Mont Chaberton (3131 m) above Montgenèvre

Mont Chaberton seen from our hotel room

The Roman road over Col Montgenèvre was an important route connecting Turin with Spain. In 1802, a proper road was opened facilitating rapid connection Between Briancon and Turin. In 1936, the Montgenèvre ski resort was opened.

Our skiing friends have really liked Montgenèvre which in summer offers great hikes. It was again Bernard Ranc’s wonderful hiking book, Les plus belles randonnées des Alpes du Sud, which finally gave inspiration to this hike.
Easy start along GR5 from Mongenèvre to Mont Chaberton

Mont Chaberton (3131m) is one of the alpine mountains over those mythic 3000m that can be reached relatively easily. The mountain used to be Italian territory, and Fort Chaberton was constructed on the summit in 1898-1910. The summit comprises a surprisingly large man-made plateau offering a super panorama: Mont Blanc, Les Ecrins… The fortress is now completely ruined after heavy fighting during WW II.
Steep trail to Col du Chaberton

The hike starts from the centre of Montgenèvre along the GR 5 trail (red and white signs) passing the tourist office and the obelisk towards Italy. After 1.5 km the GR 5 forks left in a forest following a wide dirt road. The trail climbs gently about 2 km with a dry river bed (Rio Secco) on your right hand side.
At Col du Chaberton 2674 m
At about 2100m altitude the path leaves GR 5 and forks right crossing the river bed and leaving a chair lift on the left.

From this point the steep climb to Col du Chaberton (2674m) starts. The trail is well marked with yellow signs. Col du Chaberton is reached in about 3 h from Montgenèvre. From the mountain pass, you can see the excellent trail zigzagging to the summit.

Great view of Les Ecrins
Ancient military presence can be seen along the route. After about 1 h you walk to the summit plateau. When you look at Mont Chaberton from below, it is hard to imagine that the summit comprises this large a plateau!  Return along the same trail.
Montgenèvre over 1200 m below

Total ascent: 1281 m

Total hiking time: about 7 h
At the summit of Mont Chaberton 3131 m

Carte:I.G.N.1/25000 n: o 3536 OT

Google Map image of trail

Map Image courtesy of Google Maps


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