/ Climbing / guidebook shop ecrins?

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LDudill - on 31 Aug 2017
Just heading over to the ecrins from dolomites as the weather is looking better that way. Was thinking of heading to la berarde and camping there. Never been over the ecrins before and was wondering if there are any climbing shops or places to pick up a guidebook for the area? Anywhere in la berarde itself?

Also is there a better place to base ourselves out of? Or is la Bararde the best place to be for that area? I am frantically looking online as well but currently driving over so any advice appreciated!

Cheers
Doug on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to LDudill:

What route are you planning to take ? If via Milan & Torino, you'll come over the Col Montgenèvre & pass through Briançon which has a couple of bookshops & at least one climbing gear shop which should stock guidebooks. I'd also consider going to Ailefroide rather than La Bararde - & the shop there should have the local guidebooks
LDudill - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Doug:

We will be passing through Briancon but probably about 9pm tonight so doubt anywhere will be open to pick up any guidebooks!

I will take a look at Ailefroid. You know if there is any camping there? Is it just a bigger town I am assuming ?
Doug on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to LDudill:
Not much in Ailefroide other than the campsite except a couple of shops, bars, etc, Vallouise just down the valley is the nearest town

edit to add that the weathers pretty grim in the Ecrins as well at the moment (left the Champsaur this morning in heavy rain, assume its similar elsewhere in the range. Currently watching the rain in Grenoble)
Post edited at 16:24
andyr - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to LDudill:
Ailefroide is a small village; couple of food and gear shops, bar and a huge campsite. You can base yourself there for lots of walk-in granite climbing. Drive back down into the Durance Valley for limestone; and if you're not pressed for time then a day on the conglomerate cliffs at Mont Dauphine is fun.

https://www.approach-outdoor.com/topo-alpes-du-sud/6492-briancon-climbs.html

https://www.approach-outdoor.com/topo-alpes-du-sud/11778-ailefroide-escalades-autour-de--edition-201...

Check out Tete d'Aval and the Tanailles de Montbrison if you're still hankering for the 'Dolimites' experience.

Forgot to mention. Stay lower in the Durance valley if the weather is a bit iffy. Tend to be OK even when the tops are in the clouds. Camping Le Verger 10 mins south of Argentiere is OK http://www.campingleverger.com/#xl_xr_page_index
Post edited at 16:35
LDudill - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to andyr:

Cheers for the info everyone. Yeh the weather forecasts all appear to be a bit different depending on what I look at. Some show the next few days as good and a few show rain likely! Go figure!

After a bit more looking thinking of heading to ailefroid tonight and possibly climb something there tomorrow if the weather holds out. Have any of you done any of the classic routes there? I have the plaisir selection guidebook to hand. Just wondered if they are easy enough to bail off if the weather turns bad.

After that I think we may head over to la berarde, with the aim to do the aig dibona and maybe the Meije traverse if the weather looks more stable in a day or two!
Pero - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to LDudill:

> After that I think we may head over to la berarde, with the aim to do the aig dibona and maybe the Meije traverse if the weather looks more stable in a day or two!

Re La Meije, note that the Promontoire hut may be closed due to rockfall:

https://www.ukhillwalking.com/forums/t.php?n=670413

Simon Caldwell - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to LDudill:

The tiny shop in La Berarde sells all the local guidebooks, including the otherwise out-of-print "Oisans nouveau, Oisans sauvage West". We stayed there a few weeks ago and there's loads of stuff to do. The other main centre is Ailefroide in the east - we stayed there a few years ago and there's loads of stuff to do there as well!

La Berarde is a fair bit quieter.
Slarti B on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to andyr:

I have only been in Berade valley once but many times to AilefroidePelvoux. Berade seemed more remote with fewer facilities.
Ailefroide is a tiny hamlet but has a great camp site with lots of space surrounded by slabs and peaks. As well as the gear shops in the village there are a couple on the outskirts of Vallouise as you drive up the valley. One of these is Kings ( next to the Pharmacy) which I think is run by an English couple if your French isn't so good .
Apparently there is a new via ferrata in Pelvoux as well which is fun and quite challenging.
LDudill - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Pero:

Cheers, not too sure it would be an issue as I normally just bivvy anyway! Although I don't like the idea of potential further rockfall!
LDudill - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Cheers, good to know I can probably pick up a guidebook there if need be!
badmarmot - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to LDudill:

Hi

I live just down the road from Ailefroide, its been wet here all day but getting back to normal good weather from tomorrow.

you asked about bailing off routes in Ailefroide, they all have bolt belays and some of the belays have lower offs, some of the bolted abs are off to the side of the routes, if you have some tat etc you should be able to come down from most belays.

andyr mention Tete d'Aval and the Tanailles de Montbrison with the Tete in the sun all day its good to do it on a cooler day, its 26 pitches of fun, also a great area is the massif des Cerces above Brainçon limestone faces and towers up to 400 meters,

cheers Rob
LDudill - on 31 Aug 2017
In reply to badmarmot:

Cheers, I suspected they would be fairly easy to bail off. Anyway as you said the weather looks like it may be okay tomorrow anyway! Do you know if it would be fairly easy to descretly wild camp somewhere in ailefroide? We are not going to get there for another hour and plan on just getting up early to get out anyway. Or have you ever stayed in the campsite? I know some campsite put a barrier up at night which sort of makes it difficult to rock up late and pay in the morning!

Cheers for the info on the other places as well, I shall definitely have to check them out!

Cheers, Luke

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