Between Grenoble and Gap in a beautiful mountain area of france called Vercors, you find this rock monument that was called "... more »;Mount Inaccesible" for a long time.
It was in 1492, the year in which Columbus discovered America when King Charles VIII comanded his officer Antoine de Ville to conquer the rock for the first time.
The clever officer managed this by the use of ladders and so one of the first fixed rope routes (via ferrata) in the french alps was established.
Today Mount Aiguille is the playground of the international rock climbing community, the ladders of Antoine de Ville has not been replaced by a modern "via ferrata" so this mountain really belongs to the climbers that have the skills and equipment to take the challenge.
The moderate day hike can be started in Richardière or Rutière, small villages near Chichilianne. Richardière provides the better choice as you have a big shady parking for the car and a hotel and restaurant nearby, where you can stay after the hike.
In the beginning the well marked track is more or less flat until the gravel road at Trézanne climbes up to the Col de Papavet (1240m) Here you have the options of following the convenient switchbacks of the narrow gravel road or take the steeper hiking track that provides a shortcut.
Next direction gives the Col des Pellas (1350m) and then following the track trough forests and meadows you descent to the small village. Here we have to follow the signes to the adventure park that we will pass and follow the steep trail up to the Col d´Aupet (1650m) that is also the base camp and starting point for the rock climbers.
From the Col d´Aupet the track is descending at the foot of Mount Aiguille in uncountable switchbacks back to the starting point in Richardiére, where a cool beer and the famous "Ravioles Dauphinoise" at the restaurant are waiting for you. less «