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Route à Valmeinier

Pointe de Terre Rouge via the passage of the Pic du Thabor and the Col des Marches

The proposed circuit varies the atmospheres passing from the verdant valley of Neuvache to the harsh minerality of the valleys dominated by the Pic du Thabor and the Cheval Blanc, before climbing the wild slopes of the Col des Marches. A wonder !



GR de pays around Mont Thabor (yellow and red markings + multiple panels) to the Pierre du Déjeuner. Off the trail, then, for the summit and then the descent, to the downstream of the Lac des Batailleres, where we find the same GR de pays, which leads to the Col des Marches. Good well-marked trail, then for the Roche Noire lake and the descent to the Losa.

Autumn, Summer, Spring

From the Chenalette car park, take the GR de Pays du Tour du Mont Thabor, following the signs indicating the Notre Dame des Neiges chapel, which can be reached in about an hour and a half.

Continue on this path, which gently climbs the wide valley of Neuvache, to the rock called "Pierre du Déjeuner", ideal place, in fact, to have a bite to eat before starting the serious things.

You have to leave the GR de pays about 400 meters after the Pierre du Déjeuner, at the level of an easily identifiable grassy hilltop, on the left. Beginning of the off-trail.

Rise on this grassy hilltop, then in the stony ground (very stable and not too steep) which succeeds it, by first orienting yourself East-North-East until the rocky prominence listed 2872, which one circumvents, then full North. You can aim for what, from below, looks like a cairn marking the Passage du Pic du Thabor (2952 meters). In fact, it's not a cairn, just a rock… But when you reach it, you have actually reached this pass.

From the Passage du Pic du Thabor, head north-east to best climb the Pointe de Terre Rouge, bypassing the rocky escarpments. Still no path (at least, I didn't see any), but we don't really need it.

From the summit, there is a very nice view of, in particular, the west face of the Pic du Thabor and the Vanoise massif… Well, when the weather is right… Which was not the case for me, alas.

Descend towards the pretty lakes located just below the Passage du Pic du Thabor. From the most northerly of them, it's simple: just follow the small stream that escapes from it, until you reach a larger torrent, oriented South-North, which you also have to follow, in less steep slopes.

At the level of a beautiful flat area where we find the greenery, this torrent, joined by the one that descends from Lac Pépin, turns towards the East. From there, you can see the path slightly below that leads to the refuge of the Marches (this is, again, the GR de pays du Tour du Mont Thabor).

Gain, just in front of the refuge, the footbridge which marks the beginning of the climb to the Col des Marches... Climb sometimes a little steep, but magnificent, especially when you dominate the unnamed lake listed 2508 (Lac du Jeu?) .

Past the pass, from where you can see the Lac de Roche Noire, you have to descend about 200 meters and leave the GR de pays again to reach this lake, by a well-marked path which then crosses the ridge. du Petit Fourchon then descends to the sheepfolds of Le Vallon and La Losa.

At La Losa, the loop is complete: we find the path from the start. Turn right towards the Chenalette.

Pointe de Terre Rouge via the passage of the Pic du Thabor and the Col des Marches

Difficulty : Difficult

Duration: 11 hours

Elevation: 1900 D +

Distance: 25 km

Max Altitude : 3080 m

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