The La Grave La Meije Cable Car

The La Grave Cable Car – the alpine universe accessible to everyone

At La Grave La Meije, the high mountains are not exclusively for mountaineers. By means of the Téléphériques des Glaciers de La Meije, that is the La Grave Cable Car, everyone can touch the eternal ice caps and enjoy the spectacular view of never-ending summits fading into the distance.

The mid-station – a view of the glaciers and La Meije

In front of the station at 2400 m (7874 ft), admiration comes easy. Go for a picnic in the grass or a nap in a hammock, simply savouring the view of high peaks mirrored in a little lake. Afterwards, follow the path starting at the little lake for a hundred meters or so to admire the work of the glaciers on the Alpine landscape.

Between 2400 m and 3200 m (10500 ft), the you will be seated next to the majestic peak of La Meije with front-row views of moraines, crevasses and hanging glaciers. The glaciers of La Meije and the Râteau cling on to the spectacular North faces of this 3983 m (13068 ft) high peak.

The lift gives access to routes for ropes and crampons that vary from beginners’ level to extreme difficulty. The North faces of La Meije and the Râteau are for the intrepid, apart from the climb of the Enfetchores leading to the gap of La Meije and the Promontoire hut right behind. This is but the first step for alpinists who are aiming for the main peak.

The top station – the Mont Blanc in the distance and the glacier close by

The top station at 3200 m (10500 ft) is perched between the peak of la Meije and the Girose glacier, the view reaches all the way to the Mont Blanc. Up there, the glacier becomes more accessible – although you always need to take your precautions when approaching it. The ice cave and the easy glacier walks with the guides make it possible for anyone to get acquainted with this endangered species.

Time table and prices for the La Grave Cable Car summer 2021

Discover the glacier – without and within

Together, the Girose and Mont de Lans Glaciers make up the biggest ice cap of the French Alps (6 km from east to west). Get to know the glaciers, its crevasses and ice falls by combining a visit to the ice cave and an easy glacier walk with a mountain guide.

Take advantage of the clear morning light to go for a walk on the glacier while enjoying the view stretching from the Vercors plateau to the Mont Blanc. Afterwards, you can visit the ice cave whose secured tunnels makes it possible to explore the glacier from within. The tunnels and sculptures are carved anew every year.

If you want to go a little further, go on a glacier hike to the Lauze Mountain Pass. This route is perfect for a first glacier hike and the guide will teach you the basic glacier skills.

Discover the glacier

Radio Ice – listen to the sounds of the glacier

During the summer of 2019, two sound artists recorded the sound of the glacier moving. At the listening station at the Tourist Information Center La Grave you can discover the interior life of glaciersand also hear what people who work on or with glaciers have to say about them. On the website, you can listen on streaming or download the podcasts to listen by the glacier.

Listen to Radio Ice

 

First alpine climbs

The next stage is climbing the peaks around the Girose Glacier. The cable car takes you up to the Col des Ruillans at 3211 m (10534 ft), a precious help when time is short. Here, a single day is enough to fulfil your dreams.

The western summit of the Râteau 3769 m (12365 ft)

A mere 560 m of height difference in a mix of rock and ice, rated PD (peu difficile - a little difficult) leads to a very airy ridge that dominates the Selle valley on one side and on the other the vertiginous north face of the Râteau that drops towards the Romanche valley. On the rocky outcrop that forms the summit of the Râteau Ouest at 3769 m there is just enough space for one rope team to enjoy the view.

The first to reach it was Coolidge and company in 1873, without any help from the gondola. Then again, in those days the mountaineers were ready to cross the Brêche de la Meije at 3357 m just to go for a drink in the neighbouring valley.

Peak of La Grave 3667 m (12030 ft)

The climb consists mainly of snow and ice, rated PD. This one you will teach you how to place your crampons. After a soft start on the flats the bergschrund crossing awaits at a 40-45° gradient followed by a more relaxed 30-35° slope. A very short passage on rock concludes the climb.

Alpine climbs in La Grave

Winter in La Grave – legendary freeride skiing

La Grave La Meije is not like any other ski resort. And that is precisely what we love about it. Here you will ski an entirely off-piste area where the mountain is left in its natural state, without groomed runs and slopes. This vast domain stretches from the top of the Girose Glacier drag lift at 3600 m (11811 ft) to the river at 1450 m (4757 m). Every run is a new adventure and every time you stop there is plenty to marvel at. We click into our bindings next to La Meije and cast a quick glance at the Mont Blanc in the far distance before setting off for a journey through open fields, small couloirs, gullies and forest trails.

Here the mountain commands respect. Her beauty, her whims and the snow she has in store on this particular day, in the sun or in the fog, you have to deal with it or leave it for another day. Infinite possibilities in a spectacular playground are the award.

 

Don't miss out on:

The Emparis Plateau

To get a unique overview of the glaciers and peaks of the Meije massif, go for a hike on the Emparis Plateau.

Hike to the Emparis Plateau

Ecrins National Park

Go rambling to the discover the glaciers of the Ecrins National Park.

Discover the Ecrins National Park