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A view from the nearby hillside
|• Mayor (2020–2026)||Jean-Pierre Pic|
|126.91 km2 (49.00 sq mi)|
|• Density||3.8/km2 (9.8/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+01:00 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+02:00 (CEST)|
|Elevation||1,135–3,976 m (3,724–13,045 ft) |
(avg. 1,520 m or 4,990 ft)
|1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km2 (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.|
La Grave (French pronunciation: [la ɡʁav] ; Occitan : La Grava) is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France.
It is a small ski resort in the French Alps, dominated by La Meije (3982 m). It was the birthplace of Nicolas de Nicolay; adventurer and Geographer Ordinary to Henry II of France.
The area is unpisted and although patrolled, has no formal avalanche control. The area is dangerous to ski unless supported by a guide, including much glacier travel at the very top.[ citation needed ]
La Grave is visited by off-piste and extreme skiers. The vertical drop totals 2,150 metres, although it is possible to ski below the resort to the road and increase the vertical descent to 2,300 metres.
Mechanical access to the mountain is limited to a closed, two-stage, pulse gondola system. The first lift starts at 1,450 metres, runs through one intermediate station (known as P1 at 1,800 metres) then terminates at Peyrou d'Amont (2,400 metres). The second stage of the gondola runs directly from Peyrou d'Amont to the Col des Ruillans (3,200 metres). The top of the gondola then allows access to button lift (which is the world's only fully suspended surface lift) to reach the top of the Girose Glacier (3550m). The Girose Glacier can also be reached from the resort of Les Deux Alpes on the other side, although this entails a one to two kilometre walk.[ citation needed ]
There are two main routes of descent. To the skier's right of the gondola station at the Col des Ruillans are 'Les Vallons de La Meije', a variation of which leads to the Trifides couloirs, and ultimately to the valley bottom and the Romanche River. Skiers can also make leftwards traverses to return to Peyrou d'Amont or P1 to avoid skiing the lower section which can be rocky or even grassy meadows in poor snow conditions.
To the skier's left from the Col des Ruillans is known as the Chancel route (also accessible from the Girose Glacier) which leads to several couloirs (the Banane, Patou, Couloir du Lac) around the Lac de Puyvachier and the Refuge Evariste Chancel. Below this point skiers can either traverse right to return to P1 or descend directly to the valley floor and village of Les Fréaux via the steep Fréaux Couloir.
Alternative descents include various routes to the south of the highest point of the lifts (the Dome de Lauze, at the top of the T-bar) in the Vallon du Diable. These lead to the village of St Christophe en Oisans from which alternative transport must be arranged in order to return to La Grave or to join the Deux Alpes lift system and return via the top of the Girose Glacier.[ citation needed ] There are several direct routes from the top of the Girose Glacier to the valley such as Chirouse and Orcières; these involve complex routefinding and sometimes abseils.[ citation needed ] Other routes include the Pan du Rideau and Y-Couloir, reached via a walk from the top of the first T-bar; they involve a steep ski down onto the Glacier du Rateau then rejoin the Vallons de La Meije.
In April 2006 Doug Coombs died while trying to save a friend in the Couloir de Polichinelle.
There are restaurants at Peyrou d'Amont and the Col des Ruillans, and food is served at the Refuge Evariste Chancel. Beds at both the Refuge and in a sleeping space in the Col des Ruillans restaurant.[ citation needed ]
The lease on the cable car is due to expire in 2017. As of 2015, no one had shown interest in taking over the cable car. [ needs update ]
La Grave is also a location for ice climbing. The valley receives little sun in winter and icefalls form on the valley sides. Climbing routes range from under 100 to over 300 metres long and are climbed in a number of pitches. Routes range from easy La Gorge II/3 to hard Diabolobite II/5+.
L'Alpe d'Huez is a ski resort in southeastern France at 1,250 to 3,330 metres. It is a mountain pasture in the Central French Western Alps, in the commune of Huez, which is part of the department of Isère in the region of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes.
Val d'Isère is a commune of the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in southeastern France. It lies 5 km (3 mi) from the border with Italy. It is on the border of the Vanoise National Park created in 1963. During the Albertville 1992 Winter Olympics, the Face de Bellevarde was the site of the men's downhill race. Other alpine skiing events held during those games included men's giant slalom and alpine combined. Val d'Isère regularly hosts World Cup alpine events, usually for the men in early December, and hosted the World Championships in 2009. It is located in the Savoie région with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambéry. The ski area of Val d'Isère and Tignes forms the Espace Killy, named after the triple Olympic champion Jean-Claude Killy who grew up in Val d'Isère. There are two mountain huts owned by the Vanoise National Park on the territory of Val d’Isère: le Refuge du Prariond and le Refuge du Fond des Fours.
