There and back again

Adventures of Norbert

A traverse of the Massif d'Ecrin, Dauphine

The Massif d'Ecrin, Dauphine, is very popular in summer, but in winter it provides challenging ski touring in solitary surroundings. As preparation for the mountain guide exam we made a one week trip through this area.

In winter the huts are not wardened and one has to bring everything, sleeping bag, stove, gas, food. The first day we walked in from the parking lot to the hut Refuge de l'Alpe de Villar-d'Arene, a nice hut with water near by, which remain our base for the next two nights.

The first real day, Day 2, we climbed the Montagne des Agneaux. Unfortunately due to some inconveniences I had to turn back before the top.

The next day we packed all our stuff and made a long traverse to the Refuge du Glacier Blanc, which included rappels and climbing. Great views from the hut to the Pic Lory/Massif des Ecrins.

Due to the deteriorating weather we decided to break out into the valley to Le Monetier-les-Bains. After a night in the valley, sure enough with good wine and food, we drove in the wild D530 (which often closes due to avalanches, so there was the real danger that we got stuck there) and after some hours of walking reached the Refuge de Chatteleret.

The last touring day we climbed to the Tete nord du Replat and returned to the hut, and on the following day back to the car and home.

A great and challenging trip, thanks to all.

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