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Serre Chevalier/La Grave road closure/Tunnel du Chambon

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
What's the latest on the road? Are we going to be able to drive from Grenoble this winter?
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Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@cameronphillips2000, still shut.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Any news on the new road?
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cameronphillips2000 wrote:
Any news on the new road?


The track looks to be nearly finished, they have gone round the edge of the lake rather than going up to Le Cuculet. They only had a few hundred meters to build but it was round a headland of very unstable rock so not sure how they are making all that safe - they have done a lot of explosions in the rocks above.

I don't know how the surfacing is going but may take a look in a week or two.

https://www.isere.fr/deplacements/tunnel-chambon-actualites/avancement-des-travaux-de-la-piste-de-secours

http://www.mairiedemontdelansles2alpes.fr/?cat=14

opening at the end of October. The Galibier will be closed by then. The plan is that tourist traffic will also be able to use it and lorries up to 19 tonnes. There will be a one-way system in place on transfer days: down in the morning, up in the afternoon. Something to take note of.



With how it looks at the moment is could be the subject for a Top Gear special!


Last edited by You need to Login to know who's really who. on Wed 23-09-15 13:29; edited 2 times in total
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Not sure it will be suitable for heavy tourist traffic though.
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Those pictures scream to me "abonnement tunnel du frejus!" rolling eyes Sad Blush Very Happy
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I too really have my doubts as to who will be allowed to use this.

I can't realistically see, for instance full coaches taking this route.

And avalanche protection from above?

Why is it referred to as "piste de secours" ?

Still think only locals will be allowed.

Hopefully I'll be able to find out more in a couple of weeks time from people who should know, even then no doubt could still change rolling eyes
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No tourists, No money.
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@cameronphillips2000, there are alternative (but longer) routes and there should be special rates for the Tunnel de Frejus available. It is likely to affect La Grave most of all. Many of my French visitors are from Aix en Provence, Marseille and Nice so don't use the Lauteret at all. For UK visitors driving in, Frejus is not that much longer time wise in winter than the Lauteret. The wise know to use Turin airport and not Grenoble.
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Weathercam wrote:
I too really have my doubts as to who will be allowed to use this.



They are intending to put tarmac down and a retaining wall.

Did any of you ever use the les Deux Alpes road from BdO before all the work was done on it in the 1990s? It was pretty much a single track road with passing places over a lot of its distance to the barrage du Chambon but was used for the les Deux Alps and Briançon traffic in the winter. There were sections with traffic lights that went on when avalanches were detected from above. It used to be a huge bottleneck but people survived. The new road won't be able to carry the peak 30,000 vehicles a day of the old national but it will not be much different from existing mountain roads. And at least it will be flat.
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@davidof, what I don't understand is why are the various "protest" groups still castigating officials in both regions and at a National level for pontificating over a new route and no mention of this road Puzzled

It's probably that they fear that this road will be all that they will have for the next five years.

Looks like we will not get our reimbursement back on the lift pass Sad

Was also thinking, is it worth starting a new thread on the road closure as maybe new people visiting this site might be unaware of the situation etc and not realise it's all here in the Serre Che thread?

Think your call Hells Bells
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Weathercam wrote:
@davidof, what I don't understand is why are the various "protest" groups still castigating officials in both regions and at a National level for pontificating over a new route and no mention of this road Puzzled

It's probably that they fear that this road will be all that they will have for the next five years.


A very good point.
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I think I read that it will be quite narrow with passing places? Anyone confirm?
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Hells Bells wrote:
@cameronphillips2000, there are alternative (but longer) routes and there should be special rates for the Tunnel de Frejus available. It is likely to affect La Grave most of all. Many of my French visitors are from Aix en Provence, Marseille and Nice so don't use the Lauteret at all. For UK visitors driving in, Frejus is not that much longer time wise in winter than the Lauteret. The wise know to use Turin airport and not Grenoble.


A much cheaper airport to fly to and cheaper car hire too.
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@cameronphillips2000, we had a car from Turin at the weekend for just £45. Reasonably sized Fiat 500L.
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Quote:

Was also thinking, is it worth starting a new thread on the road closure as maybe new people visiting this site might be unaware of the situation etc and not realise it's all here in the Serre Che thread?

maybe rename this one? Certainly very useful to draw attention to it, especially with the one-way on transfer day situation which davidof mentions.
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Hells Bells wrote:
@cameronphillips2000, we had a car from Turin at the weekend for just £45. Reasonably sized Fiat 500L.


We did the route when we skied Risoul. We flew to the ridiculously cheap Cuneo with Ryanair - now sadly this service has stopped. The brand new Honda broke down at Risoul -coldest week in living memory and I think it was fuel freeze. I had to hitch back over the Vars and Larch. One of the most wonderful days of my life. Not sure why most don't fly to Turin for French skiing If you've got a family and hiring a car wit works out several hundred pounds cheaper and the drive up is breathtaking. Briancon is also wonderful for a lunch stop.
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@pam w, this is the new one. The posts on here have been split from the Serre Chevalier snow reports thread.
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@Hells Bells, ah, thanks; I was being dim. snowHead
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howiet wrote:
I think I read that it will be quite narrow with passing places? Anyone confirm?


according to the various reports the road will be 4.5 meters wide with passing places (garages) every 150 meters. 4.5 meters wide sounds quite good. A typical mountain road in other words.

