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International > Europe > France > 04 Northern Alps > Grenoble > Vercors


Appearing more as a long ridge (indeed, the arête traverse is a classic!), Gerbier is a long north/south running mountain whose summit reaches 2109 meters.

This limestone arete, some 30 kilometers southwest of Grenoble, lies on the far eastern edge of the Vercors plateau and is sandwiched in between Roc Cornafion to the north, and Les Deux Sœurs to the south.

Gerbier is known historically as the mountain where Lionel Terray and partner Mark Martinetti perished in a climbing accident in September of 1965. Hailing from nearby Grenoble, the “Conquistador of the Useless” lives on in his legacy as a guide and climber remembered through his writings and first ascents in the great ranges.

In a nutshell, the east side of the mountain contains the steeper and more serious collection of offerings for the climber, while the mellower west side has a few moderate fun climbs. Both sides of Gerbier have around 200 meters of steeper rock, with the steeper side being the eastern aspect.

Besides the popular Traversée des arêtes (PD), the oft-climbed classics are the Pilier de la double brèche (D+,200m) and the fissure en arc de cercle (TD+,400m).

Great views in every direction, a beautiful high country alpine region, sweet hiking trails, plenty of climbing routes on good rock, and convenient access options all make for a worthy trip to Gerbier.

Getting There

Gerbier can be approached either from the west or east, depending on the chosen climbing venue.

From the East:

Drive up to the village of Prélenfrey by taking the D8B "route du Gerbier". Follow the road past town and towards Gerbier.

There’s a couple of parking lots at around 1309m at the end of the road. Trails lead to the base of the peak as well as the pass of the eye (Pas de l'Oeille).

From the West:

Couple of options :

Drive to either Les Glovettes (1250m) or Les Clots (1232m) . Take the trail following the signs for the refuge Fauge and the Pas de l'Oeille. The base of the mountain can be reached in a couple of hours walk.

From the ski area pay a few euro and take the Côte 2000 tram. Head towards the mountain and run into the main trail traversing across the base of Gerbier. This approach saves at least an hour each way.

This is also a very popular tram for mountain bikers, which seem to comprise a fair amount of the traffic on the ski areas trails.

Routes from Left to Right

5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Pilier Martin
Trad, Sport 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Pilier Martin
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, Sport 4 pitches

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Top of the Côte 2000 tram with Gerbier in the background
[Hide Photo] Top of the Côte 2000 tram with Gerbier in the background
West side of Gerbier
[Hide Photo] West side of Gerbier
West side of Gerbier
[Hide Photo] West side of Gerbier
Gerbier from the west (looking east)
[Hide Photo] Gerbier from the west (looking east)

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] The popular and fun and non-difficult Gerbier Ridge Traverse - (Traversee des Aretes du Gerbier)
has a very detailed English-language description on c2c:

- - >…

which includes detailed instructions for how to avoid the rock-fall hazard on the most obvious (and popular) access to the north end of the traverse.
Jun 21, 2017