Mont Charvin : Traversée arête S >> arête E

Mont Charvin : Traversée arête S >> arête E


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Associated waypoints

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



route_types: loop
durations: 1 day(s)

quality: medium




elevation min/max : 1580 m / 2409 m

height_diff_up: 850 m

height_diff_difficulties: 600 m





From Chamonix (circa 1h30): Take the Megeve to Ugine road. At Pont de Flon turn off right, (usually no choice as the main road down the gorge is often closed,) and follow this to just after Hery-sur-Ugine. A turn off on the right is signposted for the Restaurant "Lierre". Follow the road for about 8kms, past Lierre, to the col d'Arpettaz, (Refuge).

Ascent 3h30

From the col, go down the tarmac road towards Ugine for about 5 mins until you reach a Via Ferrata sign at a bend, (1509m). Early in the season the start of path may be overgrown. Go through the walker's gate, pass between two strange signposts towards a lone tree. At the tree, turn right between two boulders with yellow paint marks and follow the path, now more obvious, (old red marks, newer yellow marks and some blue plastic markers,) as it weaves its way steeply up the hillside to the line of a gully, (Golet de la Trouve,) with a large white square sign on the rock, visible from a long way below. This is the start of the via ferrata, (at about 1800m, 1h15mins from the col.) Follow the cables and exit at a col between the end of the Aiguilles du Mont ridge and the start of the S ridge of the Mt Charvin, (le Cul d'Ugine). Go up the path on the crest of the S ridge, which has several cabled sections, (numbered in reverse order.) The via ferrata is graded PD.

Descent 2h30 + 1h back to the col

From the summit, descend the E ridge following the red paint marks, (and not the N ridge which is the "Normal" route). There are numerous cabled sections, take care if wet, which lead to above the Mont Charvin lake. Before Point 2085 on the ridge, there is a cable leading off to the right, (the via ferrata sign is above the second cable on the descent side.) This is the "Pas de L'Ours". Follow the cable for 250m along an exposed ledge, the "vire de la mène noire", and join a path which initially goes down a pleasant small valley and then traverses the hillside, (N) to the "Merdassier du Milieu" parking. Take the unmetalled road on the right, (S), back to the col de l'Arpettaz.


The outing can be considered more of an exposed mountain walk with cables, rather than a via ferrata experience.
Due to the cables the route is very safe but still gives excellent feelings of exposure.
Best avoided when wet, (and obviously when there is a risk of electrical storm!)
Out of the summer season the initial cables are usually removed, and us of the via ferrata is formally forbidden. (Red signs at the start and at the Col d'Arpettaz.)
The season normally starts at the beginning of June, depending on the snow. Telephone the Tourist Office in Ugine if in doubt. (+33 4 79 37 56 33)

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


Via ferrata gear
Rope if some of the party are worried about the exposure.


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