Should make a nice cycle route when (if) the main road reopens.

I agree with Weathercam's comments about the protesters. This emergency route has been built pretty quickly and the financing has come from the Isere department but it benefits villages in the Hautes-Alpes. I understand why M. Barbier, the politician who has had to juggle budgets to find the money, is a bit annoyed with some of the vitriol coming from the upper Romanche valley. No doubt Weathercam can clear some of this up for us when he is in place.
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I believe Hautes-Alpes are bearing a good proportion of the cost, but less than half I think.
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@davidof, just emailed my friends that run the Edelweiss Hotel in LG, but usually they are away in Sept / Oct.

What's with the road being built on the other side of the lake, will that be open for the general masses and will it be kept open in the winter etc

Looking at the FaceBook Naufrages du Chambon he never makes any mention of this new road and continually ridicules all the powers that be that they are doing nothing ??


Also a family I know well have moved to Briancon from LG for the Autumn and they should know, so watch this space.

Plus your man on the ground will cycle over there in the next couple of weeks and see how far I can get rolling eyes

And @davidof, you can try it from your end Smile
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Weathercam wrote:


Plus your man on the ground will cycle over there in the next couple of weeks and see how far I can get rolling eyes

And @davidof, you can try it from your end Smile


Yes let me know and I'll come over to see it from the Grenoble end.
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Quick response from The Edelweiss....

Hey Gavin,
Road? Which road? They are working on a piste de secours, one lane, which apparently will be regulated with trafic lights. They still estimate that the road will be ready by end of october. How it will work in practice, we'll see nearer the time. As it is also a quite avalanchy area, there is a chance that there will be frequent road closures. if the raod is open, count on long waiting time. So probably the safest option is to come via the frejus tunnel to avoid disappointment.

Found attached article on the subject.
http://www.skieur.com/actu-d1091-100-vehicules-heure-skier-grave


And just as that came in my guide mate living in Briancon just contacted me asking when I was out as he fancies some riding and trying to get me climbing.....

And more here http://www.isere-magazine.fr/actualites/Pages/2015/153/Chambon/Tunnel-du-Chambon--face-%C3%A0-l'urgence.aspx - just run the page through Google Translate and you'll get the general idea.

But combine that with the Edelweiss response and would seem that no one is too sure what will happen in the winter months.
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I suppose the moral of the story is, if you want decent communications links, don't go and live in a remote alpine valley.
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We're planning to come over to La Grave from Chamonix for a week at some point next season and it seems to me the simplest approach is to use the Frejus Tunnel. Not much difference distance wise from Chamonix but I gather the tunnel is quite pricy and, as best as I could figure it, the discounted tunnel is obtained by getting a discount voucher which can only be got bought in LG. Clearly aimed at making it okay for the locals rather than the visitors.
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MadMountainMan wrote:
I gather the tunnel is quite pricy and.


Indeed.

http://fdeas.com/Dokumenter/TMF/180815_Frejus.pdf
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@MadMountainMan, I had information from the Serre Chevalier tourist office that there will be some sort of online/email purchase possible in time for the winter. It may be that it is your accommodation provider that has to do this though. They did post one lot of tickets to me, then changed their mind when I requested some for other guests. I've managed to get residents to post them out so far. Reminds me I need to see if we need some for next month. Galibier is open so far, but that might not be the case by then.
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@Hells Bells, Haven't decided on how to do accommodation yet as I have a motor home that I live in in Chamonix during the season. However getting that through Frejus tunnel looks from @Gaza's link to be costing around €250 Shock might need some careful thought... I guess it will depend on how many of us decide to come. Do you happen to know what last minute accommodation in LG is like?
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@MadMountainMan, no way could you get the reduced rate for a motor home, it only applies to Class 1 vehicles, although I think there is now a special rate for workers who need to go through using a van. I can't help with La Grave accommodation I'm afraid, but Weathercam might know.
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Looking more closely it all depends on whether I get classed as class 3 or not. My van is just on 3m height and I find on the autoroute tolls I sometimes get classed as 3 and sometimes as 2. It makes a huge difference to the cost; class 2 in the Frejus is only €54.
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MadMountainMan wrote:
Looking more closely it all depends on whether I get classed as class 3 or not. My van is just on 3m height and I find on the autoroute tolls I sometimes get classed as 3 and sometimes as 2. It makes a huge difference to the cost; class 2 in the Frejus is only €54.


Can you let some air out of the tyres to drop the height? ....... wink
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MadMountainMan, How much is the Mont Blanc tunnel ? The route looks shorter going via Aosta and Turin.
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@Alastair Pink, Laughing Laughing Laughing

@rjs, MB tunnel is a little more than Frejus, however by Aosta and Turin it's over 300 km whilst by Albertville and Frejus tunnel is just over 250km.
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Oops sorry - double post Embarassed
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Last month with Easiski, I went from L2A to La Grave via Col de le Croix de Fer, Col de Telegraph, Col de Galibier and Col de Lauteret, similar route back but with Col de Glandon. Took over 3 hours each way but was a nice ride Shocked Happy
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Not sure that lot is going to open mid season.
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@MadMountainMan, Croix de Fer is a piste running into St Sorlin D'Arves Happy
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Thanks, I will do. No sign of any online facility as yet.
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