Geographical structure: European Alps
> Western Alps
> Savoie Alps
> Roche Noire
is a powerful mountain in southern Savoie, in the middle of Vanoise massif
and Oisans Massif
. It is located in the nearness of the skiing area Valmeinier. It is very popular mountain in all season. In Summer time it is not so hard mountain for hiking but I think it is the most absorbing in Winter season when you have many possibilities for tour skiing on its slopes.
It is located in the ridge that comes from the south, from the Mont Thabor
(3167m). This ridge is on the east side of the villages Valmeinier 1800
and Valmeinier 1500
. You can reach the summit of Roche Noire from many sides. I know for routes over the SW slopes and for the approach over the north ridge. Very nice for tour skiing are the N and NW slopes but in fresh snow the are very danger for avalanches so if you want to reach the Roche Noire in Winter time it is better that go up over the north ridge and then ski over the SW slopes back to Valmeinier. You can also descend back over the north ridge and then some in the middle you cross in the NW slopes and then ski down if there is the high risk of avalanches.
On the east side of Roche Noire below the east face is the small glacier called Glacier de Roche Noire
. On the slopes of Roche Noire you will see in snowless season many lakes such as Lac de Roche Noire
(NW side, in the nearness of the Col des Marches), Lac Pepin
(SE side), Lac de Roche Maotte
(SW side) and other.
View on the famous and impressive Aiguilles d'Arves in sunset from the slopes of Roche Noire
From the top of Roche Noire you will enjoy in nice weather in beauiful view. On the west side you will admire the view on the amazing Aiguilles d'Arves
(3510m), to the SW you will see Grand Galibier
(3228m), then to the south you will observe the powerful needle of La Meije
(3983m), Le Rateau
(3809m) and the highest Barre des Ecrins
(4102m). To the north side the most impressive are the mountains of Vanoise group
such as Aiguille de Peclet
(3562m), Pointe de Bouchet
(3407m) and other gigants of Vanoise group
. On the east side is the most impressive Aiguille de Scolette
You can come from the west side over the highway from St. Jean de Maurienne or if you come from Italy you will drive through the tunnel Frejus and the from the east side over the highway to the branch for Valmeinier.
There are two villages:
is a traditional village set at the foot of the slopes, its rooves loaded with snow. It offers visitors a splendid viewpoint overlooking neighbouring peaks.
is a little higher and more modern, but perfectly integrated with its beautiful surroundings. Its small residences adjoin the lower slopes of the ski area, almost too big for the village.
Valmeinier 1800 is the main starting point for approaches on Roche Noire.
Ecrins Massif et parc national Grandes Rousses.
Valloire - Aiguilles d'Arves - Col du Galibier (1:25.000)
Névache - Mont Thabor - Cols du Galibier et du Lautaret - Valloire (1:25.000)
There are many possibilities for climbing on Roche Noire. Here are the information of the main approaches.
(The description and the map you will find on the link
N ridge and slopes
(The description of this approach you will find on this link
If anybody knows for some more information for reaching the Roche Noire please inform me!
None required but please take care of beautiful area and nature.
When To Climb
In all season but in Winter season be careful for avalanches!
Many flats and camping places are in the villages Valloire, Valmeinier and lower in the Orelle, St Michele de Maurienne and other.