Barre des Ecrins

Barre des Ecrins (4101m) is located in the Massif D’Oisans which benefits from 300 days of sunshine a year. The grade of the normal route on the mountain is PD+ and it is the southernmost of the alpine 4000m peaks. The grade range of this course will be PD to AD.

Dates: June, July, August, September.
Ratio: 1:2

Who’s it for: The Barre des Ecrins is achievable for mountaineers who have some alpine experience or experience of terrain such as that completed on the ‘Winter Mountaineering-Ridges and Gullies’ course.

Instruction/GuidingInsurance (essential)
Harnesses, helmetsCrampons, ice axe, boots
(can be hired in Chamonix)
Personal hut fees and valley accommodation on a half board basisAccommodation in Chamonix
Transport from Chamonix and during the courseUplift
(not normally required on this course)
Guides hut fees, lunches, uplift and accommodationPersonal lunches, drinks and drinks at huts

Sample program

Day 1: Meet in Chamonix. Hire/Check equipment.  Following this, we drive to La Berarde and ascend to the Refuge Temple Ecrins.

Day 2: From the hut, we climb Pic Collidge (PD, 3775m).  This peak gives a great view of the south side of the Barre.  Following a return to the hut for lunch we continue down to the valley and overnight in Bourg d’Oisans.

Day 3: Following breakfast, we continue round to the Ailefroide valley. On the way, we complete a Via Ferrata or a multi-pitch rock climb before ascending to the Refuge Glacier Blanc (2542m).

Day 4: We ascend Montagne des Agneaux (AD-, 3664m) from the Refuge. Return is by the same route. After lunch, we continue to the Refuge Ecrins.

Day 5: From the Refuge, we climb the Barre Des Ecrins (4101m).

Day 6: Four possibilities exist. After the ascent of the Barre Des Ecrins, we can overnight at one of the mountain huts and ascend Roche Faurio (3730m ,F+) or Pointe Louise ( 3668m, AD). The other two options involve returning to the valley at the end of day 5 and completing a multi-pitch rock climb or a Via Ferrata.

Other possible objectives

  • The rock climbs of Ailefroide which range in height from 1 pitch to 20.
  • The Refuge du Sele and L’Ailefroide Oriental (3847m)
  • The Refuge du Pelvoux and Mont Pelvoux (3943m)
  • The Refuge de la Pillate and Mont Gioberney (3352m)
  • The Refuge du Soreiller and the Aiguille Dibona (3131m)
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