The "Mont Blanc" of the Maritime Alps

The Gelas massif | APAM Archive, A. Rivelli

The weather is superb, we could not ask for better, the broad horizon of the range stretches from the Apennines to the far eastern Alps, a really grand panorama.

Bartolomeo Figari, Alpinismo senza chiodi

Unlike Argentera, which is set back from the main alpine watershed, Monte Gelas (3143 m) is right on the border between Italy and France and is the highest pointin the French Maritime Alps.

Because of its position it is one of the most interesting summits in the area, thanks to the exceptional 360 °panorama from the top. It ranges from sea and the Cote d'Azur to the nearby massifs of Argentera and Matto across to Monviso and the main peaks of the Cottian, Graian and Pennine Alps.

The snow cover on the northern slopes is considerable and often lasts all year, this probably explains the etymology of the name Gelas and the slightly pretentious nickname of Mont Blanc of the Maritime Alps.