TOPO Snowshoeing

Belvédère des Têtes, Puy Saint-Vincent

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Belvédère des Têtes
Departing from the resort of Puy-Saint-Vincent, this short hike is a local classic. The Belvédère des Têtes is a summit overlooking Argentière-la-Bessée which, weather permitting, offers magnificent panoramic views of the surrounding 3000m: the Pelvoux massif, the Glacier Blanc, the Agneaux or the Montbrison pinnacles. Today, there's nothing to see except the fog, but a hushed atmosphere carpeted in black-and-white snow. A must-do in fine weather!

Technical summary

Type ✦ Snowshoe hiking
Location ✦ Puy-Saint-Vincent
Region ✦ Hautes-Alpes
Country ✦ France
Length ✦ 10,3kms
Vertical drop ✦ 560m
Difficulty ✦ F
Max altitude ✦ 2044m
Duration ✦ 2h30 to 3h
Interest ✦ ★★ if fine weather!

Access to the place

Between Gap and Briançon, at ARgentière-la-Bessée, turn towards Les Vigneaux then climb to the Puy-Saint-Vincent 1400m station. Continue towards Col de la Pousterle and park between Prey d'Aval and Prey d'Amont (end of snow-cleared road).

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 30'

Climb the steep path from the road to the Prey d'Amont above (GR 54A, crossing the road once). Continue along the snow-covered road to the wide, flat Col de la Pousterle (plateau) (1760m). This is the start of the ascent to Les Têtes and the turning point for the return loop.

Course 1h30 à 2h

With its short gradient and very reasonable distance, this hike is accessible to all. In winter, it's a great walk to do on snowshoes, or, as was the case today, simply on foot, given the hard track formed by the many passages since the last snowfalls.

The trail is signposted, has no technical difficulties and is ideal for getting back into the swing of things, recuperating or just starting out, usually with beautiful views of the Alps.

Part 1: Le Belvédère des Têtes (45′ to 1h)

Follow the marked snowshoe trail. Forest ascent with some steeper sections. The cross-country ski trail, which also climbs to the Belvédère des Têtes, crosses and recrosses several times.

Further up, you come to a flat area, or a sort of basin, under an antenna. Climb a little further on gently sloping ground to reach the Belvédère des Têtes, a rounded outcrop above the valley. Possibly magnificent views of the surrounding peaks... not today!
Part 2: Loop via Tournoux (45′ to 1h)

Descend from Belvédère on the outward route to return in less than 30′ to the Pousterle plateau. From here, head west on the wide path that passes the foot of a rocky bar (ferrata at this point) and heads gently towards Tournoux.

Past the hamlet's few chalets, follow the snow-covered winding road (or cut it off) back to the Prey d'Amont. End of the route.

Back

Simply follow the approach route in the opposite direction back to the start parking lot.


There was very little light today, so much so that some images ended up in black and white. A special atmosphere, if not the promised panoramas...

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