OverviewDôme de Neige des Ecrins is placed in the western Alps, in a range called Massif des Ecrins. It's a secondary summit of Barre des Ecrins but it's a very beautiful and easy to climb mountain for beginners or ski-mountaneers (in winter and spring mainly). The glacier hike is fantastic and the UIAA have just included it in its list of 4-thousanders, so it's a very worthy mountain to ascent. For reaching the top, firstly you should hike to Refuge du Glacier Blanc or Refuge des Ecrins and spend the night in one of both. When the mountain is busy, you can follow the trace in the snow to reach the summit. Once on Brèche Lory (3.974 m) you should choose to climb Barre des Ecrins (PD+, II max) or traversing NWwards to Dôme de Neige des Ecrins, it depends on your form and the risks that you want to assume. On the summit the views are great but not to the side of the Barre.
First ever climb
It was by both Pierre Gaspard, father and son, guiding Emmanuel Boileau de Castelnau on July 27th, 1877.
Getting ThereThe starting point for the normal route is Pré de Madame Carle (1.874 m). This is the end of the road in Commune de Pelvoux and is reachable by car or bus from the little mountain village of Ailefroide (1.503 m), 18 Km from l'Argentière-la-Bessée (979 m). To reach this point there're trains and buses from BrianÇon or Gap. Another option is to take a bus in Grenoble to l'Argenitière-la-Bessée via Briançon. By car, take the motorways to Grenoble, then highway N91 over Col du Lautaret. From Italy, motorway to Turin and then highway E13, passing Susa, Oulx, Col du Montgenèvre and Briançson, to l'Argentière-la-Bessée.
Another base of the mountain could be La Bérarde.
Red TapeDôme de Neige des Ecrins is part of Parc Nationale des Ecrins so you must hold you on the rules of the parc. See LINKS for more detailed information.
HutsREFUGE HOTEL CEZANNE (1.874 m)
It's a hotel located in the rocky field of Pré de Madame Carle, in the entrance of Vallouise's region, at 5 Km from Ailefroide. CAF, 20 places (10 in winter), opens from May to October, parking, tel. 04 92 20 16 52
REFUGE CEZANNE (1.874 m)
Located next to the hotel, 3 h from the mouth of Pelvoux' tunnel. CAF, no guard, 12 places, opens from early June to late September.
REFUGE DE GLACIAR BLANC (2.542 m)
Placed 2 h from Pré de Madame Carle, often less crowded than Refuge des Ecrins. CAF; 135 places (35 without guardian); opens 3 April-9 May, 16 May, Whitsun, 5 June-12 Septembre; tel. 04 92 23 50 24
REFUGE DES ECRINS (3.172 m)
Formerly know as Refuge Caron. Located on the rocky spur 70 m over Glacier Blanc at 2 h walk from Refuge de Glacier Blanc and 4 h 30' from Pré de Madame Carle. CAF, 120 places (35 without guardian), opens 1-31 May and 12 June-5 September 2004, tel. 04 92 23 46 66
REFUGE TEMPLE ECRINS (2.410 m)
Placed in the N bank of Vallon de la Pilatte torrent, on the SW of Barre de Ecrins, 2 h 30 min from La Bérarde. CAF; 64 places; opens on weekends, Whitsun, 5-6 June, 12 June-5 September and weekends of September; tel. 04 76 79 08 28
MapsMassif et Parc Nationale des Ecrins, Didier and Richard 1.50.000 sheet 6.
Meije / Pelvoux IGN 1:25.000 Top 25, sheet 3436 ET
La Grave et Cristophe en Oisans IGN 1:50.000.
La Vallousie news. In French.
Lots of info about the park.
Accomodations, meteo, photos, etc. In French.
Images, routes, coordinates and more information about the highest peaks of the Alps
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