Monte Thabor 3178 m - also written Monte Tabor - is a mountain belonging to the Alpi Cozie and located near the border between Italy and France, but entirely in French territory between the departments of Savoy and Hautes-Alpes. The large and broad summit of the mountain features a small chapel and offers a magnificent full panoramic view on the Vanoise Massif, Ecrins Massif, Queyras and other peaks such as La Meije, Monte Viso, Le Galibier.
The starting point to summit is the Valle Stretta (Vallée Etroite in French). The peculiarity of this valley belonging to the Western Alps is its situation enclosed between dolomite mountains, a kind of rock difficult to find in the Western Alps. From the start you can see the summit of the mountain, usually covered with snow until late summer, which remains clearly visible in every moment of the ascent. Every year there is a pelgrimage to the summit in August.
The summit marked the border between Italy and France until 1947. The Treaty of Paris stipulated after the Second World War meant that the upper Valle Stretta passed to France, so the summit now is located in French territories.
The name "Thabor" would have been given to this mountain by a pilgrim returning from the Holy Land, in memory of the place of Palestine where the Transfiguration of Christ took place. A chapel, dating back to the 15th century, was erected almost at the top. It still hosts pilgrimages.
Monte Thabor is best reached from the Valle Stretta (Vallée Etroite). This valley became part of France in 1947, after the World War II, but you'll find that the atmosphere still feels very much Italian like. This valley can be approached both from Italy and France.
Access from Italy: from Torino take the Frejus Highway, exit Bardonecchia and drive towards Melezet and Pian del Colle, Valle Stretta. Continue along the road ignoring the road to the left of the Colle della Scala and after a few hairpin bends you reach the Piano dei Militi, under the homonymous wall, and finally to the Grange di Valle where the refuges (Terzo Alpini and Re Magi) are located.
Access from France: from in the broad valley of Névache reach the Valle Stretta. You can park your car at the parking lot near the refuges.
Monte Thabor Normal Route report
Summit altitude: m 3178 Difficulty: walking Difference in level: 1388 m from Rifugi Terzo Alpini e Re Magi (Valle Stretta) Hut: Rifugi Terzo Alpini e Re Magi Starting point: Rifugi Terzo Alpini e Re Magi 1790 m
You can climb the summit starting from the Valle Stretta and passing by the Refuge Terzo Alpini, near which you can leave your car. Continue walking on the dirt road up to the Ponte della Fonderia 1911 m, then across a sparse wood reach the old iron mines of the Banchet.
After the mine, with a short climb get to 2,200 meters s.l.m. at the bridge of Planche, after passing the stream climb along the stream named Desinare on its orographic right side. You gain the large Planche plateau (or Serous). Cross the stream on a bridge, head towards the North East for bumps and grassy slopes. After passing under the Serous wall, the path bends to the left, getting the Col des Meandes 2727 m. From the col, beyond some big cairns, head to the left and start the last steep climb, The pastures leave room for a band of rocks and debris and the environment becomes lunar with the characteristic reddish terrain. Pass a stretch equipped with two metal bridges over a landslide area, reaching some crosses placed on a panoramic shoulder (elevation 2832). Reached the shoulder, the route gains definitely altitude along the detrital summit slopes, often snowy at the beginning of the season, and heads in the direction of the Chapel of Monte Thabor, now clearly visible, located near the summit, from which briefly to the summit at 3178 meters
There are numerous paths that lead you to the base of the mountain. Be sure to pass along the Lac du Peyron (2450 m), a beautiful, yet ice cold lake. From there you have to get by a multitude of massive rock and debris which dominate the small lake. The map leaves you somewhat confused at this point. But no worries: after half an hour you'll find yourself again on walkable terrain again.
No fees no permits required. Parking in Valle Stretta costs 2 euros.
Both these shelters are located in Valle Stretta, Grange di Valle, where the road ends.
Guarded from 21 june until 7 september. Reservations can be made by calling 0479203213, or 0479052796.This hut is accessible is a point of support for the ascent starting from the Valle dell'Arc or for the crossings starting from the previous shelters in the Valle Stretta through the Colle di Valle Stretta.
Finding a spot for your tent shouldn't be a problem near one of the refuges
The best period goes from June to September
Bardonecchia - Monte Thabor - Sauze d'Oulx IGC n. 104