Many skiers and snowboarders will know that the main road along the Oisons valley from Grenoble to La Grave has been blocked for almost a year now.

 

la grave road signs

No access to La Grave?

Tunnel de Chambon closed

The road was closed when a huge 60m crack was found in the wall of the Tunnel de Chambon. This has still not been repaired and it is possible the tunnel may never be safe to use again.

The consequences for the small village of La Grave – reknown for its off-piste skiing – have been significant.

Not only have locals found it difficult to get to work or school – at one point some were commuting by boat across the Lac de Chambon – but it’s significantly more difficult for tourists to get to the resort.

 

la grave map diversion

The new ‘by-pass’

Difficult, but not impossible

It is actually possible to drive to La Grave. Last summer, a large amount of work was done to convert an old trail into an accessible road on the southern side of the lake.

Although narrow and limited to approximately 100 vehicles per hour (no coaches, trailers or motorhomes), it is open to all members of the public and not just local residents.

During construction © Dëv / DLGSport.net

No access to La Grave?

Despite that the authorities are doing their best to prevent any traffic.

All signs to La Grave are blocked out and if approaching from Grenoble, drivers will see numerous warnings that if you want to travel to Briancon you should travel via Gap.

la grave signs tunnel

‘Deviation’ directing drivers to Briancon back to Grenoble

 

Google on their side

Even Google is playing ball. It takes 35 minutes to drive from Les 2 Alpes to La Grave via the new road. However, Google suggests you take a 232km diversion that will take around 4 hours.

 

google map lda to la grave

232km?

 

Future for the resort uncertain

Anyone who has lived in France will know that the politics can be complicated.  In this case they are made more so by the fact that the option to run the lift in La Grave is nearing its end and the future for the resort is uncertain.

For any businesses based in La Grave and the many families it supports, deterring visitors is making a difficult situation worse.

There is an interesting discussion on the whole saga on Snowheads.  We just hope that as many people realise they can still travel to La Grave and enjoy this unique ski area while they still can.

 

la grave guide office

The Bureau des Guide in La Grave