French Alps

The French Alps are the portions of the Alps mountain range that stand within France, located in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur regions. While some of the ranges of the French Alps are entirely in France, others, such as the Mont Blanc massif, are shared with Switzerland and Italy.

French Alps
Aerial photograph of the Mont Blanc massif, the tallest mountain in the French Alps, seen from the west
Highest point
PeakMont Blanc
Elevation4,810.45 m (15,782.3 ft)
Coordinates45°50′01″N 06°51′54″E
Geography
Ranges of the French Alps.
French regionsAuvergne-Rhône-Alpes
Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Borders onSwiss Alps, Italian Alps
Geology
OrogenyAlpine orogeny
Age of rockTertiary
Type of rockBündner schist, flysch and molasse

At 4,808 metres (15,774 ft), Mont Blanc (Italian: Monte Bianco), on the French-Italian border, is the highest mountain in the Alps, and the highest Western European mountain.[1]

Notable towns in the French Alps include Grenoble, Chamonix, Annecy, Chambéry, Évian-les-Bains and Albertville.

Ranges and summits

Chain Range Highest summit Elevation (m/ft)
Graian AlpsMont Blanc MassifMont Blanc4,810.45 metres (15,782 ft)
Graian AlpsBeaufortain MassifRoignais2,995 metres (9,826 ft)
Graian AlpsLauzière MassifGrand Pic de la Lauzière2,829 metres (9,281 ft)
Graian AlpsVanoise MassifGrande Casse3,855 metres (12,648 ft)
Graian AlpsGraian Alps central groupPointe de Charbonnel3,752 metres (12,310 ft)
Dauphiné AlpsBelledonne MassifGrand Pic de Belledonne2,977 metres (9,767 ft)
Dauphiné AlpsGrandes RoussesPic Bayle3,465 metres (11,368 ft)
Dauphiné AlpsArves MassifAiguilles d'Arves3,514 metres (11,529 ft)
Dauphiné AlpsTaillefer MassifLe Taillefer2,857 metres (9,373 ft)
Dauphiné AlpsÉcrins MassifBarre des Écrins4,102 metres (13,458 ft)
Cottian AlpsMassif du Mont-CenisPointe de Ronce3,612 metres (11,850 ft)
Cottian AlpsCerces MassifGrand Galibier3,229 metres (10,594 ft)
Cottian AlpsQueyras MassifRochebrune Peak3,320 metres (10,892 ft)
Cottian AlpsUbaye Massif (Orrenaye)Aiguille de Chambeyron3,411 metres (11,191 ft)
Maritime AlpsMercantour MassifCime du Gélas3,143 metres (10,312 ft)
Maritime AlpsPelat MassifMont Pelat3,050 metres (10,007 ft)
Maritime AlpsMassif des Trois-ÉvêchésTête de l'Estrop2,961 metres (9,715 ft)
Ligurian AlpsLigurian AlpsPunta Marguareis2,651 metres (8,698 ft)
Savoy PrealpsChablais AlpsHauts-Forts2,464 metres (8,084 ft)
Savoy PrealpsHaut-Giffre MassifHaute Cime3,257 metres (10,686 ft)
Savoy PrealpsAiguilles RougesAiguille du Belvédère2,965 metres (9,728 ft)
Savoy PrealpsBornesPointe Blanche2,438 metres (7,999 ft)
Savoy PrealpsAravis RangePointe Percée2,750 metres (9,022 ft)
Savoy PrealpsBaugesArcalod2,217 metres (7,274 ft)
Savoy PrealpsChartreuse MountainsChamechaude2,082 metres (6,831 ft)
Dauphiné PrealpsVercors MassifGrand Veymont2,341 metres (7,680 ft)
Dauphiné PrealpsDiois MountainsMont Jocou2,051 metres (6,729 ft)
Dauphiné PrealpsDévoluy MountainsGrande Tête de l'Obiou2,789 metres (9,150 ft)
Provence PrealpsBochaineMont Céüse2,016 metres (6,614 ft)
Provence PrealpsDigne PrealpsLes Monges2,115 metres (6,939 ft)
Provence PrealpsBaronniesMont Mare1,603 metres (5,259 ft)
Provence PrealpsVaucluse MountainsSignal de Saint-Pierre1,256 metres (4,121 ft)
Provence PrealpsLuberon MountainsMourre Nègre1,125 metres (3,691 ft)
Maritime PrealpsCastellan PrealpsPuy de Rent1,996 metres (6,549 ft)
Maritime PrealpsNice PrealpsPointe des Trois Communes2,080 metres (6,824 ft)

