OverviewBarre Noire is the "small" neighbor of the famous Barre des Ecrins and is located in the center of the High Dauphiné Alps. The mountain isn't very prominent due to its location near the Barre des Ecrins. Still, the mountain receives quite a few ascents. Especially the Barre Noire couloir and the south pillar are worth climbing. The normal route is not very demanding and isn't climbed very often. The descent of the mountain is equipped with old pegs which you can use to rappel down. The traverse of the mountain (south pillar - normal route) gives mountaineers a perfect overview of the High Dauphiné Alps because one starts in the Glacier Noir valley and ends by descending on the glacier Blanc. This traverse is long and demanding but worth climbing for those who have enough experience.
Getting ThereNearest Villages are: L'Argentière-la-Bessée, Vallouise and Ailefroide. The Nearest city is Briancon.
By car: head to L'Argentière-la-Bessée and take the D994E road to Vallouise. Continue to Ailefroide and Pré de Madame Carle (1874m) where there is a large parking.
By Public Transport: the nearest train station is in L'Argentière-la-Bessée or in Briancon. From here you will have to take a bus to Pré de Madame Carle.
Starting point for the normal route and north side routes is the Refuge des Ecrins 3170 m. For the south pillar the most common starting point is Pré de Madame Carle or a bivouac near the moraine of the glacier Noir.
Summit of Barre Noire
Routes OverviewNormal route from the Refuge des Ecrins: PD, UIAA III. Follow the route towards the Dome des Neige and the Barre des Ecrins untill you can traverse to the Breche des Ecrins. Watch out for seracs and do not traverse too low. Climb West face/ridge to the summit in about three pitches. Pegs in place. This is also the normal route for the descent. Rappel down (three times) or climb down to the Breche (saddle) and traverse to the track of the Barre des Ecrins.
Barre Noire Couloir: AD+, 300 m, 50 - 60 degrees. A very popular ice face which ends at the Breche des Ecrins. Some climbers do not climb the Barre Noire but continue towards the Barre des Ecrins. Starting point: Refuge des Ecrins (or Refuge Glacier Blanc).
South Pillar: TD, 650 m, UIAA VI+ (5.10a). A very nice rock climb with a long approach (3-4 hours from Pré de Madame Carle). The route is classic in the High Dauphiné Alps. The rock quality is not always very good and the route has some pegs. There is only one bolted belay which marks the traverse to the final wall. The difficulties graduatly increase near the summit with long parts of UIAA III-IV. The crux is a short slab UIAA VI+. The pillar takes about 6 hours in average. Descent along the normal route towards the Ecrins hut. So you have to take all your gear with you.
Barre Noire South Pillar
Guidebooks, Maps and HutsGuidebooks:
- Guide du Haut-Dauphiné, tome 2 - GHM, François Labande - 2007
- Le Massif des Écrins - Les 100 plus belles - Gaston Rébuffat - 1974
- Oisans Nouveau Oisans sauvage - Livre Est - Jean-Michel Cambon - 2011
- IGN 3436ET Meije - Pelvoux - Parc national des Écrins - 1:25000
- Refuge des Ecrins (CAF), 3172 m, Phone: +33 (0)4 92 23 46 66, Homepage:www.refuge-ecrins.com
- Refuge glacier Blanc (CAF), 2550 m, Phone: +33 (0)4 92 23 50 24, Homepage:www.refuge-glacier-blanc.com
External LinksMeteofrance Mountain - Avalance Bulletin
Weather Forecast - Detailed weather forecast by Meteofrance
Railroad information - Railroad schedule SNCF
Guides of the Ecrins - Guides in the High Dauphine Group
Jean Michel Cambon - Author of the guidebook 'Oisans Nouveau Oisans Sauvage
Ailefroide - Tourist Office Ailefroide. Ailefroide is the nearest village with a large campsite and a few small stores