Only 30 minutes from Grenoble, Les Trois Pucelles looms large over the Northeast side of the Vercors plateau.
With around 32 routes, mostly 150m or less in length, the three virgins beckon for your climbing pleasure.
The terrain, steep and rather complex limestone towers, affords superb views of distant alpine summits as well as downtown Grenoble to the east and the small hamlet of Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte to the west.
The 1968 Olympic ski jump, decaying slowing into the hillside, gives a look that one would imagine as jumping straight into downtown Grenoble.
Popular routes include Couloir Grange, Petit-Didier, Parcours Honneger and the Traversée des Arêtes.
Individual summits include the Grand Pucelle, Dent Gérard, Couteau, and the Pucelle de St-Nizier.
Take the D106 out of Grenoble past Seyssinet to Saint-Nizier-du-Moucherotte. To reach the base of the main formation from the bottom, drive past Seyssinet and take a left turn and look for a parking lot directly below Les Trois Pucelles (also a great view of the ski jump and a nice spot for a view of the east side).
To reach the upper parking lot, drive past the ski area at St. Nizier, take a left turn on a smaller road passing the old cable car station. Soon after, park at the large lot where the trailhead is located (also a great look at the top of the Olympic ski jump from 1968). Take the “sentier écologique” trail past the short, cragging area (cragging area La Roche is to the right) and continue uphill through the woods (cables protecting the steep parts). Continue to the col then to the “Salle-à-manager” at the top of the west side.
A fun, airy traverse with great views of the surrounding country side. This route is an “out-and-back” affair across the summit arêtes of the main rock formation. As such, there is a fair amount of exposure and care should be accorded loose rock as there are well travelled hiking trails below.Begin by scrambling up the third class ramp on the Southwest side of the formation. An anchor at the top of the small summit facilitates a short 10m rappel to the notch between this small summit and the ...[more]Browse More Classics in International