Ski areas

The largest connected ski areas are:

  1. Les Trois Vallées (Courchevel, Méribel, La Tania, Brides-les-Bains, Saint-Martin-de-Belleville, Les Menuires, Val Thorens and Orelle): 338 slopes, 600 km of pistes.
  2. Portes du Soleil (Avoriaz, Châtel, Morzine, Les Gets, Saint-Jean d'Aulps, La Chapelle d'Abondance, Abondance, Montriond, Swiss resorts): 288 slopes, 650 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  3. Paradiski (La Plagne, Peisey-Vallandry, Les Arcs), Champagny-en-Vanoise: 239 slopes, 420 km of slopes.
  4. Via Lattea (Montgenèvre, Italian resorts): 214 slopes, 400 km of slopes.
  5. Évasion Mont-Blanc (Combloux, Megève, Saint-Gervais, Saint-Nicolas-de-Véroce, Les Contamines Monjoie): 183 slopes, 420 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  6. Espace Killy (Tignes, Val-d'Isère): 137 slopes, 300 km of slopes.
  7. Grand Massif (Flaine, Les Carroz, Morillon, Samoëns, Sixt): 134 slopes, 265 km of slopes.
  8. Les Aravis (La Clusaz, Manigod, La Croix Fry, Merdassier, Le Grand-Bornand): 133 slopes, 220 km of slopes not entirely connected.
  9. Les Grandes Rousses (L'Alpe d'Huez, Vaujany, Auris-en-Oisans, Oz-en-Oisans, Villard-Reculas): 117 slopes, 236 km of slopes.
  10. Serre Chevalier: 111 slopes, 250 km of slopes.
  11. La Forêt Blanche (Risoul, Vars): 104 slopes, 180 km of slopes.
  12. Les Sybelles (Le Corbier, La Toussuire, Les Bottières, Saint-Jean-d'Arves, Saint-Sorlin-d'Arves, Saint-Colomban-des-Villards): 96 slopes, 310 km of slopes.
  13. Valloire and Valmeinier: 83 slopes, 150 km of slopes.
  14. Grand Domaine (Valmorel, Saint-François-Longchamp): 82 slopes, 150 km of slopes
  15. Espace San Bernardo (La Rosière, La Thuile - Italy): 73 slopes, 150 km of slopes.
  16. Les Deux Alpes and La Grave: 69 slopes, 220 km of slopes.

The other large ski areas are:

Activities

A range of winter and summer activities are available in the French Alps. In the winter, these include skiing and snowboarding as well as alternatives such as snowshoeing, sledging. There is a range of other activities that happen such as gliding which most happens during the summer months.[2] Summer activities include hiking, mountaineering, biking and rock climbing.[3]

See also

References

  • Raoul Blanchard (1938–1956), Les Alpes Occidentales. Paris: Édition Arthaud. (French)
  • Roger Frison-Roche (1964), Les montagnes de la terre. Paris: Flammarion. (French)
  • Sergio Marazzi (2005), Atlante Orografico delle Alpi. SOIUSA. Pavone Canavese (TO): Priuli & Verlucca editori. ISBN 978-88-8068-273-8 (Italian)
  • Sergio Marazzi, La "Suddivisione orografica internazionale unificata del Sistema Alpino" (SOIUSA) - article with maps and illustrations, PDF (Italian)
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