The Roche Faurio is a beautiful mountain in the Dauphiné Alps between Barre des Écrins and La Meije. It is a good mountain to acclimate before you climb the Barre des Écrins. As many people just climb the Dome de Neige normally there is less traffic on Roche Faurio.
From the North you drive by car via Turino or the Col du Galibier from France to Briancon, then to L´Argentière. From L´Argentière you drive to Ailefroide. Alway continue driving the road. It seems that you drive to the end of the world. The road is small and steep and of bad quality. There is a big parking place at Refuge Cezanne (end of road), altitude 1.874 meters.
By train you get to Argentière and continue by bus to Ailefroide.
From Refuge Cezanne you have to descend 4 hours to the Écrins hut. 3 1/2 hours is a "normal" rocky trail. First you pass the further Refuge Tuckett (2.300 m) and then the Refuge de Glacier Blanc at 2.542 m. The last half hour you have to descend on the glacier (less crevasses) to Refuge des Écrins (3.175 m).
Route Description from Hut to the secondary summit
You start at Refuge des Écrins (3.175 m). You have to climb down some rocks to the Glacier Blanc (3.125 m). Then you follow the track on the Glacier Blanc to South-West. At the beginning it´s the same route to reach Roche Faurio and Barre des Écrins. At 3.300 m after passing same rocks on the right side you have to pass the track to Barre des Écrins and descend on the right side the South-east flank of Roche Faurio. You have several possibilities to descend. But be careful of some big crevasses! You descend the Brèche de Tombe Murée (if you descend directly you climb snow / ice of 50°). Then you reach the secondary summit at 3.619 m.
Route description from secondary summit to the main summit
Most people doesn´t continue climbing to the main summit. It is a exposed ridge, sometimes only 50 cm wide. First you have to climb in the south flank (difficult when the rocks are icy because at the first part there are less possibilities to secure). Then you reach the ridge and you have a pleasurably climbing on the ridge up to the summit. On the ridge there are good possibilities to secure. If there is traffic on the ridge it´s difficult to pass as the ridge is very narrow. When it´s icy or if there is snow on the ridge it is much more difficult to climb. When we climbed it in July the ridge was completely iced and we were the only one who reached the top. So take care of the conditions. Time to climb with normal conditions: 3 1/2 hours from Refuge des Écrins.
View out of the route
You have a great view to Barre des Écrins and to Dome de Neige. You see the complete way you have to go. Also impressive is the Pelvoux in the South. Also La Meije is next to Roche Faurio in the North and you have a great view on it. Far away you see Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso.