Printed from: on 23 Aug 2017
Copyright: © 2017 - 2017 John Gardner

Réseau de la Dent de Crolles

Grotte Chevalier

Northing: 45.30766° Easting: 5.85616° Altitude: 1,1670m

How to find it

Grotte Chevalier is located under the south nose of Dent de Crolles. From the Col du Coq follow the GR9 up the zigzags above the Col des Ayes. At the top of the zigzags the GR9 goes off to the left towards Trou du Glaz. Follow the right hand path up towards the Pas de l'Œille and when it starts an ascending traverse to the right look for a thin line going off beneath it. This becomes a more distinct path as it follows a line between the cliffs above and the steep valley below. Continue round the nose, and traverse on shale ledges for a couple of hundred metres. There may be fixed ropes for protection. Grotte Chevalier is an alcove 30 metres or so above the traverse, and is accessed by a thin ascending path through the loose scree and vegetation. Once at the right level, Grotte Chevalier is on the right under the cliff.

Map of Dent de Crolles showing location of Grotte Chevalier

Showing location of Grotte Chevalier on the IGN 1:25000 map 3334OT
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The entrance to Grotte Chevalier from the traverse to Grotte Annette Bouchacourt
Photograph: Dave Checkley

The entrance to Grotte Chevalier - Photograph: Dave Checkley
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Further information

Although Grotte Chevalier was first explored in 1943, it wasn't connected to the main system until 1984 - and that was from passages climbed into from above P36. There are now several routes into the cave, but they all enter as a sequence of pitches and it not possible to go the other way unless a route has been pre-rigged. Grotte Chevalier, however, is worth exploring in its own right. Basically one enormous passage with one main side passage, it penetrates the heart of the mountain for about a kilometre, to a depth of about 160 m. There is an unstable scree slope just inside the entrance, which may require some excavation. The standard route from Trou du Glaz enters from an aven close to the end, and is described here in French. A loose translation by the author is available here. Use it at your own risk...

The Grand Gallerie in Grotte Chevalier
Photograph: Dave Checkley

The main passage in Grotte Chevalier - Photograph: Dave Checkley
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