Graian Alps

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Graian Alps
French: Alpes Grées, Italian: Alpi Graie
MountBlanc05.jpg
Mont Blanc area, Mer de Glace in foreground
Highest point
Peak Mont Blanc
Elevation 4,810.45 m (15,782.3 ft)
Coordinates 45°50′1″N 6°51′54″E / 45.83361°N 6.86500°E / 45.83361; 6.86500
Geography
Countries France, Italy and Switzerland
States/Provinces Rhône-Alpes, Piedmont, Aosta Valley and Valais
Range coordinates 45°30′N 7°10′E / 45.5°N 7.17°E / 45.5; 7.17Coordinates: 45°30′N 7°10′E / 45.5°N 7.17°E / 45.5; 7.17
Parent range Alps
Borders on
Geology
Orogeny Alpine orogeny

The Graian Alps (Italian: Alpi Graie; French: Alpes Grées) are a mountain range in the western part of the Alps.

Etymology[edit]

The name Graie comes from the Graioceli Celtic tribe, which dwelled in the area surrounding the Mont Cenis pass and the Viù valley.[1] Other sources claim that the name comes from the Celtic "Graig" meaning rock/stone, literally the Rocky Mountains[2]

Geography[edit]

The Graian Alps are located in France (Rhône-Alpes), Italy (Piedmont and the Aosta Valley), and Switzerland (western Valais).

Their French side of the Graian Alps is drained by the river Isère (Tarentaise valley) and its tributary Arc (Maurienne valley), and by the Arve. The Italian side is drained by the rivers Dora Baltea, Orco and Stura di Lanzo, tributaries of the Po.

The Graian Alps can also be divided into the following four groups:

  • the Mont Blanc group (north of the Little St Bernard Pass)
  • the Central group (the watershed between the Little St Bernard Pass and the Col du Mont Cenis)
  • the Western or French group,
  • and the Eastern or Italian group.

Peaks[edit]

The main peaks of the Graian Alps are:

Mont Blanc group[edit]

Aiguille d'Argentière above the Saleina Glacier
Aiguille du Midi
Name metres feet Name metres feet
Mont Blanc 4,810.45[3] 15,782 Aiguille du Tacul 3,438 11,280
Mont Maudit 4,471 14,669 Pointe d'Orny 3,274 10,742
Dôme du Goûter 4,331 14,210 Dents du Midi 3,260 10,696
Grandes Jorasses 4,205 13,797 Mont Favre 3,259 10,693
Aiguille Verte 4,127 13,541 Tour Sallière 3,227 10,588
Aiguille de Bionnassay 4,066 13,341 Pointe de Léchaud 3,127 10,260
Dent du Géant 4,013 13,166 Mont Buet 3,109 10,201
Trélatête 3,911 12,832 Mont Ruan 3,078 10,099
Aiguille d'Argentière 3,902 12,802 Pic de Tenneverge 2,982 9,784
Aiguille de Triolet 3,876 12,717 Aiguille du Belvédère (Aigs Rouges) 2,966 9,731
Aiguille du Midi 3,843 12,609 Crammont 2,737 8,980
Tour Noir 3,836 12,586 Pointe des Fours 2,719 8,921
Aiguille des Glaciers 3,834 12,579 Pointe du Colloney 2,692 8,832
Mont Dolent 3,823 12,543 Catogne 2,599 8,527
Aiguille du Chardonnet 3,822 12,540 Mont Joly 2,527 8,291
Aiguille du Dru 3,754 12,316 Brevent 2,525 8,284
Dômes de Miage 3,688 12,100 Pointe de Sales 2,494 8,183
Aiguille du Tour 3,540 11,615 Aiguille de Varan 2,488 8,163
Aiguille du Grépon 3,502 11,489 Mont Chetif 2,343 7,687
Aiguille des Charmoz 3,442 11,293

Central group[edit]

Name metres feet Name metres feet
Pointe de Charbonnel 3760 12,336 Grande Aiguille Rousse 3482 11,424
Aiguille de la Grande Sassière 3751 12,306 Granta-Parey 3473 11,395
Uia di Ciamarella 3676 12,061 Roc du Moulinet 3469 11,382
Albaron 3638 11,936 Aiguille Pers 3451 11,323
Pointe de Ronce 3618 11,871 Cima dell' Auille?? 3446 11,306
Levanna 3615 11,860 Pointe de la Galise 3345 10,975
Bec de l'Invergnan 3608 11,838 Pointe de la Traversière 3341 10,962
Tsanteleina 3606 11,831 Ormelune/Pointe d'Archeboc 3283 10,771
Bessanese 3597 11,801 Signal du Mont Iseran 3241 10,634
Croce Rossa 3567 11,703 Grand Assaly 3174 10,413
Punta d'Arnas 3540 11,615 Torre d'Ovarda 3075 10,089
Rocciamelone 3537 11,605 Dôme de Val d'Isère 3033 9951
Punta Chalanson 3530 11,582 Uia di Mondrone 2964 9725
Grande Traversière 3495 11,467 Monte Unghiasse 2939 9643
Testa del Rutor 3486 11,438 Monte Civrari 2302 7553

