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La Grave

(4.4/5 based on 100+ reviews for 1 attraction)
Things to do: winter sports
La Grave is a commune in the Hautes-Alpes department in southeastern France.It is a small ski resort in the French Alps, dominated by La Meije (3982 m). It was the birthplace of Nicolas de Nicolay; adventurer and Geographer Ordinary to Henry II of France.SkiingThe area is famously unpisted and although patrolled, has no formal avalanche control. The area is dangerous to ski unless supported by a guide, including much glacier travel at the very top.Unsurprisingly, La Grave is a mecca for off-piste and extreme skiers, offering some of the most exciting and challenging lift-served terrain in the world. The vertical drop totals 2,150 metres, although it is possible to ski below the resort to the road and increase the vertical descent to 2,300 metres.Mechanical access to the mountain is limited to a closed, two-stage, pulse gondola system. The first lift starts at 1,450 metres, runs through one intermediate station (known as P1 at 1,800 metres) then terminates at Peyrou d'Amont (2,400 metres). The second stage of the gondola runs directly from Peyrou d'Amont to the Col des Ruillans (3,200 metres). The top of the gondola then allows access to button lift (which is the world's only fully suspended surface lift) to reach the top of the Girose Glacier (3550m). The Girose Glacier can also be reached from the resort of Les Deux Alpes on the other side, although this entails a one to two kilometre walk (between certain hours transport across is provided).
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