/ Ecrins Rock

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
augustus trout - on 23 Nov 2012
Hi

Heading of with my club to the Ecrins this coming Summer. We will be based at Ailefroide, so I'm currently trying to find out about the rock routes in the area, I'dont mean the lower crags or long multi pitch on the slabby glaciated granite that ( i think) is around ailefroide I'm more interested in higher altitude multi pitch that is still on sound rock with bolted protection. I experienced some of this on the aiguille rouge, I suppose what I'm asking is, is there anything like this around ailefroide?
jonnie3430 - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout:

http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/c.php?i=137405 Has a good reputation and high on the wishlist after a failed go on Big Tower is Watching You. Oisans Sauvage, Oisans Nouveau, Libre Est (2011,) has lots of routes like that and I recommend it to you.
FrankW on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout:

IIRC (It's been 10 years) the Ecrin in that area are predominantlt Gniess rather than granite and consequently the climbing is a little different. There's nothing exactly like the Aguille Rouge but there there are a few good routes that might interest you Pt Louise springs to mind. 10 years ago these were not bolted in teh same style as the routes around Chamonix. Someone with more recent information may be able to help. Typically though the routes tend to have more of a 'mixed' feel to them and given the lack of telepheriques can feel more committing.

Don't write off the Valley routes. Some of these (like La Fissure (sp?)) are pretty much day long events and good in thier own rights. Enjoy your trip.
ArnaudG - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout:
"Sound rock" has a different meaning in the Ecrins than in other areas. I'm more familiar with the La Berarde side but generally speaking, the rock ranges from not very good to truly shocking. Even when a guidebook describes a route on "good rock" it has to be put into context.
For the type of routes you're looking for, there are a few modern sport routes above the Glacier Noir (e.g. Aurore Nucleaire). Not sure about elsewhere on that side. S face of the Meije has some well equiped sports routes (la cheveauchee des vaches qui rippent) and of course the Dibona has lots but that's too far from Ailefroide.
The Oisan Nouveau guidebook is likely to have a lot more ideas that I do since I've not been down there for a few years. Also check out http://www.camptocamp.org/areas/14403/fr/ecrins


Cheers
A.-
Doug on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to ArnaudG: Isn't the Aiguille de Sialouze granite ? at least its supposed to be solid with some classics (eg Voie Livanos, see eg http://www.camptocamp.org/outings/358337/fr/aiguille-de-sialouze-voie-livanos) & some more modern routes (only seen it from a distance/read some route descriptions)
ArnaudG - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Doug:
Ooooh I can't remember. As I said, I've mainly climbed on the La Berarde Side and I don't think I've ever been up the Sele, but I know the Ailefroide further along is pretty poor. I turned away from the Grevasutti route because it was "parpinait" too much.
So OP, Aiguille de Sialouze: worth a look.
ArnaudG - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Doug:
True! the pictures on that site look positively inviting. Compare this to that route http://www.camptocamp.org/routes/54681/fr/pointe-du-vallon-des-etages-voie-du-grand-diedre
and you get the breadth of rock quality available on display. (I actually wrote the entry for that route (!))

Sam Simpson - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout: Aiguille de Sialouze is immense. The traverse was brilliant and the rock routes look absolutely brilliant from all directions
Murko Fuzz - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout:

As Doug says.... Aiguille de Sialouze. Has heaps of bolted routes on decent rock, no bergshrund, about an hour from the Sele Hut. Super Pilou was nice and cruisey. Returned down the face in 10 raps.
Murko Fuzz - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Murko Fuzz:

Oh aye, well equipped too. Sensible bolting.
jshields - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout: If you have transport a trip to climb on the Dibona is to be highly recommended.There are some sportingly bolted routes, easily supplemented with a small trad rack. You won't regret it.
Regards,
Jon
jonnie3430 - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to samsimpson:
> (In reply to augustus trout) Aiguille de Sialouze is immense.

Je Vous Salut Marie from this summer: https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc7/404046_10152057972435445_1099004348_n.jpg
I'd recommend a light rock rack, especially cams for it.

