Having lived in the alps for going on 6 years, I decided it was about time I gave at least one winter sport a try - so bought a pair of snowshoes a few weeks ago. In the area close to Grenoble there are a number of areas with marked snowshoe routes - noteably the areas around Chamrousse (1700m), Lans En Vercors (1200m) and Prapoutel (1300m). Isere tourism have a much more comprehensive list of resorts with snow-shoe trails.
At the moment, the snow isn’t up to much below 1500m - so I headed for Chamrousse (seemingly with most of the rest of Grenoble - parking was a bit of a pain).
There are 2 main routes at Chamrousse, the Circuit de Lac Achard (1700m - 1917m), the Circuit de Pre Gaudet (1430m - 1500m) and a nature path - Sentier Nature (1600m), however only the higher route was open this weekend. You can find the open/closed status on the Chamrousse website.
There’s a snowshoe trail map available on the same site.
I started off from Chamrousse 1700 took the middle path (not by design - I just saw some other folks with snowshoes and followed them) up to the T-junction. As it was fairly late, and I was really only testing my new gear - I chose to leave the lac for another day when I make it up earlier in the day, and turned right to head down to Arselle (1600m). From there it was a short walk up a path, then along the road to recover my car. All in all, a good 4km introduction to the sport!
There were some awesome snow crystals, although I didn’t have a good close-up lens with me, so just took a quick phone snap…
I plan to do all three routes sometime over the winter - so I should update this post with routes sooner or later.