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Via ferrata du Sautet, le Grand Frisson, Corps

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A highly original via ferrata route over the Drac gorges and downstream from the Sautet dam. The route is very aerial from one end to the other, with no real technical difficulty, but it is impressive, with many passages above the void. If you're afraid of heights, don't go, or go to work on your stamina! Once you cross the Drac on a large Himalayan footbridge, then return along the opposite wall to the bottom of the dam. There are even sections in the concrete, crossing and then climbing the bridge pillars. The lower section has been closed due to a landslide, but the Grand frisson route is already superb. All that remains is to take a dip in the lake a little higher up and admire the view of the surrounding mountains, including the spectacular Obiou sphinx head.

Traversée aérienne au dessus des gorges du Drac

Technical summary

Departure point: Sautet dam, Corps, Isère (38)
Type of route: via ferrata crossing above the Drac gorges
■ Direction: east and west
Length: 900m
Elevation gain: +160 m
Estimated total time: 1h30 to 2h
■ Min and max altitude: m / 800 m
Equipment in place: fairly generous mix of old and new, lots of rungs, a few pedals, 2 large footbridges.
Equipment required: classic equipment

Difficulties: some vertical and very aerial passages, more impressive than difficult. Graded PD with a few AD passages.

Access to the place

Go to the village of Corps in Isère. From there, take the D537 to the dam. Just before the bridge over the dam, park in the parking lot on the right.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 2'

From the parking lot, return to the road and descend the ramp that passes under the bridge. Then turn right again to pass under the arches of the bridge. Here you'll find the entrance to the ferrata via a small gate and a ferrata information panel.

Course 1h à 2h

Overall, it's an out-and-back traverse over the gorges, moving from the north to the south walls.

1st section: up to the large footbridge

Overlooking the gorges, the trail gradually descends to reach the first major bend in the torrent, the Grande Passerelle. No difficulties here. It's just a short walk and a small descent to reach the footbridge. This is where you can see the now-closed ferrata section that used to pass under a small rock tunnel. Crossing the Drac suspended in mid-air.
Part 2: above the gorge

This second section is long and begins with a traverse. After a few minutes above the waterfall, the route climbs up a little to pass over a mini concrete ledge on a large reinforcing concrete wall, with the only lifeline to finish the traverse. Next, a short descent, a new traverse and a steeper, more vertical ascent to reach the second footbridge facing the dam. This is the start of a very aerial section, which you can traverse by de-escalating or climbing above the void (AD). We finally come out close to the dam, on a path along a concrete wall.
Part 3: climbing concrete

This final section is rather unusual in that it involves climbing up to the bridge on mixed rock and reinforced concrete terrain. We pass under the bridge to attack the pillar and exit via a small tunnel on the opposite side. There are a few ladders left to exit almost at road level. End of the route.


Walk to the road and bridge on the south side. Cross the bridge to return to the parking lot.

Map & topo

Voir en plein écran



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