OverviewBarre des Ecrins is the culmination of the Ecrins National Park, and only one "4000" of the area together with the nearby Dome de Neige.
The itinerary for the two peaks is common to the Brèche Lory, which is the saddle that separates the two summits.
The top is usually climb in the summer for its west ridge, while in spring it is commonly climbed along the steep north wall (50°/55°), long more or less 150 meters.
The tour takes place between crevasses and seracs; is therefore necessary start the ascent very early (3-4 am).
The routeFirst day:
From "Pre de Madame Carle" 1874m (carpark placed at the end of the valley, above the village of Ailefroide), follow the not paved road that leads into the forest.
After a wooden bridge, take the indication to the "Glacier Blanc" hut along an easy path that rises for 400/500 meters.(covered of snow in early spring)
The trail ends over a rocky cliff that marks the beginning of the valley of the Glacier Blanc.
From this point move on the right side of the valley where a steep gully leading to the refuge "Glacier Blanc".
Follow the right side of the glacier, and continue on flat slope untill arrive at the base of a rocky spur that hosts the refuge des Ecrins (3170m).
Start very soon (3/4am). Once down from the spur, continue on the flat glacier on a right-left circle direction pointing the base of the north side of the mountain.
From here the slope rises suddenly, and with continual carves between serracs and crevasses, reach the base of the north wall (crevasses terminal care, ski depot).
From here the ascent on snow does not have an exact path, but remains more or less under the direction of the summit among various rocks outcropping with a continuous gradient of 50°/55°.
Downhill, you can fall for the same itinerary but it is not advisable because quite busy. Good skiers can descent skiing.
Or is possible follow the west ridge to the Brèche Lory (II+).