Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Lat/Lon: 45.87629°N / 7.16449°E
GPX File: Download GPX » View Route on Map
Activities: Hiking, Skiing
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Elevation: 9478 ft / 2889 m

Overview

Pointe de Drône (2950m), Grande Chenalette (2889m)Grande Chenalette South Ridge

Grande Chenalette is a mountain just to the north of Grand Saint Bernard road pass, a high 2000er among 4000m summits. A chossy ridge connects it to the slightly higher Pointe de Drône, so that both qualify for a short, but adventurous outing. Grande Chenalette’s south ridge consists of the most solid rock in the area and it is home to a short , nervy ferrata, which scales the slabs on the ridge with the help of a few short ladders and half a dozen cables.
Tour of Gran San Bernardo
Grande Chenalette (2889m)
Tour of Gran San Bernardo

At 2889m, Grande Chenalette is a dwarf among the 4000ers on the outskirts of Valle d’Aosta but as the Chenalette – Drône Ridge stands solitary, it offers wonderful views of the higher mountains. Additionally the location above Col de Grand Saint Bernard reduces time and distance so that can be climbed in a good two hours.
Grande Chenalette (2899m)
Tour of Gran San Bernardo
Grande Chenalette (2889m)

Moreover, after traversing Pointe de Drône, there is an option to descend to the Lacs de Fenêtre, three glacier carved lakes on a plateau above Val Ferret affording even more spectacular views than the summits. The return trip can be either done the short way through Col de Fenêtre or the longo one through Col de Bastillon and Col des Cheveaux. If weather allows, go for the long route. It is worth the additional hours.

360° Summit panorama

360° summit panorama from Grande Chenalette

Getting There

Lac de Grand St. BernardLac de Grand Saint Bernard

Starting point for the Grand Chenalette Climb is Passo Gran San Bernado (Grand St. Bernard, Großer St. Bernhard).
  • From Italy
    • Take motorway A5 to Aosta
    • Take the exit Villair-Amerique to turn onto SS27
    • After Saint-Oyen moke sure to stay on SS27 by turning of to the right (north) from the tunnel road
    • Go all the way to the top parking on the shores of Lac Saint Bernard.

  • From Switzerland
    • Take A9 / E 62 to Martigny
    • Switch to B21 south, passing Bourg-Saint-Pierre
    • About 1 km beyond the village the road to Col de Grand Saint Bernard turns off to the right.
    • Go all the way to the pass

Route

Heading up the cable routeOn the slabs to Grand Chenalette

The normal ascent starts directly at Col de Gd. St. Bernard at the hospice on the swiss side of the pass directly behind the dog kennels.

From the kennels you wind up an abandoned ski run (the old chairlift stations are still around). On top of the run, beside the upper chairlift station there is a broad platform with beautiful towards Mont Blanc and Grandes Jorasses as well as the mountains on the south side of Valle d’Aosta. Turning around and looking north you see the steep south ridge of Grand Chenalette, across which an easy ferrata runs.
The hospice de Grand Saint Bernard
Heading up the slabs to Grande Chenalette
Looking across Lac de Grand Saint Bernard towards Pain de Sucre (2919m)

Pass the chairlift station and head for the marked starting point of the ferrata. The rock is solid and ladders and cables take you up the ridge. The crux is a slanting slab with a narrow crack, which you have to negotiate with the help af a somewhat loose chain. Once across, a few steep turns lead to the surprisingly small summit of Grande Chenalette.

Enjoy the views!
The Rutor Group seen from Grande Chenalette
Rock layers on the Golliat Group
Grand Combin (4314m)
Mont Maudit (4465m), Les Grandes Jorasses (4208m)
Fog above Valle d Aosta
Monte Gruetta (3684m), Aiguille de Leschaux (3759m), Aiguille de l Ebluement (3599m), Aiguille de Talefre (3726m)


Red Tape

No red tape to speak of even though you’ll be crossing the Italian – Swiss border a few times.

When to Climb

Best hiking season is August through October. In winter the summit can be reached from Col de Fenêtre across Pointe de Drône with tour skis.

Accommodation

Valle d’Aosta has a lot of hotels and apartments on offer, A good starting point for accommodation search is this site:

Weather Conditions

Panorama seen from the platform beneath the south ridge of Grande Chenalette



Maps & Books

Maps


  • Digital Maps
  • Regular Maps
    • Monte Bianco / Mont Blanc
      Kompass Map WK85
      Kompass Verlag
      Scale: 1:50000
      ISBN: 978-3850264976


Books


  • Aostatal
    Johannes Führer
    Rother Verlag
    ISBN: 978-3-7633-4033-0