French Alps

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French Alps
FrenchAlps 03270006a.jpg
Aerial photograph of the Mont Blanc massif, the tallest mountain in the French Alps, seen from the west
Highest point
Peak Mont Blanc
Elevation 4,810.45 m (15,782.3 ft)
Coordinates 45°50′01″N06°51′54″E / 45.83361°N 6.86500°E / 45.83361; 6.86500 Coordinates: 45°50′01″N06°51′54″E / 45.83361°N 6.86500°E / 45.83361; 6.86500
Geography
Massif des Alpes map-fr.svg
Ranges of the French Alps.
French regions Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Borders on Swiss Alps, Italian Alps
Geology
Orogeny Alpine orogeny
Age of rock Tertiary
Type of rock Bündner schist, flysch and molasse
NASA photo of the French Alps (26 Oct 2002). Alps of France NASA A2002274 1240 250m.jpg
NASA photo of the French Alps (26 Oct 2002).

The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.

Contents

At 4,808 metres (15,774 ft), Mont Blanc (Italian: Monte Bianco), on the French-Italian border, is the highest mountain in the Alps, and the highest Western European mountain. [1]

Notable towns in the French Alps include Grenoble, Chamonix, Annecy, Chambéry, Évian-les-Bains and Albertville.

Ranges and summits

ChainRangeHighest summitElevation (m/ft)
Graian Alps Mont Blanc Massif Mont Blanc 4,810.45 metres (15,782 ft)
Graian Alps Beaufortain Massif Roignais 2,995 metres (9,826 ft)
Graian Alps Lauzière Massif Grand Pic de la Lauzière 2,829 metres (9,281 ft)
Graian Alps Vanoise Massif Grande Casse 3,855 metres (12,648 ft)
Graian Alps Graian Alps central group Pointe de Charbonnel 3,752 metres (12,310 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Belledonne Massif Grand Pic de Belledonne 2,977 metres (9,767 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Grandes Rousses Pic Bayle 3,465 metres (11,368 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Arves Massif Aiguilles d'Arves 3,514 metres (11,529 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Taillefer Massif Le Taillefer 2,857 metres (9,373 ft)
Dauphiné Alps Écrins Massif Barre des Écrins 4,102 metres (13,458 ft)
Cottian Alps Massif du Mont-Cenis Pointe de Ronce 3,612 metres (11,850 ft)
Cottian Alps Cerces Massif Grand Galibier 3,229 metres (10,594 ft)
Cottian Alps Queyras Massif Rochebrune Peak 3,320 metres (10,892 ft)
Cottian Alps Ubaye Massif (Orrenaye) Aiguille de Chambeyron 3,411 metres (11,191 ft)
Maritime Alps Mercantour Massif Cime du Gélas 3,143 metres (10,312 ft)
Maritime Alps Pelat Massif Mont Pelat 3,050 metres (10,007 ft)
Maritime Alps Massif des Trois-Évêchés Tête de l'Estrop 2,961 metres (9,715 ft)
Ligurian Alps Ligurian Alps Punta Marguareis 2,651 metres (8,698 ft)
Savoy Prealps Chablais Alps Hauts-Forts 2,464 metres (8,084 ft)
Savoy Prealps Haut-Giffre Massif Haute Cime 3,257 metres (10,686 ft)
Savoy Prealps Aiguilles Rouges Aiguille du Belvédère 2,965 metres (9,728 ft)
Savoy Prealps Bornes Pointe Blanche 2,438 metres (7,999 ft)
Savoy Prealps Aravis Range Pointe Percée 2,750 metres (9,022 ft)
Savoy Prealps Bauges Arcalod 2,217 metres (7,274 ft)
Savoy Prealps Chartreuse Mountains Chamechaude 2,082 metres (6,831 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Vercors Massif Grand Veymont 2,341 metres (7,680 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Diois Mountains Mont Jocou 2,051 metres (6,729 ft)
Dauphiné Prealps Dévoluy Mountains Grande Tête de l'Obiou 2,789 metres (9,150 ft)
Provence Prealps Bochaine Mont Céüse 2,016 metres (6,614 ft)
Provence Prealps Digne Prealps Les Monges 2,115 metres (6,939 ft)
Provence Prealps Baronnies Mont Mare1,603 metres (5,259 ft)
Provence Prealps Vaucluse Mountains Signal de Saint-Pierre1,256 metres (4,121 ft)
Provence Prealps Luberon Mountains Mourre Nègre1,125 metres (3,691 ft)
Maritime Prealps Castellan Prealps Puy de Rent1,996 metres (6,549 ft)
Maritime Prealps Nice Prealps Pointe des Trois Communes2,080 metres (6,824 ft)
Panorama of Chamonix valley Chamonix Valley Panorama.jpg
Panorama of Chamonix valley

Ski areas

The largest connected ski areas are:

