TOPO Ski Touring
Location ✦ Tioulévé, Aiguebelle
Region ✦ Massif de la Lauzière, Savoie
Country ✦ France
Orientation ✦ South/East
Max altitude ✦ 2365m
Ascent length ✦ 5.7km (summit)
Vertical drop ✦ 1100m
Difficulty ✦ F-3.3-E2 (?)
Max. gradient ✦ 35° (?)
Duration ✦ 3h to 4h
Interest ✦ ★★
Access to the place
Map & topo
Hiking to the start 30' à 45'
Take the Grand Arc path that climbs north from the end of the road and follow it through the forest. Climbing steadily northwards, the path curves around to enter a valley of the Ruisseau du Lac Noir, which turns north-west until it faces the valley floor, showing the way up.
Course 2h à 2h30
Having originally set out for the Grand Arc, the route described below is probably not the classic itinerary for the Petit Arc. But it does have the advantage of forming a loop and allowing us to ski on a different route from the one we took on the way up, which is quite worn out by the tracks of the many hikers...
Although not very difficult, the ascent is sustained and quite steep in many places, with numerous conversions. On the way down, the start on the south side to reach the ridges is steep and airy.
Part 1: Below Lac Piéru (1h30 to 1h45)
Climb step by step in the wide valley that follows the bed of the Ruisseau du Grand Arc, trying to avoid all skied sections where the trail is difficult. When you reach Lac Noir (on the left as you climb up), there's a flat area that crosses slightly to the east, where you pass a small shoulder and re-enter a narrower, fairly steep valley.
Above, you can see the somme du Grand Arc, the upper valley and the final ridge. We are now below Lac Piéru, where we would normally continue north-east to reach the final Grand Arc valley.
Part 2: Le Petit Arc 2365m (30′ to 45′)
Cross to the west to approach the ridge overlooking Lac Noir, and climb up in stages until you reach the ridge linking Grand Arc and Petit Arc. Follow this ridge for around 100m to reach the summit of Petit Arc. Superb views of the Bauges massif to the north and the Mont Blanc massif to the east.
From the summit, plunge due south and weave your way between the rocks to reach the edge of the south ridge, which you are overlooking. There are some fairly steep passages to ski.
Once on the South ridge, cross due South, staying high enough if possible, and look for the best East-facing slopes first, then further South under the Char de la Turche, where the snow is likely to be of better quality.
At the bottom, join the approach route, skiing or skidding to Tioulévé.