SATA Remontées mécaniques de l'Alpe d'Huez, 131 Rue du Pic Blanc, 38750 Huez.
From Grenoble RD1091 to Le Bourg-d'Oisans, turn left on D211 to L'Alpe Huez, cable car on the right, signposted.
07-DEC to 16-APR daily .
Adults EUR 6, Children EUR 5.
|Light:||Incandescent Electric Light System|
|Dimension:||L=120 m, A=2,700 m asl.|
|Guided tours:||self guided.|
La Grotte de Glace Alpe d’Huez, 2ème Tronçon DMC/2700m, 38750 Alpe d'Huez, Tel: 476-80-30-30
Société des Grottes de la Meije (SDGM), Les Hières, 05320 La Grave, E-mail:
|As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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|1992||Bernard Lambolez and Bruno Gardent go to the cave of the "Mer de Glace" and have the idea to built such a cave at home.|
|1993||Société des Grottes de la Meije and first grotto at La Grave La Meije created and inaugurated.|
|1997||ice grotto created.|
La Grotte de Glace Alpe d’Huez is located at the upper station of the Alpe d’Huez ski lift. It is one of six glacier grottoes created and operated by the Société des Grottes de la Meije (SDGM), which was founded by the two high mountain guides, Bernard Lambolez and Bruno Gardent in 1992. In 1992 the two visited the grotto Grotte de la Mer de Glace and had the idea to build such a cave at home. The first grotto was created on the Glacier de la Girose and is called La Grotte de Glace La Grave La Meije.
Actually, while ice cave is often used for such grottoes, they are actually called glacier grotto. Ice caves are natural caves in rock which contain ice, glacier grottoes are dug, hence they are grottoes, inside a glacier, hence glacier grotto. However, although we classified it as a glacier grotto, it actually isn't, as there is no glacier on Alpe d’Huez. At the beginning of the winter, when the first snow falls and the temperatures are low enough that it does not melt anymore, they create a huge pile of snow in which they dug the cave. You could say it's a snow grotto, or probably a kind of igloo. The snow is melted on the surface with a sort of heat stick, and the water freezes again making the snow more stable. Then artists create ice sculptures for a certain topic inside the cave. So as there is actually a completely new cave every year, the exhibition also changes from year to year. And the grotto exists only for about three months, weather depending.
As it is located on top of the mountain, at the ski area, it is necessary to get there first. Of course, you could walk up, if you have the right equipment, but as most people will either be skiing and just make a break visiting the grotto, we guess they already have a ski pass. To get to the summit you start at the Alpe d'Huez, a sort of artificial ski resort above the tiny village Huez. At the far end of the road is a chairlift which will bring you to the top of the hill. From here it's only a short walk. The cave is open only during winter on the same days as the cable car. As most visitors are skiers, it's possible to visit the cave with skiing boots, though we do not recommend it. We recommend to bring walking shoes to change, it makes the visit far more pleasant.