Eastern group[edit]

Name metres feet Name metres feet
Gran Paradiso 4061 13,324 Punta Tersiva 3513 11,526
Grivola 3969 13,022 Punta Foura 3410 11,188
Herbétet 3778 12,396 Punta Sengie 3408 11,182
Torre del Gran San Pietro 3692 12,113 Punta Lavina 3308 10,854
Ciarforon 3665 12,025 Rosa dei Banchi 3164 10,381
Roccia Viva 3650 11,976 Becca di Nona 3142 10,309
Becca di Gay 3623 11,887 Punta Pousset 3046 9994
Mont Emilius 3559 11,677 Monte Marzo 2750 9023

Western group[edit]

Name metres feet Name metres feet
Grande Casse 3855 12,648 Pointe de l'Échelle 3422 11,227
Mont Pourri 3779 12,398 Bellecôte 3417 11,211
Dent Parrachée 3697 12,129 Pointes de la Gliere 3386 11,109
Grande Motte 3653 11,985 Pointe de Méan Martin 3337 10,949
Dôme de l'Arpont 3599 11,808 Roche Chevrière 3252 10,669
Dôme de Chasseforêt 3586 11,765 Pointe de la Réchasse 3223 10,575
Aiguille de Péclet 3566 11,700 Petit Mont Blanc de Pralognan 2685 8809
Aiguille de Polset 3538 11,608 Mont Jouvet 2563 8409
Pointe de la Sana 3436 11,273

Passes[edit]

The main passes of the Graian Alps are shown in the table below. The group in which the pass is located is indicated with "MB" for Mont Blanc group, "C" for Central group, "E" for Eastern group, and "W" for Western group.

