Alpine Mountaineering

The Ecrins National Park has the only 4000m peak which is entirely in France as well as numerous other Alpine Peaks. L’Argentiere and Vallouise are the starting point for many of the climbs in this area. A number of these climbs are relatively easy but unless you are an experienced alpine mountaineer you will need the services of a guide.

The only British guide living in this area is Murray Hamilton. he offers guiding in alpine mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing and ski touring – murray@murrayhamilton.com

There are of course lots of other guides in the region, many of whom speak good English. Contact the Bureau de Guides des Ecrins in Vallouise – www.guides-ecrins.com

Good accomodation is of course available in Briancon and Vallouise

Classic routes

Dome des Ecrins (4015m ) – a 4000m snow peak. The climb is technically easy but finishes at altitude and requires cramponning. A good physical condition is required and you must be able to adapt to altitude. The guides office normally advises completing another climb first, eg Neige Cordier.

La Barre des Ecrins (4102m) – the highest peak in the area. Some deep snow walking and climbing followed by an easy climb on an exposed ridge. Some rock climbing experience is required.

Crossing of the Pelvoux (3946m) – for many years the Pelvoux was considered the highest peak of the massif since its height and size is so imposing. There is a fantastic 360 degree view from the top over the mountain ranges of France and Italy . The descent takes you through one of the most beautiful and tortured glaciers in the massif. It is a real mountaineer’s climb reserved for experienced climbers in good physical condition.

East face of the Ailefroide (3848m) – Long climb mostly through snow . From the summit there is a breathtaking panoramic view. This climb is recommended for climbers with good ice climbing skills and good physical condition.

La Meije Orientale (3891m) – La Meije has always had a strong fascination for alpinists due its beauty and and glaciated north face. This is a long route and good physical fitness and ice climbing skills are required.

Neige Cordier (3613m) – A classic climb from the Glacier Blanc with easy snow and ice climbing and some easy rock climbing. Often used as an introductory climb in the area.

Les Agneaux (3664m) – An introductory easy ice and rock climb across several small glaciers and cols.

If you need help organising climbs and information on up to date conditions do contact us.