Took the normal route after a bivy near the Ecrin hut.
Hard ice at the beginning of the glacier and above the bergshrund near the summit of Dome de Niege. The rocky ridge itself was a pure pleasure.
Great ridge climb. We had quite a few people up there so it took much longer than usual.
Climbed the normal route solo in 1 day up & down from the parking Pré de Madame Carle (1825m), including Dôme de Neige and Pic Lory.
Although we thoroughly informed for conditions on the NE Ridge, the gardien of the Refuge des Ecrins was still suprised we didn't bring a (second) technical ice axe for the first section on this route. He might as well told us to do that the day before on the phone. So we ended up climbing some 50° ice slopes with just a standard ice axe and 3 ice screws. A number of rope lengths of interesting mixed climbing led to the rocks on the NE Ridge. Rather quick and easy traverse to the Breche Lory.
Cold and windy conditions in the North Face. Limited problems due to loose rock in the lower part of the route. Once on the ridge everything is quite sound.
A pretty long walk over the glacier and through the seracs. The last stretch was very nice climbing on the exposed ridge. Was wonderful weather, very enjoyable climb.
The ridge is a fun climb; not too difficult but pleasantly exposed. Longer than it looks from below.
That ridge is a lot longer than I expected it to be.
After Dome de Neige I had no drive to continue to the icy and snowy Barre, but Sebastian forced a try.
First attempt: July 1980.
Went up to refuge des Ecrins after a period of very bad weather. North face covered with over 1 m of fresh snow. No tracks. It took us 5 hours to reach the great serac barrier, where the attempt was abondoned.
Succes in August 1981.
Left overcrowded refuge des Ecrins (Over 300 people for approx. 100 sleeps - reservations were optional at the time)around 3 a.m. Perfect conditions allowed to take the direct (Coolidge) route (steep!). Summit around 7,30 a.m. Outstanding views, as far as the Matterhorn.
Seems that I've nearly met Sebastian as we spend several days in Ailefroide.
Hut access was in rainy conditions so on the summit day we had fresh snow and only on other team aiming for the main peak. At noon the ridge was the only thing above the clouds, wonderful.
After a failed attempt on the Barre Noir couloir (I did not feel good)we wanted to try the Barre again. The Ecrins hut was fully booked so we went for the Glacier Blanc hut wich added 1,5 hours to the ascent. Decided to go up the normal route (fixed ladder across a crevace!) at first and then turn left under the summit rocks to join the east ridge.
East ridge is AD-, only the climbing to get onto the ridge is tricky, lots of lose rock. Once on the ridge the rock quality is ok. Down climbing the west ridge (PD+) was interesting and airy here and there. Once off the west ridge we also did the Dome des Neige since it is close by.
Then came the long long way down...
Woke up at 2.45 a.m. With Nikman from Refuge des Ecrins via the north flank to Dome de Neige and solo via the west-ridge to the main peak. West ridge with snow. Alone on the summit. Very nice climbing. On the descent I have met a friendly austrian couple. Big crevasse in the north flank with a fixed ladder (FUN!)
avec le Doud, Olivier et Ol
First saw this mountain in the flesh 15years ago and that started my fascination with mountains. We paid for 3 days of a guides time for a refresher and Neige Cordier beforehand. Wanted to climb straight up the north face above the rimaye. Girlfriend's knee gave in, and got worse and worse, to the point where it was turn back while it was still possible, made it to maybe 3,7 only. Absolutely heartbreaking but I'll be back again!
Climbed the north face with Valerio and Sabrina.
From refuge ecrins by ski to the Dome de Neige.
then back just at the footstep of the Bar, we claimbed by the coolidge direct colouir to the top.
Nice steeped not complicated way up.
Large scenario from the top.
then we came down from the same route without any trouble
Lovely two days
Another classic, from the Glacier Blanc hut, it was a long way!
Returned on 4000m.
In a very windy day from Refuge des Ecrins with Cesare,Attilio,Alfredo
After snowfalls the whole night we tried to climb the ridge from Dome de Neige. But the complete ridge was icy and when 2 persons were fallen, we decided to reverse.
Great mountain - I´ll come back - and then I win!!!