"A Nous la Belle Vie" - Tête de Colombe
“A Nous la Belle Vie” is a wonderful and various route on immaculate limestone running on the right hand side of Tête de Colombe, an imposing peak which lies in Cerces Massif and shows a compact wall of grey and reddish limestone slabs, overlooking the upper part of the road Briançon - Col du Lautaret. The climbing way is various on steep slabs, dihedrals and walls built in well carved grey and ochre limestone of excellent quality ; the route is well equipped by bolts and rather protected from the Northern winds.
The starting point is situated along the road N91 connecting Briançon to Grenoble, 3 km. before getting the Col du Lautaret m. 2057.
Coming 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 use the following access.
Coming from Briançon (France) At the roundabout take the road N91 entering Val Guisane to Col du Lautaret, reaching Chantemerle and Monetier les Bains; carry on towards the col and before entering the Tunnel des Vallois (signpost) leave the car in a pull out on the right. About 120 km. from Turin.
Coming from Grenoble (France)
Take the road N85 to Vizille, then the road N91 rising to Col du Lautaret; reach the Col du Lautaret m. 2057, then descent 3 km. towards Briançon. After passing the avalanche protections and immediately after the second tunnel - Tunnel des Vallois – park the car in a pull out. About 90 km. from Grenoble. WALKING APPROACH A good path starts from the pull-out and rises with several hairpins inside the wood. After 20 minutes the path crosses a level path, the Chemin de Roy (signpost). Turn to right, but leave immediately this one, taking a steep path on the left (cairn) rising on the left side of a stream inside the wood towards the various sectors of the face, then exiting the wood. Here take a path rising towards right amongst the meadows, then on a steep scree leading at the bottom of the SSE spur. About 1,30/2 hours from the pull-out.
Tête de Colombe - Route "A nous la belle vie”
Summit altitude: m. 30 Difficulty: TD, F6a max Equipment: bolts Climbing length: 350 mt. Exposure: South-South-East First ascent: Jean Michel Cambon and Gérard Fiaschi 1994 Starting point: road N91 from Briançon to Grenoble, 3 km. before getting the Col du Lautaret m. 2057
"A nous la belle vie” report – French scale The routes starts 3 meters on the left to the lowest point of the SSE spur.
P1 – Climb a grey slab on the left of a crack, then an easier slab and some steps. 5b+
P2 – A steep grey pillar. 5c+
P3 – Easy ground, then climb a steep yellow wall, at first straightly, then slanting right. 5c+
P4 - Climb a steep dihedral-crack. 5c+
P5 – Climb a dihedral-crack again and after this some little walls heading right, then straight.
P6 - Climb the left face of a little corner, then a wonderful slab, belay on the right. 5b+
P7 - Another yellow and grey slab lightly slanting right, then head to left climbing some little walls. 5c, then 4b
P8 - Climb slant to left, then up a fine slab on the left of a corner, and again slant to left to reach the belay.5b
P9 - Another easier slab, then a steep ochre wall – the crux – to a belay. 4b, then 6a and 5c
P10 - Climb a slab slanting left, then a little spur. Belay on a block at the beginning of a scree terrace. 5a
P11 - Cross the terrace
P12 - Climb a grey slab slants to left 5c
P13 - A short steep wall below an overhang, a ledge on the right, then a slab ending to the wide summit terrace. 6a, then 5b
Descent: a line of 7 rappels is equipped to the East of the route (on the right of the route looking to the face).
Rope 2x60, helmet, 12 quickdraws
No particulary restrictions in climbing and hiking
Tete de Colombe milieu is alpine and sometimes cold, even in summertime, anyway the route “A nous la belle vie” is rather protected from the Northern winds. Best season goes from July to September.
Several possibilities of accomodation in Briançon and Val Guisane
- Camping du Monêtier Le Village 05220 Le Monêtier Les Bains Phone: 04 92 46 10 08
- Camping Les Deux Glaciers Le Casset 05220 Le Monêtier Les Bains Phone: 04 92 46 10 08
“Oisans Noveau, Oisans Sauvage – Livre Est” by Jean Michel Cambon, Ed. Vertical
"Alpes Françaises du Nord" by Hervé Galley, Ed. Olizane
"Les plus belles escalades calcaires des Hautes Alpes" by J.P. Bazet - P. Giraud - J.J. Rolland,
IGN 3436ET Meije - Pelvoux Parc National des Écrins