|Tete Grosse clock-wise
from Station de Chabanon
|Estimated net time||2½-3 hours|
The route is done on paths and grass clad ski slopes.
|Drinking water||No access to running water.|
|GSM coverage||Coverage throughout the route (October 2011).|
|Parking||Room for several cars at the trail head.|
|Start height||1600 metres|
|Vertical metres||515 metres for the roundtrip.|
|Trip distance||7.4 km|
From the town Digne-Les-Bains, almost 100 km north-west of Nice, as the crow flows, drive approximately 50 km north on road D900. Where D900 does a 90° right turn just outside the village Selonnet turn left and follow signs for "Station de Chabanon". Drive 7.7 km to the ski-centre, and locate the bar/hotel/restaurant Le Blanchon. Find parking here.
When standing outside Le Blanchon and facing the ski-slopes, walk left towards the eastern ski-slopes. Head uphill to the small top Chabanon Ou le Bressa at almost 2000 metres. From here you have a good view of the route to Tete Grosse. Turn right (west) and walk down to the saddle north-east of Tete Grosse. From here follow an obvious route south-west to the summit. At the summit you first get to a cairn with a cross and approximately 100 metres further along you get to the summit, which has two stone constructions showing the direction to surrounding mountains.
Descend by heading back to the saddle and follow the wide skiing transportation ledge down to ski-slopes, and then down to a gravel road. Follow this gravel road back down to the ski-centre.
09. October 2011
We had stayed the night at an OK hotel in Barcelonnette and after breakfast we hit the road with the aim of hiking Tete Grosse. The weather was just as nice as the previous day, with close to 0°C in the morning but with a warming sun soon increasing the temperature to a very comfortable level.
At the trail head by the ski-centre above Seyne we were the only persons around when we started our hike around 10am, so we had none to ask for any directions, but our map was relatively clear so no major concerns. We headed up the north ski-slopes of Chabanon Ou le Bressa, which was a little strenuous and boring, but the hike from the top of this hill to the summit of Tete Grosse was very easy and gave us excellent views of a large area of mountains. And up here we met another hiker; a guy out on a mountain run.
At Tete Grosse summit we enjoyed some sandwiches, finding some shelter from the wind in the south slopes just below the summit. While sitting here a group of 5-6 other hikers reached the summit, clearly having a fine day in the mountains.
After lunch we headed back down, finding a route on one of the service roads.
This took us down in 40 minutes, and then the drive to our next destination;