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Located in the French Alps this snowshoe tour starts at the very northern tip of the Drôme region and journeys due North across the Vercors wild life sanctuary, all the way to the most southern edge of Isère. During 5 days, live an extraordinary experience across the northern part of the largest land protected area in continental France. In this very remote 17 000 hectare are, you will find peace and quietness. If it were not for some very old and isolated stone buildings, there would be no sign of the presence of man. Snow covered nature and the presence of Nordic wildlife strangely remind us of Lapland.
Hiking a large section of the Great Vercors Traverse (GTV) is an incitement to complete the GTV in winter conditions someday. It is a great way to prepare for future winter treks in Nordic regions.
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For any further information, feel free to contact Laurence +33 4 50 53 94 32 or by email.
Day 1 : We arrive in Corrençon, Vercors later in the afternoon and settle in our hotel. After enjoying a nice dinner, we check our equipment and load up our pulkas.
Day 2 : COL DU ROUSSET - COMBE MÂLE
We transfer to Col du Rousset road pass and start our snowshoe adventure with a progressive uphill section through the forest until we reach the altiplano. Vultures are commonly seen along the mountain ridges, where they like to play in the hot air pockets. After a short downhill, we reach Pas des Econdus and enter the wildlife sanctuary. We still have to hike uphill for a while to get to the clearing of Combe Mâle, where we set up our bivouac for the night.
Up : + 1 320ft / Down : - 660ft / 5 miles / Hiking time : 4H00
Day 3 : COMBE MÂLE - PAS DES CHATTONS
As we continue across the Vercors altiplano, we can admire Grand Veymont (2341m/7730ft), the highest peak in the Vercors range. Our snowshoes lead us to a large alpine meadow of Grande Cabane .We stop to look at the imposing west face of Grand Veymont just above. The terrain is ideal to set up the camp. Later on we enjoy a light packed hike to access the alpine saddle of Pas des Chattons, a great belvedere with a panoramic view of Mont Aiguille and the Ecrins range.
Up : + 1000ft / Down : - 660ft / 5 miles / Hiking time : 4H00
Day 4 : PAS DES CHATTONS - JASSE DU PLAY
Our great traverse continues across snowy clearings and through forests of spruce and Norwegian pine trees. As time goes by, Grand Veymont becomes smaller in the distance. Other summits and ridges form an endless alpine landscape. We start another uphill at Jasse de la Chaux spring, which leads us to Cabane de la Jasse du Play.
Up / Down : 660ft / 7,5 miles / Hiking time : 6H00
Day 5 : JASSE DU PLAY - JAS DE LA PLUME
Our day starts with a beautiful descent through the forest…Followed by a short but steep climb, we reach a small plateau. Fortunately, our pulkas are easier to pull after getting rid of food and water during the previous days. In this area, there is no sign of the presence of man. It is absolute silence and tranquillity! Then we continue uphill to Plaine de Tiolache, and start the very nice descent into the Erges canyon. We set up our camp for the night at the end of the canyon in the clearing of Jas de la Plume.
Up / Down : 660ft / 7,5 miles / Hiking time : 6H00
Day 6 : JAS DE LA PLUME - CORRENÇON EN VERCORS
From there we soon reach the large and inviting Dardoubouse alpine prairie. In winter this large compression is often filled with morning haze, which contributes to a spooky atmosphere. After a last steep climb, and a regular downhill section through the forest, we reach the Carette cabin and the northern tip of the wildlife sanctuary. We soon slide our pulkas on the cross-country tracks heading to Corrençon en Vercors. Our tour ends around 3:00pm.
Up / Down : 1 000ft / 6,5 miles / Hiking time : 5H00
Guides and leaders may have to adapt program and hiking route to weather/ terrain conditions and according to group hiking skills.
Download the trip description
More pictures on our Blog : Un voyage hors du temps
Important : Estimated hiking time are based on a 825ft uphill, 1 650ft downhill progression per hour, covering an average distance of 2 miles. Average hiking times do not include lunch and view admiring breaks. Progression rythm for snowshoeing depends on snow quality, visibility and hikers' skills.
2017 WINTER DATE : Sunday to Friday. March 19 to 24.
2017 WINTER PRICES : 650€ per person (groups starts at 6).
Mountain Leader guiding services
Drinks and personal expense (souvenirs…)
Half-board at the inn, and in the tent
Repatriation insurance (mandatory)
Snowshoe equipment, shared camping equipment, pulkas.
Transfer on Day 1 to start of the tour
We can organize a private departure for this trek. Quotation on request.
- Valid passport or ID
- Repatriation insurance (mandatory). Cancellation insurance is highly recommended.
We provide optional insurance contracts for repatriation and trip cancellation (see booking form).
DIFFICULTY : Due to its length and profile, this winter 5 –day trip across the Vercors range requires good physical shape. We hike 4 to 6 hours each day, pulling our pulkas and carrying a backpack. Setting up the camp takes approximately 1H30, or more depending on weather and snow conditions.
Note: we recommend participants to be in good physical condition and quality of outdoor equipment are necessary. Our snowshoe overnight activity is a good way to prepare for this trip. Snowshoeing and/or summer hiking experience are highly recommended.
ACCOMMODATION : 1 night in dormitory in a mountain inn, 3 nights under the tent, 1 night in a shelter.
GUIDING : Each mountain leader guides groups of 6 (min) to 8 people (max). The Compagnie des Guides de Chamonix's guiding policy is one of the most restrictive in the mountain guiding industry.
Important : no booking accepted in our scheduled groups for people under the age of 18.
MEETING PLACE : At 5pm, on Sunday in Corrençon en Vercors.
EQUIPMENT : See attached list
INSURANCE : Our mountain leaders are self-employed professionals, and therefore covered under a liability insurance via the French Mountain Leaders Association (SNAM). As a tour operator, the Compagnie des Guides is also covered under a tour operator liability insurance contract (MMA IARD). Repatriation and cancellation insurance are available from our office. Repatriation insurance is mandatory. We strongly recommend the purchase of cancellation insurance. Individual insurance cover for mountain activities is also recommended (ie. Carte Neige) as a complementary insurance.
TRAINING : Good physical condition will allow you to make the most of your holiday. A month before the hike at least, we suggest you walk upstairs, rather than use the elevator. During the weekends you can run, walk or ride your bike to train for the hike. Doing a medical check-up before signing for the trip is recommended. Your guide should be informed of any medical treatment.
Please, feel free to contact the Compagnie des Guides for any further information.
You're a group of friends. You're a family. You would like to book this hike.
You can ask for a customized trip, and have your own guide !
- Exclusive guide
A more individualized relationship between your group and the professional.
- Choose your date of departure
You can choose your date of departure within the limit of the hut availabilities.
- Flexibility all along the trip
Depending on weather conditions, your level and your expectations, the guide can suggest you some different options of itinerary.
For any further information, please contact Laurence :
Tel : +33 450 53 94 32 or E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org