverse to the Col de la Cicle :
Descend W on the other side of the col, passing through a little rock band. Go along under the W face of the Tête de la Cicle, climbing up the easy angled Grande Pierrière until a faint col at 2283m. Continue by traversing to the left (NE) under the S face of the la Tête de la Cicle until the Col de la Cicle.

Descent

Descend the nice gully on the other side of the col (steep for the first 250m, S3). At the foot of the gully go to the right (E) on less steep slopes, until a snow bowl leading down to La Balme (1706m). Return by the ascent route, (option 2,) back down to the parking.

Variant using the lifts
From the top of the Bûchee Croisêe chairlift go down to the S onto the Grande Pierrière. Go up this to join the descent route from the Col de La Fenetre described above. Climb up, passing the rock band to the Col de la Fenetre and ski down the E facing gully, cutting off to the right (S) as early as possible to traverse to Plan de la Fenetre to the foot of the Col de la Cicle. Climb this (steep at the top). Descend as described above.

remarks

The lower section of the road down to the chapel is often icy and also popular with walkers. Care needed.
The flat area of Rollaz usually involve quite a lot of poling on the descent.
The Col de la Cicle sometimes has a cornice.
Difficult to find the right way in the mist without a GPS.
Each col gives a popular tour in its own right, traversing from W to E, by those using the lift system
The route faces in all directions, varying snow conditions.
Risk of snow slides under the Tête de la Cicle and the Roches Franches.

Sensitive areas
There are sensitive areas on this route. Please refer to the map.

gear

Crampons sometimes useful if the Roman road is iced over, (early season especially) and/or the last few metres to the cols.

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