  1. Les Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Orelle): 338 slopes, 600 km of pistes.
  2. Portes du Soleil (Avoriaz, Châtel, Morzine, Les Gets, Saint-Jean d'Aulps, La Chapelle d'Abondance, Abondance, Montriond, Swiss resorts): 288 slopes, 650 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  3. Paradiski (La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry, Les Arcs), Champagny-en-Vanoise: 239 slopes, 420 km of slopes.
  4. Via Lattea (Montgenèvre, Italian resorts): 214 slopes, 400 km of slopes.
  5. Évasion Mont-Blanc (Combloux, Megève, Saint-Gervais, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, Les Contamines Monjoie): 183 slopes, 420 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  6. Espace Killy (Tignes, Val-d'Isère): 137 slopes, 300 km of slopes.
  7. Grand Massif (Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns, Sixt): 134 slopes, 265 km of slopes.
  8. Les Aravis (La Clusaz, Manigod, La Croix Fry, Merdassier, Le Grand-Bornand): 133 slopes, 220 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  9. Les Grandes Rousses (L'Alpe d'Huez, Vaujany, Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard-Reculas): 117 slopes, 236 km of slopes.
  10. Serre Chevalier: 111 slopes, 250 km of slopes.
  11. La Forêt Blanche (Risoul, Vars): 104 slopes, 180 km of slopes.
  12. Les Sybelles (Le Corbier, La Toussuire, Les Bottières, Saint-Jean-d'Arves, Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves, Saint-Colomban-des-Villards): 96 slopes, 310 km of slopes.
  13. Valloire and Valmeinier: 83 slopes, 150 km of slopes.
  14. Grand Domaine (Valmorel, Saint-François-Longchamp): 82 slopes, 150 km of slopes
  15. Espace San Bernardo (La Rosière, La Thuile - Italy): 73 slopes, 150 km of slopes.
  16. Les Deux Alpes and La Grave: 69 slopes, 220 km of slopes. (+ Freeride Zone)

The other large ski areas are:

Activities

A range of winter and summer activities are available in the French Alps. In the winter, these include skiing and snowboarding as well as alternatives such as snowshoeing, sledging. There is a range of other activities that happen such as gliding which most happens during the summer months. [2] Summer activities include hiking, mountaineering, biking and rock climbing. [3]

See also

Related Research Articles

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Savoie Department of France in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

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Chamonix Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

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Gran Paradiso

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Val-dIsère Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

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Portes du Soleil

Les Portes du Soleil is a major skisports destination in the Alps, encompassing thirteen resorts between Mont Blanc in France and Lake Geneva in Switzerland. With more than 650 km of marked pistes and about 200 lifts in total, spread over 14 valleys and about 1,036 square kilometres (400 sq mi), Portes du Soleil ranks among the two largest ski areas in the world. Almost all of the pistes are connected by lifts – a few marginal towns can be reached only by the free bus services in the area. The highest altitude accessible on skis is 2260m and the lowest is 930m. As with many other Alpine ski resorts, the lower slopes of the Portes du Soleil have snow-making facilities to extend the ski season by keeping the lower slopes open during the warmer months.

Haute Route

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Écrins National Park French national park in Isère and Hautes-Alpes

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Megève Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

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Argentière

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Aiguille du Midi Mountain

The Aiguille du Midi is a 3,842-metre-tall (12,605 ft) mountain in the Mont Blanc massif within the French Alps. It is a popular tourist destination and can be directly accessed by cable car from Chamonix that takes visitors close to Mont Blanc.

Barre des Écrins

The Barre des Écrins is a mountain in the French Alps with a peak at 4102m altitude. It is the highest peak of the Massif des Écrins and the Dauphiné Alps and the most southerly alpine peak in Europe that is higher than 4,000 m. It is the only 4,000 m mountain in France that lies outside the Mont Blanc Massif. Before the annexation of Savoy in 1860 it was the highest mountain in France.

Combloux Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Combloux is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, with a population of over 2000 residents. It is a mountain village in the French Alps and is popular as a ski resort. Combloux is located 4 km (2.5 mi) from Megève and 30 km (19 mi) from Chamonix-Mont-Blanc.

Les Contamines-Montjoie Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Les Contamines-Montjoie is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.

Mont Blanc massif Mountain range in the Alps

The Mont Blanc massif is a mountain range in the Alps, located mostly in France and Italy, but also straddling Switzerland at its northeastern end. It contains eleven major independent summits, each over 4,000 metres (13,123 ft) in height. It is named after Mont Blanc, the highest point in western Europe and the European Union. Because of its considerable overall altitude, a large proportion of the massif is covered by glaciers, which include the Mer de Glace and the Miage Glacier – the longest glaciers in France and Italy, respectively.

Col de lIseran

Col de l'Iseran is a mountain pass in France, the highest paved pass in the Alps. A part of the Graian Alps, it is situated in the department of Savoie, near the border with Italy, and is crossed by the D902 roadway.

Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval Commune in Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, France

Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval is a municipality in the Haute-Savoie department within the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. It is located at the end of the Giffre Valley.

Oisans Valley in the French Alps

L'Oisans is a region in the French Alps, located in the départements of l'Isère and Hautes-Alpes, and corresponding to the drainage basin of the River Romanche and its tributaries. Between Livet-et-Gavet and Le Bourg-d'Oisans, the Romanche forms a deep gorge.

References

  1. Mont Blanc shrinks by 45cm in two years
  2. "frenchalps.co.uk - Your website dedicated to information on the French Alps". frenchalps.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-27.
  3. "French Alps Mountain Activities | frenchalps.co.uk". frenchalps.co.uk. Retrieved 2016-01-27.