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Grenoble and the Chartreuse

9 June, 2015

Leaving Autrans I left the GR9 as it took a long route to Grenoble. It’s a pity the city had to be crossed as it is a shock after being in mountains. It was a Sunday so I was spared heavy traffic and shared the streets with many cyclists.

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As well as electric cars for hire, Grenoble has bike depots across the city for hiring and lots of bike lanes. It was a hot walk into the city though. My plans for getting a bus or tram from the outskirts were undermined by Sunday schedules. Bit of a hot walk!

From Autrans it was straight up the side of the mountain eastwards to the Pas du Tracollet I was surprised to find it busy on the top due to road access. In addition plenty of hardy folk were walking up the steep ascent out of Grenoble. As a whole many tourists and locals were tackling the slopes on both sides of the city – impressive.

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From the ridge above Autrans the views of the snowy peaks to the east were wonderful. Getting down was a chore and made specially tiring due to a tough little ridge at St Nizier du Moucherotte still to get over. It is well walked but was perpendicular in places and although short, in the heat the 300m up was tiring.

North of Grenoble is the Chartreuse which is pretty and wild. Villages are in the valleys and for the rest it is high mountains and deep forests. Signage is carefully done and the large number of routes are easy to follow.  Best to follow them too. My one attempt to take what looked to me like a linking path took a long time and I abandoned it and went back to where I joined.

Leaving Grenoble means a series of big climbs to pass the Bastille reach Mt Jalla, cross the Dom De La Tronche before dropping into the  Col De Vence and a long ascent to the Fort du Eynard. Locals, I think, drive to the fort and walk down, or run down. The fort has massive walls and battlements stretching out along the ridge overlooking Grenoble.

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From the fort the GR9 has no accommodation for a long way. So you either walk big distances or camp or go into the valleys and stay in the villages. I did the latter and enjoyed it.

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