name location group type elevation (m/ft)
Col de la Brenva Courmayeur to Chamonix MB snow 4,333 14,217
Col de Triolet Chamonix to Courmayeur MB snow 3,691 12,110
Col d'Argentière Chamonix to Orsières MB snow 3,516 11,536
Col de la Grande Rousse Rhêmes Valley to Valgrisenche C snow 3500 11,483
Col de Talefre Chamonix to Courmayeur MB snow 3,484 11,430
Col de Gebroulaz Modane to Méribel W snow 3470 11,385
Col de Monel Cogne to Locana E snow 3428 11,247
Col de Miage Les Contamines to Courmayeur MB snow 3,376 11,077
Col du Géant Chamonix to Courmayeur MB snow 3,371 11,060
Col du Grand Paradis Ceresole Reale to Valsavarenche E snow 3349 10,988
Col du Charforon Ceresole Reale to Valsavarenche E snow 3331 10,929
Col de Teleccio Cogne to Locana E snow 3326 10,913
Col du Chardonnet Chamonix to Orsières MB snow 3,325 10,909
Col de Lauzon Cogne to the Valsavarenche E bridle path 3301 10,831
Col du Bouquetin Bonneval-sur-Arc to Val d'Isère C snow 3300 10,827
Col de St Grat Valgrisenche to La Thuile C snow 3300 10,827
Col du Tour Chamonix to Orsières MB snow 3,280 10,762
Fenetre de Saleinaz Saleinaz Glacier to Trient Glacier MB snow 3,264 10,709
Col de l'Herbetet Cogne to Valsavarenche E snow 3257 10,686
Col du Collerin Bessans to Balme C snow 3202 10,506
Col du Grand Etret Ceresole Reale to Valsavaranche E snow 3158 10,361
Col de Bassac Rhêmes Valley to Valgrisenche C snow 3153 10,345
Col du Carro Bonneval-sur-Arc to Ceresole Reale C snow 3140 10,302
Col d'Arbole Cogne to Brissogne E snow 3137 10,292
Col de la Goletta Val d'Isère to the Rhêmes Valley C snow 3120 10,237
Col de Rhêmes Val d'Isère to the Rhêmes Valley C snow 3101 10,174
Col de la Grande Casse Pralognan to Termignon W snow 3100 10,171
Col de Sea Bonneval-sur-Arc to Forno Alpi Graie C snow 3083 10,115
Col de l'Autaret Bessans to Usseglio C foot path 3070 10,073
Col de Girard Bonneval-sur-Arc to Forno Alpi Graie C snow 3044 9987
Col Rosset Valsavarenche to the Rhêmes Valley C bridle path 3024 9922
Col d'Arnas Bessans to Balme C snow 3014 9889
Col de la Galise Ceresole Reale to Val d'Isère C snow 2998 9836
Col de Sort Valsavarenche to the Rhêmes Valley E bridle path 2967 9735
Quecees de Tignes Val d'Isère to Termignon W snow 2940 9646
Col della Nouva Cogne to Pont Canavese E bridle path 2933 9623
Col de Breuil Bourg-Saint-Maurice to La Thuile MB snow 2,879 9,446
Col de Garin Aosta to Cogne E foot path 2868 9411
Collarin d'Arnas Balme to Usseglio C snow 2850 9351
Colle della Finestra Rhêmes Valley to the Valgrisenche C foot path 2847 9341
Fenetre de Champorcher Cogne to Champorcher E bridle path 2838 9311
Col Vaudet Sainte-Foy-Tarentaise to the Valgrisenche C foot path 2836 9305
Col de Bardoney Cogne to Pont Canavese E snow 2833 9295
Col de Chaviere Modane to Pralognan W foot path 2806 9206
Col de la Leisse Tignes to Termignon W snow 2780 9121
Col de l'Iseran Bonneval-sur-Arc to Val d'Isère C road 2769 9085
Ghicet di Sea Balme to Forno Alpi Graie C foot path 2735 8973
Col de la Sachette Tignes to Bourg-Saint-Maurice W foot path 2729 8954
Col du Palet Tignes to Moûtiers or Bourg St Maurice W bridle path 2658 8721
Col du Mont Ste Foy to the Valgrisenche C bridle path 2646 8681
Col du Nivolet Ceresole Reale to the Valsavarenche E road 2641 8665
Colle della Crocetta Ceresole Reale to Forno Alpi Graie C bridle path 2636 8649
Col de la Platiere Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Moûtiers W bridle path 2600 8531
Col du Mont Tondu Les Contamines to Courmayeur MB snow 2,590 8,498
Col Ferret Courmayeur to Orsières MB bridle path 2,533 8,311
Col de la Vanoise Pralognan to Termignon W bridle path 2527 8291
Col de la Seigne Les Chapieux to Courmayeur MB bridle path 2,512 8,242
Col de Susanfe Champéry to Salvan MB foot path 2,500 8,202
Col du Bonhomme Contamines to Les Chapieux MB bridle path 2,483 8,147
Col de Sageroux Sixt to Champéry MB foot path 2,413 7,917
Col des Encombres Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne to Moûtiers W bridle path 2337 7668
Col d'Anterne Sixt to Servoz MB bridle path 2,263 7,425
Col de Balme Chamonix to the Trient Valley MB bridle path 2,201 7,221
Little St Bernard Pass Aosta to Moûtiers C road 2188 7179
Mont Cenis Modane to Susa C road 2083 6827
Col de la Madeleine La Chambre to Moûtiers W road 1993 6509
Colle Checrouit Courmayeur to the Lac de Combal MB bridle path 1,960 6,431
Col de Voza Chamonix to Les Contamines MB bridle path 1,675 5,496
Col de la Forclaz (F) Chamonix to Saint-Gervais MB bridle path 1,556 5,105
Col de la Forclaz (CH) Argentière to Martigny MB road 1,520 4,987

Nature conservation[edit]

The western group contains the Vanoise National Park, established in 1972 and covering 1250 km²;[4] the eastern group contains the Gran Paradiso National Park, the oldest Italian national park.[5] Also on the Italian side is located the Parco Regionale del Monte Avic, a nature park of 5,747 ha established by Regione Valle d'Aosta.[6]

Maps[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Il territorio piemontese nel periodo preromano, on-line text on www.leganordavigliana.com
  2. ^ Revue celtique de Toronto, Tome III
  3. ^ Mont Blanc shrinks by 45cm in two years
  4. ^ Les chiffres clés du Parc national de la Vanoise, National park official web-site www.parcnational-vanoise.fr (accessed on April 2012)
  5. ^ Il parco compie 90 anni, National park official web-site www.pngp.it (accessed on April 2012)
  6. ^ Parco del Mont Avic, home page on www.montavic.info (accessed on April 2012)

External links[edit]