I have heard good things about Super Pilou, but have not tried it (yet.)
Martin Haworth on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout: The Auguille de Sialouze is really excellent granite and is bolted but you should take a small rack aswell. The easiest route is Super Pilou which is probably VS/HVS, then Ventre a Terre which is HVS/E1. These are quite big routes of 400m length at between 3100m and 3500m. Then there is stuff on the North Faces above the Glacier noir and some well bolted easier routes on Pointe Louise, Cineastes etc above glacier Blanc. Can definately recommed Soleil Trompeur on the Petit Sagnette, 500m f5+, well bolted, at about 2800m altitude.
I wouldn't discount the stuff in the valley it isnt all just slabs.
If you have a car then head to the Cerces which are 50minutes drive from Ailefroide, limestone, well bolted, between 2300m and 3000m.
All of the above are on good quality rock, as are most modern Ecrins routes,the rock is no worse than other alpine areas unless you search out the loose traditional honeypot routes!
Email if you need more info as I go there regularly as I have an apartment in the village.
augustus trout - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout: Thanks for all your posts and all very helpful. My main problem has been my lack of French and trying to get a feel for what is available. So thanks to you all for conveying your enthusiasm for the area. As well as highlighting the potential level of choss around in the area.
Aiguille de Sialouze, Glacier Noir, Pointe Louise and Super Pilou will all be perused over on Camp to Camp with my miniature French/English dictionary. “Oisans Sauvage, Oisans Nouveau, Libre Est” is also going to be ordered as soon as I can find a source.
Martin Haworth on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout: "Oisans Sauvage, Oisans Nouveau, Libre Est"
Make sure you buy the 2011 version of the guidebook.
augustus trout - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth: yes it seems to have gone through a few revisions. Thanks for offering to field more questions its much appreciated, especially as first hand knowledge is so useful.
sjminfife - on 23 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout: Just sent you a mail. I have the guides and would be happy to meet up if you ar ein Scotland at all.
sjm
David Rose - on 24 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout: The Sialouze and Glacier Noir peaks, especially the Pic Sans Nom, are good destinations but there are others with very sound rock on this side of the range. The Contreforts des Bans and the Bans S face, for example; the Banc des Aiguilles, and the Olan south side, the latter accessible from the Vaugdemar valley which is not so far away. There is other stuff in this valley, I believe.
Pyreneenemec - on 25 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout:

Gaston Rebuffats " Le Massif des Ecrins" was re-edited in 2001, in a soft-cover version. I'm not sure if copies are still available, but it is an excellent introduction to the massif.

I can vouch for the quality of the routes on the East face of the Aiguille de la Sialouze. I will never forget my attempt on the "traversée". Just below the final "aiguille" ; a "cordée" of two "aspirant guides" had a very nasty accident. The leader fell and his last piece of protection failed. He fell about 30m and banged his head against the rock-face. He was semi-conscious and bleeding from an ear. One of the guys was really panic-stricken, so we decided to stay together and abseil the injured guy down to the glacier, rather than risking another casualty. Everything ended well, but it was quite an experience.

Otherwise whilst staying in Ailefroide, I've never been blessed with good conditions; we've had rain /storms every day for a week ! On one occasion, we had 30 cm of snow in August which screwed things up for a few days ! ( see my gallery). We upped camp and went around to Valgaudemar. The South face of the Olan has some fantastic routes: we did the classic Devies-Gervasutti.
badmarmot - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout:

hi
in regards to the guide Oisans Sauvage, Oisans Nouveau, Libre Est, i have a brand new copy and i am based around the peaks at the moment, if you wont to meet up for a look?

or i live out there for most of the year, so if you wont you could buy my copy off me? i dont think you can get it in the UK? and i pick up another when i am back out.

cheers Rob
tallsteve - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to augustus trout:
Unless I'm mistaken Ailefroide is in the High Dauphiné, which is covered in this Alpine Club guide: http://www.duxbooks.co.uk/Ecrins-Massif-det-0-0-0-6931.html

Nice piccies here.
www.gdargaud.net/Climbing/Ecrins.html
Simon4 - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to tallsteve: hm, Brailsford.

Rather more "up-to-date" to get some of the new French guidebooks to the area.
Martin Haworth on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to tallsteve: Iwouldn't bother buying the AC guide, it is out of date and (in my opinion) not very good, and contains a number of mistakes.
Doug on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to tallsteve: published in 1988 - given the changes in glaciers & the N° of new routes I'd suggest its of historical interest only today

To the OP, get one of the French guides already mentioned
Simon4 - on 27 Nov 2012
In reply to Martin Haworth:
> it is out of date and (in my opinion) not very good, and contains a number of mistakes.

Well that was rather what I was saying, just not quite so bluntly.


This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.