In the Dent de Crolles and Grotte de Gournier with the lad

David Rose

Active member
A terrific school half term visit to France last week, where my son Daniel (14) and I stayed with Paul Mackrill in Lans en Vercors. We did the traverse of the Dent de Crolles from the Trou de Glaz to the Grotte Annette, and a wild, aquatic scramble up the first part of the Grotte de Gournier streamway. Conditions were wet, and even the magnificent dry galleries were quite damp. A first foray into the bigger continental systems - huge fun. 


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Staff member
Does the Gournier still have those rather desperate wire traverses on the cascades in the the main streamway? 


We visited last summer

The old desperate wire traverses have been removed and replaced by an easy new shiny via ferrata with lots of steps, staples and robust cables - perhaps a few too many. 

After the pitch at the entrance lake we got to Salle Chevalier without rigging any ropes.

The via ferrata definately takes away some of the challenge of this fantastic streamway



Active member
They've been staples for many years now - there's an old trip report from me on here somewhere, and they weren't new then. I didn't find them too many, unless they've added more, usually there's just enough to keep mostly out of the water, if you can find the right place to balance a foot, in some places not at all obvious. The climb up to the upper level is an enjoyable ladder.

Wouldn't like to do the stream if it's "aquatic" though!

David Rose

Active member
It was sporting and challenging, but not desperate. We were wearing wetsuits - I would not have liked to have been doing it without.


The state of that knackered wire traverse round the lake near the entrance  forced us to use a blow up dinghy to get into the cave...shame it punctured; we had to swim out!


New member
Just seen this and the memories came flooding back ... from 1979! 

I did the swim across the lake in wellies, swimming trunks, helmet, belt and carbide gobbler.  IT WAS COLD to say the least!  A friend (Graham Wilton Jones) took my oversuit and furry undersuit across in a large plastic bag and used it as a floatation aid.  A quick run up the ladder and a even quicker change in dry caving clothere at the top of the ladder before a very enjoyable thrutch along the streamway in high water conditions on those tatty bits of wire coat hanger that counted as the traverses.

Some hours later we returned for me to make the swim again but unfortunately there was then a blow up dingy we used!  LUXURY.



Well-known member
I regret not doing the streamway when we visited the cave. We concentrated on the big high level passage.