Briançon (French: [bʁijɑ̃sɔ̃] is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region in southeastern France. It is a sub-prefecture of the department.
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.
La Plagne is a French ski area in the alpine valley of the Tarentaise (Savoie). Since 2003, La Plagne and the neighbouring resort of Les Arcs form Paradiski's ski area. It is currently owned by Compagnie des Alpes.
Méribel is a ski resort in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps, situated near the town of Moûtiers. Méribel refers to three neighbouring villages in the Les Allues commune of the Savoie département of France, near the town of Moûtiers, called Méribel Centre, Méribel-Mottaret and Méribel Village. The villages are within the Vanoise National Park and a part of the Les Trois Vallées interlinked ski system.
Les Houches is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of Eastern France. In 2017, it had a population of 2,943.
Tignes is a commune in the Tarentaise Valley, in the Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France, known for the highest skiable area in Europe and the longest ski season in Europe. It is located in the Savoie region with good transport links in and out of Lyon, Geneva and Chambery.
Verbier is a village located in south-western Switzerland in the canton of Valais. It is a holiday resort and ski area in the Swiss Alps and is recognised as one of the premier backcountry ski resorts in the world. Some areas are covered with snow all year. Skiers have settled in the Verbier area in order to take advantage of the steep slopes, varied conditions, and resort culture.
La Meije is a mountain in the Massif des Écrins range, located at the border of the Hautes-Alpes and Isère départements. It overlooks the nearby village of La Grave, a mountaineering centre and ski resort, well known for its off-piste and extreme skiing possibilities, and also dominates the view west of the Col du Lautaret. It is the second highest mountain of the Écrins after the Barre des Écrins.
The Barre des Écrins is a mountain in the French Alps with a peak elevation of 4,102 metres (13,458 ft). 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 metres. It is the only 4,000-metre mountain in France that lies outside the Mont Blanc Massif. Before the annexation of Savoy in 1860 it was the highest mountain in France.
Flaine is a ski area in the Haute Savoie region of the French Alps, and is a part of the linked Grand Massif domain. It is in the territory of the communes of Magland and Arâches-la-Frasse. Flaine is linked to Samoëns, Morillon, Les Carroz and Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval, with 267 km of pistes in total. It featured the first 8-seater high speed chairlift, Les Grands Vans, and the first snow cannons to be installed in Europe. Flaine is often called the "big snowy bowl" due to it having one of the best snow records in the Alps. It is a modern, car-free resort with a wealth of amenities, all in close proximity to the accommodation.
Les Arcs is a ski resort located in Savoie, France, in the Tarentaise Valley town of Bourg-Saint-Maurice. Initially created by Robert Blanc and Roger Godino, it is a part of the huge Paradiski system which is under ownership by Compagnie des Alpes, a French-listed company owning several other ski resorts as well as theme parks.
Les Deux Alpes is a ski resort in the French department of Isère, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes. The village sits at 1,650 m (5,413 ft) and lifts run to 3,600 m (11,811 ft). It has the largest skiable glacier in Europe and is France's second oldest ski resort behind Chamonix. It has the longest, normally open full on-piste vertical available in the world. It is a 71 km (44 mi) drive southeast of Grenoble.
The Dents du Midi are a three-kilometre-long mountain range in the Chablais Alps in the canton of Valais, Switzerland. Overlooking the Val d'Illiez and the Rhône valley to the south, they face the Lac de Salanfe, an artificial reservoir, and are part of the geological ensemble of the Giffre massif. Their seven peaks are, from north-east to south-west: the Cime de l'Est, the Forteresse, the Cathédrale, the Éperon, the Dent Jaune, the Doigts and the Haute Cime. They are mainly composed of limestone rock, with gritty limestone rock in the upper parts.
La Tania is a ski resort in the Courchevel area of Les Trois Vallees at 1400m above sea level. It was developed for the Albertville Olympics of 1992 and can be reached by road, being about 25 minutes drive from Moûtiers.
Montgenèvre is a commune of the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France.
Valloire is a commune in the Savoie department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France.
A hybrid lift is a type of ski lift that combines the elements of a chairlift and a gondola lift. First introduced by Poma, who refers to them as Telemix, they have since been built by most lift manufacturers who refer to them by a variety of names; Doppelmayr refers to them as a combined lift, Bartholet refers to them with the French name, téléporté mixte, while the more generic terms chondola and telecombi are common in North America.
Pierre Gaspard was a French mountain climber, one of the greatest mountain guides in the silver age of alpinism. He made the first ascent of La Meije on 16 August 1877 with his son and Emmanuel Boileau de Castelnau. Their ascent followed the south buttress Arête du Promontoire, which became the "normal route".
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