A magnificent peak Dolomites-style far away from Dolomites
Tour Termier is a beautiful limestone peak lying in the West-end of Cerces Massif, a small group in the French Western Alps rising North-West from the town of Briançon. These summits, offering several superb and often difficult climbing routes, are well-known also by the Italian mountaineers and climbers by means of their relative closeness to the Piedmont and the town of Turin. On Tour Termier the limestone is truly spectacular, sometimes reddish and finely carven.
The starting point of the approach-trail is situated along the road to Col du Galibier m. 2642, which starts from Col du Lautaret m. 2057, an important road pass on the N91, connecting Briançon with Grenoble.
- From Turin (Italy)
Follow the A32-E70 Motorway entering Val di Susa and exit to Oulx, reach Cesana Torinese and Claviere, then Colle del Monginevro m. 1854, on Italy-France border; from here the road N94 descents to Briançon. From Briançon follow the road N91 towards Val Guisane, reaching Chantemerle and Monetier les Bains, then the Col du Lautaret m. 2057; leave the main road and turn to right following the road to Col du Galibier. Park the car in a pull-out m. 2514, near the last hairpin before reaching Col du Galibier (about 130 km. from Turin).
- From Grenoble (France)
Follow the road N85 to Vizille, then the road N91 rising to Col du Lautaret; reach the Col du Lautaret m. 2057 and from here leave the main road, turning to left on the road to Col du Galibier. Parking in a pull-out m. 2514, near the last hairpin before reaching Col du Galibier (about 100 km. from Grenoble).
WALKING ACCESS TO W AND S FACES
From the hairpin a mainly level trail (blue marks) is starting towards East, leading below the tower after about 2 km. A steep scree is rising to the starting point of the routes. About 1 hour from the pull-out.
West and South faces routes overview
W and S faces routes overview (from left to right), French scale:
- Voie du Ponant TD, F5b, 6a/A1, 200 trad
- Termi-nèé TD+, F6b+,6a+obbl., 300 m., bolts
- Ponant Neuf TD, F6a+, F5c obbl., 300 m.. bolts
- Le Feu Sacré ED, F7a, 6a+ obbl. 300 m., bolts
- Oxygène ED, F7c, 6c obbl., expo, bolts
- Les Guepes ED, F6b, A2, 200 m., trad route, pegs
- L’incontinent ABO-, F7b+, 6b obbl., 220 m., bolts
- Ici mieux qu’en face ABO-, F7b+, 6c+ obbl., 250 m., bolts
- Marmotta Impazzita ED-, F6c, F6b obbl., 300 m., bolts
- Allo la Terre TD, F6a, F5c+obbl., 350 m., bolts
- Termier-Tière D, F5c+, F5b obbl., 350 m., bolts
Ponant Neuf, a great route
Ponant Neuf route report – French scale
Summit altitude: m. 3070
TD, max F6a+, F5c obbl.
Climbing length: 300 m.
First ascent: Jean-Michel Cambon and Gerard Fiaschi 1999
Starting point: last hairpin on the road to Col du Galibier
A spectacular route on excellent limestone; the rock is grey and reddish, finely carven with surprising inlay. The climb, running on a very steep wall, is always athletic and highly satisfactory. This wall, facing West, may be sometimes a bit cold, as a matter of fact the sun is lightening the route in the very first afternoon. West face, on the left-hand side, and South face, on the right one, are divided by an obvious great and white corner.
A curious particular: marmots living around the tower are always hungry and greedy, eating every objects they can get.
From the upper scree skirt the tower’s basal rocks towards left, reaching the starting point of the route, situated on the left of the great white corner, and on the left of a great flake, the starting point of the very hard “Le Feu Sacré”...
L1 – A short pitch on a little chimney-crack and a short wall. 3b, then 4b.
L2 – Another short wall (5c), then a steep slab, slanting to left (5a) and leading to a lightly overhanging wall. Climb the wall and a short flake, 5c then 5a.
L3 – Climb a slab with few holds, 5b+, then a crack slanting left, 5a, and finally traverse left on a delicate slab, 5c.
L4 – Climb a sequence of little walls on the left-hand side of a pillar, 4c; some easy steps lead to a belay on a ledge below another pillar, cut on the right by a chimney-gully.
L5 – Climb the pillar 4b, then traverse the gully towards right and climb a steep grey wall, 5b+, then 6a; reach a grassy ramp and climb it to a stance (common belay with “Le Feu Sacré”).
L6 – Climb a wall slants to left, then traverse left 12 m. following a narrow and shallow ledge, 5b then 4c. Short pitch.
L7 – A grey slab, 5c+; belay inside a corner. Another short pitch.
L8 – Climb a steep reddish wall on the right of the corner, then go slants to right, 5b.
L9 – Climb a narrow corner, or its right face, 4c, then 5b, then some short steep walls, 5b.
L10 – Towards right climb a steep slab, 5b+, then a lightly overhanging wall, 5c; climb a little overhang, 6a, a grey slab, 5b, and finally a steep wall, 6a+, crux. Belay on a ledge.
L11 – Climb a short steep wall at first towards right, 6a again, then straight, 5b. Enter a corner and climb it getting to the summit. 5a.
Descent: it’s possible rapping along an equipped line near “Ponant Neuf”, but it’s better going down towards East – the opposite side of the route - by a short climb (rapping possible), then by walk towards left (North) entering a valley and follow it to Col Termier. From the col scramble down the West side (exposed and steep trail) reaching the basal scree. 1,45 hour from the summit to the parking. This descent is not advisable in early summer, when Col Termier is snow-covered.
Red tapeNo particulary restrictions in climbing and hiking.
When to climbWest face is sometimes cold. Best season goes from July to September.
Where to stayHotels and Gite d'etapes in Val Guisane; hotels, gite d'etape, renting rooms and campings in Briançon.
Guidebooks and maps
“Oisans Noveau, Oisans Sauvage - Livre Est” by Jean Michel Cambon
"Alpes Françaises du Nord - Escalade Plaisir" by Hervé Galley - Edition Olizane
"Ecrins - Haut Dauphiné" 1:50.000 Ed. Didier Richard