South ridge of the Petit Pelvoux is a fun outing, graded D just like the nearby Sialouze traverse but quite a bit more 'alpine' in setting and feeling. Descent by Violettes Glacier is pretty but very long.
Pointe Puiseux via Couloir Coolidge. Good conditions, few people.
This was the best trip I made the past summer. The weather was splendid, the food at the hut was superb and we met some really nice Austrian people on the way down. And the scenery is realy one of a kind.
The climb itself is great. First up the Coolidge couloir and down the Violettes glacier. On the way down you have to take care of a couple of abseils in loose rock with other parties above and below.
We went up via the Coolidge Couloir and down the Violettes Glacier, a long and tiring but technically easy trip.
beautiful ascent, but very very long descent with a lot of rappels
From Pelvoux Hu; Descent from Violettes glacier.
One of my first proper climbs. Had a great time and so I repeated it a few years later.
Difficulty : PD
We started at 4am. We went along easy rocks first, then walked up to the botton of Couloir Coolidge. The snow was in good condition, it was then easy to climb up the long slope.
We ended on the ridge that led us to the summit.
Beautiful 360° landscape. Big bright sun.
The way down is even more beautiful as you go across the Glacier des Violettes. Unfortunately, one of us broke her ankle, jumping above a crevasse. After the helicopter picked up her, a very long descent was ahead of us (be careful not to get lot, the path is not always obvious or marked by cairns).
We ended in Ailefroide at 8pm.
Long but amazing day.
A great experience in one of the greatest alpine area of France : Les Ecrins
Mont Pelvoux is a mountain with four summits. Between the highest two, Pointe Puiseux en Pointe Durand there is a saddle. It provides just enough flat space for two or three small tents. It is in the centre of a fantastic high mountain atmosphere at an altitude of about 3900m, just below both summits.
The bad thing is that the place is terribly exposed. The wind can be incredible strong, as we found out as soon as the thunderstorm hit. It was like a freight train rolling over the bivouac. We survived
The Mettrier Couloir- A superb AD route to the summit, avoiding the crowds on the coolidge couloir. Would not like to do it late season though.
We were only 4 the previous evening, in that Pelvoux hut, where only the winter rooms were opened. Started at 4 am, back to hut at 9.45. Excellent conditions, the mountain was excessively dry for the period that year : good and quick ascent along Coolidge couloir, covered glacier on the final ice cap. Back along the same way. Then a nice lazy afternoon, reading, taking pictures and playing with hungry marmots...Decided to spend another night in that now deserted hut.