The Cross on the Alp

A lovely with snowshoes, with a beautiful view of the Alpine peaks at its height. Note that this hike can be done in all seasons.

Technical sheet
No. 4098940
A Saint-Pierre-d'Entremont (Savoie) walk posted on 24/01/16 by LB_Neil. Update : 27/09/16
Author's time Author's time : 6 hrs
Distance Distance : 10.14km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 892m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 888m
Highest point Highest point : 1817m
Lowest point Lowest point : 1055m
Difficult Difficulty : Difficult
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Snowshoeing Snowshoeing
Areas Areas : Alps, Chartreuse, Cirque de Saint Même, Dauphiné
Location Location : Saint-Pierre-d'Entremont (Savoie) (73670)
Starting point Starting point : N 45.412477° / E 5.886552°
Download : -


Leave your vehicle in the small car park in the hamlet of Varvats.

(S/F) At the foot of the house, take Le Chemin de l’Alpettaz, GRP (Yellow and Red markings), which climbs steeply towards the l’Alpette de la Dame. Along the way we come across a signpost indicating an altitude of 1,110 m.

(1) At the intersection, continue uphill, facing south and then east to reach the Rigne Bâton fountain then a crossroads at hill 1280.

(2) Take the path on the left (east north-east) towards the Chalet de l'Alpe leading to the Pratcel meadow.

(3) Continue through the meadow ignoring the path on the right which goes up Alpette de la Dame and continue towards the Chalet de l’Alpe (north-east) in the small valley.

(4) At the junction of tracks, turn right, following the base of the valley.
Warning In winter the track is not visible because of the snow!
Up the valley, around a rocky glacial rise on the left (5) to see, the ruins of the Habert de Val Froide ruins above.

(6) Keep to the right of the thalweg and head back up across the slope, parallel to the rocky ridge (continuing north-east), culminating at the upper part of the thalweg at the Col de l'Alpe.

(7) From the pass, climb up to the Cross on the Alp, thirty meters in altitude over to our left.

(8) From the cross, if the weather conditions are good, there should be an excellent view.

The return route takes us west-southwest following the markers (former border between the Dauphiné and Savoie) and poles (yellow markings) to return to the Chalet de l’Alpe below and the GR9 (White and Red markings).

(9) Turn left and follow the posts of the GR9. Beware, the path crosses a lapiaz area (fissures that are more or less deep) that can be covered with snow. Come back to Pas de l'Echelle.

(10) The descent after this should not be difficult. However, be careful not to stray into the undergrowth to find the entrance to the Pratcel valley and the route on the way up.

(4) Turn right again and head back along the way in. Cross Pratcel meadow again (3) then reach the crossroads at point (2). Take a right to return to the car park in the hamlet of Varvats (S/F).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 1055m
1 : km 0.87 - alt. 1122m - Junction at hill 1128
2 : km 2 - alt. 1280m - Junction at hill 1280
3 : km 2.49 - alt. 1441m - Pratcel meadow
4 : km 2.94 - alt. 1499m - Crossroads
5 : km 3.3 - alt. 1570m - Rocky glacial rise
6 : km 3.84 - alt. 1634m - Thalweg near the ruins of Habert de Val Froide
7 : km 4.7 - alt. 1792m - Col de l'Alpe
8 : km 4.83 - alt. 1817m - The Cross on the Alp
9 : km 6.08 - alt. 1666m - Chalet de l'Alpe, junction with GR9
10 : km 6.72 - alt. 1653m - Pas de l'Echelle
D/A : km 10.14 - alt. 1059m

Useful Information

Warning: in winter the landscape changes totally so take extra care when finding landmarks and tracks. A GPS map is a major asset to remain close to the trail.

Think to check the weather and the Avalanche Risk bulletin board.

This circuit can be done in both directions.

This hike is rated as "difficult" due to winter conditions.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Entremont-le-Vieux, its camping site, the cooperative dairy and Bear Museum.

Opinions and comments


Global average : 5/5
Number of opinions : 1
Description quality : 5/5
Routemap quality : 5/5
Walk interest : 5/5

on Mon 29 Oct 2018 10:25:17 CET

Global average : 5 / 5

Date of walk : 04/10/18
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good

I'm from DK so I love challenges in hilly terrain, it's a wonderful lovely trip

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.