Dent de Crolles

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Dent de Crolles
Dent de Crolles depuis Saint-Pancrasse.JPG
The Dent de Crolles seen from Saint-Pancrasse (South)
Highest point
Elevation 2,062 m (6,765 ft)
Prominence 690 m (2,260 ft) [1]
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Dent de Crolles is located in Alps
Dent de Crolles
Dent de Crolles
Location in the Alps
Location Isère, France
Parent range Chartreuse Mountains
Easiest route Through the Col du Coq

The Dent de Crolles is a karstic mountain (2,062m) of the Chartreuse Mountains range, 17 km 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.

Cave system

The Dent de Crolles hosts one of the most complex and vast cave systems in Europe. It is considered to be one of the birth places of modern caving. Its first detailed exploration was during WWII by a small team of French cavers composed of Pierre Chevalier, Fernand Petzl, Charles Petit-Didier and others. Their explorations saw it become the deepest cave in the world (-658m) at the time, and it still ranks sixth deepest in France today. 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 the exploration of the Dent de Crolles cave system.

Since 1946, the cave has undergone an intense and continuous survey. As of 2007, nine separate entrances have been discovered (3 potholes on the top karstic plateau, 5 horizontal caves and one cliff entrance). It is known to include more than 58 km of labyrinthic passageways. The two major entrances are the "trou-du-Glaz" and the "Guiers-Mort" cave. The cave system is famous today for the various through trips that the numerous entrances allow.


Bibliography (in French)

  • La Dent de Crolles et son réseau souterrain, Comité départemental de spéléologie de l'Isère, 1997, ISBN 2-902670-38-9

References (in French)


  1. "Dent de Crolles - peakbagger". Retrieved 4 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>