La Grave is a paradise for climbers and other cliff enthusiasts. There are several climbing spots, ranging from beginner to expert level. There are two Via Ferratas in the area around la Meije and several more in the vicinity.
A Via Ferrata is a route that enables you to climb a cliff wall with the help of specific equipment: cables, steps and ladders. Il's a fun activity that it is possible to do with kids from 7 years. If you don't have climbing and via ferrata experience, go with a mountain guide.
This Via Ferrata, situated at the foothills of La Meije and the Ecrins National Park, is pleasantly shady in summer. It is suitable for beginners, in the company of experienced climbers of course. There is a possible escape route halfway up.
A steep face separates the Emparis plateau from the valley floor – 1000 m of vertical rock towering over the river. At first sight it seems impassable. All the same, galena, or lead glance, used to be extracted from mines up there. Narrow paths that were carved in the cliffs and equipped with a handrail so that the miners could get to the galleries. Most of the gallery entrances are hanging over the void. A 200 m high ladder enabled them to pass a vertical wall. These adjustments formed the basis for the recreational Via Ferrata. The long ladder, called the chimney, was part of the Via Ferrata until 2016 when the route had to be changed after a rockslide. The Via Ferrata will take you past the entrance to several mining galleries and there are information boards all along the way.
To explore the area, you have the choice between several guided activities: an easy walk to learn about the history of the mines and the minerals, the Via Cordata, that is suitable for both children and adults, and to really face your vertigo, the full Via Ferrata that leads up to the grassy highland of Emparis. The view of the peaks and glaciers of the north faces is stunning, for those who have the courage to look.
Around La Grave you will find climbing spots for all levels of proficiency.
Four climbing crags (graded from 3 to 7c) are available: LE GRAND CLOT, LES FREAUX, LES AYES in LE CHAZELET, ARSINE in Villar d’Arène (ideal for children) and RIVOIRE at the Tunnel du Grand Clot.
There are also several multi-pitch routes in the area that are equipped, including La Cascade and the Jongleur and Planète sectors of Les Fréaux, as well as the Eperon des Marmottes in Arsine.
From the les Téléphériques des Glaciers de la Meije cable car at 2400m: Peyrou d’Amont, the Refuge Chancel and at 3200m, Pointe Trifide and Pic de La Grave.
For sale in sports shops, newsagents, at the Tourist Information in La Grave and at the mountain guides’ office.