Last week we headed up 3751m to the Aiguille de la Grande Sassière. During the summer months it is one of the only peaks around that can be reached without specialist equipment like ice axes and crampons. The weather was set to be good for a few days so we thought we’d make the most of a clear day, and potentially unclouded summit.

At 5am we drove from Tignes to the Sassière damn, dressed in a fair few thermal layers and the essentials – gloves, water, warm headwear and chocolate biscuits.

Sunrise over Tignes

Sunrise over Tignes

Although there is no route marked out to the top on the map, there is a fairly obvious path all the way up. Obvious if you know where it starts, and it’s not pitch black when you start walking, needless to say we definitely took the wrong path for a good half hour and ended up having to take a bit of a cross country route until with met the actual track.

The path takes you up and straight along the ridge line all the way to the peak. There are a few steep sections, mixed in with some gentle flats and a couple of spots that require a bit of scrambling. The last section is very steep, and you can definitely notice the height and thinning air.

Look towards the peak

On a flat sectin of the ridge looking towards the peak

Once you’re at the top the views are incredible! You can see for miles across the Alps, and all the way back to the Grande Motte (which is only 98m lower than the Sassiere), Mont Blanc didn’t even look that big.

Although the climb up was slower than we first planned, the way down was relatively quick, and we passed a number of people on their way up, which made us appreciate the early start as we didn’t see anyone else all the way up.

It was a good one to tick off the list.

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