Aiguille de la Grande Sassière to Le Chevril

Albertville

Tignes and Val d'Isère

An extended challenging route and descent from the epic summit route.

Also in Savoie, France

Mountain Biking Difficult

Distance
16 km
Ascent
1.5 km
Descent
1.9 km
Duration
2-3 hrs
Low Point
1.8 km
High Point
3.7 km
Gradient
21˚
Aiguille de la Grande Sassière to Le Chevril Map

Aiguille de la Grande Sassière is a mountain in the Graian Alps, on the boundary between the Aosta Valley (northern Italy) and the French department of Savoie in the Tarentaise Valley. This route to aiguille de la Grande Sassière summit (3,747m) is a high alpine challenge, with the final third being along a ridgeline beside Sassière glacier. You'll enjoy stunning views the entire route!

Description

It is the highest and longest trail that is rideable in the French Alps that isn't protected by a National Park.

Highlights include views of the nearby Grande Sassière, multiple lakes, Sassière glacier, and down the Aosta Valley from the summit. There’s only about a 6-week window every summer where the snow on the glacier has melted from the West Ridge trail and it’s actually possible to ride all the way down without needing to walk.

Start from the parking at Lac du Saut and be prepared for a strenuous 5+ hour climb to the summit, with a combination of carrying and pushing your bike most of the way. Take the time to enjoy the stunning views—particularly as the path comes around the back of the Grande Sassière, looking down on Sainte Foy and Tignes. The final third of the ascent is straight up a 45° rocky shale slope on the west ridge.

The shale is difficult to get a good grip on as it moves below your feet, and black ice is highly possible, so extreme caution is required here. There will be an overwhelming sense of triumph once the summit is reached—take in the amazing views over the Western Alps.

Avoiding stopping too long at the summit, as the altitude dictates very chilly temperatures.

Drop down from the summit the way you came. The descent is extremely technical and exposed—use caution!

The route mapped here offers an alternative extension to the descent from the Aiguille de la Grande Sassière route. However, note that you will need to get a shuttle back to the beginning of your route.

The trail continues to be challenging with exposure over rocky, barren terrain until you reach the treeline where you'll find a fabulous, techy, and fun descent through the forest above Le Chevril.

Take the time to enjoy the stunning views during this descent in a high alpine location... although negotiation of the trail does make that particularly difficult.

This is an incredible, epic ride and should be undertaken seriously and responsibly. But it's well-worth the arduous effort!

Difficulty

Difficult

Mostly stable trail tread with some variability featuring larger and more unavoidable obstacles that may include, but not be limited to: bigger stones, roots, steps, and narrow curves. Compared to lower intermediate, technical difficulty is more advanced and grades of slopes are steeper. Ideal for upper intermediate riders.

Extreme Exposure

4 out of 4

Some trail sections are extremely exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August

Features

  • Technical
  • Hike a bike
  • Picturesque
  • Shuttle-run
  • Singletrack
  • Drops
  • Rock Rolls
  • Rock Slabs
  • Rock Gardens

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area