Barre des Ecrins and Brocken Spectres!
Good afternoon Summit Posters and warm greetings from a damp and cold Bristol in the UK
Hopefully a little offering to enliven your day and a short HD video from a trip last summer to Ailefroide in the superb Ecrins region of the French Alps during what was probably the worst summer weather on record for many years!
Our group had very little acclimatisation and a predicted short weather window, so decided to take a gamble on the magnificent Barre des Ecrins 4102m which we really wanted to climb. So after a beautiful walk in to the excellent Refuge des Ecrins on the first day, we had the usual alpine start at 4am the following morning. I found the slog up the steep North East face of the Barre very tough going, with ominous over-hanging seracs just to add to the excitement. By the time our team reached the Brèche Lory at about 4000m I was sick a number of times, the weather was deteriorating and the final West Ridge looked in pretty poor condition so a difficult decision had to be made. I guess it was the classic mountaineering dilemma after investing a lot of time, money and effort on whether to push on in poor conditions + deteriorating weather after being ill? Or stop because it is probably the sensible thing to do and the mountain will always be there? What would you have done?
Anyway the entertainment was duly recorded so for anyone interested in viewing our 2 day adventure featuring butterflies, marmots, plus a rarely seen brocken spectre and that difficult decision then please use the following embedded link:
If you wish to sample the full High Def experience and your computer has enough va va voom, you should be able to change the "Quality" icon to 1080p HD in the bottom right hand corner on the You Tube screen.
All constructive feedback or comments welcome and hopefully it will inspire a few folks to visit this amazing area of the French Alps and climb the beautiful Barre des Ecrins and Dôme de Neige!
Cheers and happy climbing :-)