Grande Traversée des Alpes

The Grande Traversée des Alpes (GTA) is a long-distance hiking trail in the French Alps, connecting Thonon-les-Bains on Lake Leman with Nice. It constitutes the southernmost part of the Sentier de Grande Randonnée GR5.[1]

The GTA was created in the beginning of the 1970s. It was soon imitated in Italy, where another GTA, the Grande Traversata delle Alpi was created. The Via Alpina uses some legs of both the French and the Italian GTA.

The Grande Traversée des Alpes (GTA) is also the name of the association which manages the GTA trail as well as the French part of the Via Alpina and other projects in sustainable, interregional mountain tourism in the French Alps, located in Grenoble.


  1. ^ Mon GR, GR5

Coordinates: 45°06′53″N 6°36′33″E / 45.1148°N 6.6092°E

Col de Turini

The Col de Turini (el. 1607 m) is a high mountain pass in the Alps in the department of Alpes-Maritimes in France, situated entirely in the Arrondissement of Nice. The road connects Lantosque in the commune La Bollène-Vésubie, with Sospel in the commune Moulinet. It is the major road link between the river valley of the Vésubie and the Bévéra valley. It is notorious for its many hairpins and scenic landscapes.

Col de l'Iseran

Col de l'Iseran (el. 2,764 metres (9,068 ft)) is a mountain pass in France, the highest paved pass in the Alps. A part of the Graian Alps, it is situated in the department of Savoie, near the border with Italy, and is crossed by the D902 roadway.

The pass is part of the Route des Grandes Alpes. It connects the valley of the Isère (Tarentaise) and the valley of the Arc River (Maurienne) between Val-d'Isère in the north and Bonneval-sur-Arc in the south. The north side of the pass road is well built with a number of galleries and tunnels, with a maximum grade of 12 percent.

On the northern side are the popular ski resorts of Tignes and Val-d'Isère.

The pass is only accessible by road during the summer months. In the winter it falls within the Val d’Isère ski area and is easily accessed by a series of pistes and ski lifts.

The Col is also accessible by off-road mountain paths and is the highest point both of the Alpine GR5, a long-distance trail from Lake Geneva to Nice, and of the similar Grande Traversée des Alpes. The steep descent to the south, notable for its waterfalls, enters the Vanoise National Park here.

GR 5

The GR 5 is a GR footpath that starts in the Netherlands, crosses Belgium and Luxembourg before crossing France from north to south. It is part of the European walking route E2. This trail is famous for its route through the French Alps from Lake Geneva to Nice called Grande Traversée des Alpes.

Ouvrage Fressinéa

Ouvrage Fressinéa, also known as Fraisinéa or Frassinéa is a lesser work (petit ouvrage) of the Maginot Line's Alpine extension, the Alpine Line. The ouvrage consists of one entry block, one infantry block and one observation block at an altitude of 482 metres (1,581 ft). It is associated with the gros ouvrage of Rimplas, the first Maginot fortification to be constructed anywhere. Fressinéa was built between November 1930 and April 1934, accommodating 30 soldiers under a lieutenant with two months of provisions. The initial contractor was Pioljeux. Construction was finished by Thorrand et Cie at a cost of 1.7 million francs.

Patrick Berhault

Patrick Berhault (19 July 1957 – 28 April 2004) was a professional French free climber, mountaineer and mountain guide. He died while climbing Dom ridge, Switzerland, during his attempt to linkup all 82 Alps 4000 meter summits in 82 days.

Patrick Berhault is best known for popularizing sport climbing in France with his friend rock climber legend Patrick Edlinger in the late 70s and in the 80s. He also practiced free solo climbing and was one of the pioneer alpinists who developed light and fast mountaineering in the nineties.


A trail is usually a path, track or unpaved lane or road. In the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland path or footpath is the preferred term for a walking trail. The term is also applied, in North America, to routes along rivers, and sometimes to highways. In the US, the term was historically used for a route into or through wild territory used by emigrants (e.g. the Oregon Trail). In the USA "trace" is a synonym for trail, as in Natchez Trace. Some trails are single use and can only be used for walking, cycling, horse riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing; others, as in the case of a bridleway in the UK, are multi-use, and can be used by walkers, cyclists and equestrians. There are also unpaved trails used by dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles and in some places, like the Alps, trails are used for moving cattle and other livestock.

Vallée de la Clarée

The Vallée de la Clarée is a scenic valley in the French Alps near to Montgenèvre, Briançon and the French-Italian border. The Clarée river runs through the valley.

The mountains on either side are part of the Massif des Cerces. To the west they are between 2800 and 2900m high, while on the east side they are between 2300 and 2400m high. Consequently, the snow is slow to melt and gives rise to the name of the central commune Névache meaning "snowed".

The valley lies at between 1400 and 2000m and contains meadows and larch forest. This alpine situation creates great biological diversity with several different habitats such as flooded soils and peat. These valleys contain 39% of known plant species in the French Alps, and 61% of those in the arrondissement of Briançon.

The Vallée de la Clarée and the adjoining Vallée Etroite cover 26,000 hectares and contain famous hiking trails (GR 57, Tour du Mont Thabor, Grande Traversée des Alpes). The valleys are exceptional area in that they have been preserved in their natural state. Agriculture, forestry and the rearing of livestock are still carried out traditionally.

Consequently, the valley is one of the most visited parts of the Hautes-Alpes department. Visitors have been estimated at 600,000 visits per year. As a result, the valleys have been given the status of protected areas since 1992. In the summer the valley is visited by cyclists and walkers and by riders who use the large stables in Les Alberts.

The river is used for water sports especially in spring as the snow melts. There are sections of white water, which are used by kayaks and white water rafts. There is a dramatic waterfall at Fontcouverte.

The valley in winter is covered in snow, which is enjoyed by many cross-country skiers. There are over 65 km of trails. It has one of the main circuits where the French cross-country team train. Although it is popular for cross-country ski-ing, the valley's protected status has prevented ski-lifts being installed.

The valley is famous for its numerous sun-dials.

Via Alpina

The Via Alpina is a network of five long-distance hiking trails across the alpine regions of Slovenia, Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Italy, France, and Monaco. The longest of trails is the red trail, whose termini are in Trieste and Monaco.

The Via Alpina was created by a group of public and private organisations from the 8 Alpine countries in 2000, receiving EU funding from 2001 until 2008. It was initiated by the Association Grande Traversée des Alpes in Grenoble, which hosted the Via Alpina international secretariat until January 2014, when it was transferred to the International Commission for the Protection of the Alps CIPRA (Liechtenstein). There are national secretariats (hosted by public administrations or hiking associations) in each country. Its aim is to support sustainable development in remote mountain areas and promote the Alpine cultures and cultural exchanges.


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