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Destination guide: La Grave, France

Welcome to the wild! La Grave is a small French territorial division meant for administrative purposes (called commune) in the Hautes-Alpes department located in the southeastern France. It is known as a small ski resort in the French Alps for freeriding ski enthusiasts. The place offers unpisted area but it is patrolled, and this has no formal avalanche control. No to forget that the area is dangerous when it comes to ski, and it is advised not to go for skiing without a guide, as it also includes glacier travel. However, for buccaneering travellers La Grave is the holy grail for off-piste skiers, this offers quite an exciting as well as challenging lift-served terrain for ski lover across the globe. There are numerous runs to choose from such as the trifides to example.

The place offers a vertical drop of about 2,150 metres. However, one can even ski below the resort which is present on the road, and the vertical descent will reach to 2,300 metres. In order to reach the mountain there is pulse gondola system. The first lift is at 1,450 metres; that goes across an intermediate station (called P1 at 1,800 metres) this further ends at Peyrou d’Amont (2,400 metres). Moreover, the second stage of the gondola runs straight away from Peyrou d’Amont to the Col des Ruillans (3,200 metres).

So as to go to the pinnacle of Girose Glacier which is at a height of 3550m the top of the gondola then allows access to button lift which is the world’s only fully suspended surface lift. Another way to reach The Girose Glacier is via resort of Les Deux Alpes, which was on the side, but all you need to do is to walk about 2 kilometres in between.

The two main routes of descent are present out there, along with several couloirs and offshoots available. Those who are keen skiers can go right to the gondola station which is situated at Col des Ruillans, which are ‘Les Vallons de La Meije’, a composition of this leads to the notorious Trifides couloirs, and this finally culminated to the bottom of the valley and subsequently to the Romanche River. You can enjoy savoury food at the restaurants at the Col des Ruillans and Peyrou d’Amont, and gourds can savour awesome food at Refuge Evariste Chancel.

Though it is a good area for skiing but the future of the area is not so bright as the lease on the cable car will expire in 2017. And as of now no one has taken any interest in the taking a lead on the cable car.

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