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The Dent de Crolles is a karstic mountain (2,062 m) of the Chartreuse Mountains range, 17 kilometres (11 miles) north east of Grenoble, Isère, France. It has a characteristic "tooth-like" profile and is easily recognizable in the Isère Valley (Grésivaudan) in the Grenoble area. Its name is derived from the town of Crolles, located next to the mountain.

Dent de Crolles
Dent de Crolles depuis Saint-Pancrasse.JPG
The Dent de Crolles seen from Saint-Pancrasse (South)
Highest point
Elevation2,062 m (6,765 ft)
Prominence690 m (2,260 ft) [1]
Coordinates45°18′30″N 5°51′19″E / 45.30833°N 5.85528°E / 45.30833; 5.85528Coordinates: 45°18′30″N 5°51′19″E / 45.30833°N 5.85528°E / 45.30833; 5.85528
Dent de Crolles is located in Alps
Dent de Crolles
Dent de Crolles
Location in the Alps
Dent de Crolles is located in France
Dent de Crolles
Dent de Crolles
Dent de Crolles (France)
Parent rangeChartreuse Mountains
Easiest routeFrom the Col du Coq


Cave systemEdit

The réseau de la Dent de Crolles, which lies beneath the summit plateau, is one of the most complex and longest cave systems in Europe, and is considered to be one of the birth places of modern caving. Its first detailed exploration was during World War II by a small team of French cavers which included Pierre Chevalier, Fernand Petzl, and Charles Petit-Didier. Their explorations saw it become the deepest cave in the world at the time with a depth of −658 m (−2,159 ft). The lack of available equipment during the war forced Pierre Chevalier and the rest of the team to develop their own equipment, leading to technical innovation. The first use of the single rope technique with prusik and mechanical rope-ascenders (Henri Brenot's "monkeys", first used by Chevalier and Brenot in a cave in 1934) can be directly associated with its exploration.

Since 1946, the cave has undergone intense and continuous exploration. As of 2010, eleven separate entrances have been discovered[2]. The highest is the Gouffre Bob Vouay at an altitude of 2,022 metres (6,634 ft) located close to the summit, and the lowest is the main resurgence, the Grotte du Guiers Mort at an altitude of 1,322 metres (4,337 ft), giving a depth of 690 metres (2,260 ft). It is known to include more than 60 kilometres (37 mi) of passages. The cave system is popular for the various through trips that the various entrances allow.[3][4]

Schematic plan of the cave system of the Dent de Crolles. The colours correspond to different levels, the Grotte du Guiers Mort being the point 0; the blue represents the river : level 0 à +100 m ; the yellow (le Métro) the level +100 à +140 m ; the red (le boulevard des Tritons) the level +140 à +200 m ; the green (Glaz-Annette) the level +350 m. The elevation between the highest entrance, the Gouffre Bob Vouay (2022 m), and the Grotte du Guiers Mort is 690 metres.


Bibliography (in French)Edit

  • La Dent de Crolles et son réseau souterrain, Comité départemental de spéléologie de l'Isère, 1997, ISBN 2-902670-38-9 : "La Dent de Crolles et son réseau souterrain" (PDF).

References (in French)Edit


  1. ^ "Dent de Crolles". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  2. ^ "The entrances of réseau de la Dent de Crolles".
  3. ^ Charreton, Philippe. "Historique". Speleo Dent de Crolles. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  4. ^ Gardner, John. "Réseau de la Dent de Crolles". Retrieved 18 August 2017.