Barre des Ecrins - 4102m

Barre des Ecrins - 4102m

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 44.92172°N / 6.36025°E
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 23, 2014
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Summer

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 :-)



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Viewing: 1-3 of 3

markhallam - Feb 28, 2015 8:09 am - Voted 10/10

Thanks - another good one...

I enjoyed your Dibona escapades and this is another very enjoyable video clip. Congratulations on making the Dome de Neige - not bad considering time you had to acclimatise.
Your Dibona clip had actually inspired me towards trying to take one of my sons up her in June/July, but funnily enough the other choice was the Barre! However, with other members in the party (including my 18 month old granddaughter) I think Dibona will be the more realistic choice given limited time available for the two of us to take a quick trip (and noting how ill you were with your short window of opportunity!). The Barre will have to wait for another year - but it is on the list, as is Dome de Neige!
BTW - still on the subject of Dibona - have you seen this: ?

best wishes

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle - Feb 28, 2015 1:57 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Thanks - another good one...

Heya Mark and many thanks for taking the time to reply again mate! Yep we had only been in the area for 3 days and had a short weather window so took a punt to see how far we could get. The views from the Dome and the amazing brocken spectre were ample compensation for not making the Barre, though my mates who did make the summit are definitely aliens... ;-)
Anyway good luck with your Dibona trip and fingers crossed the weather in the Alps is better for us all this summer! :-) Cheers Dave

Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle - Mar 1, 2015 2:49 am - Hasn't voted

Re: Thanks - another good one...

I forgot to mention I had seen the wingsuit video crazy stuff! I bet those 2 guys drank Carling Black Label... ;-) Cheers Dave

Viewing: 1-3 of 3



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