Dauphine crossing

Barre des Ecrins: the southernmost 4,000-meter peak in the Alps


Meeting point in Villar d’Arene ( www.3frenes.com )

We park the cars shortly after the village and hike for around 2.5 hours to the well-equipped Refuge Villar d’Arene (2,077 m).

Tuesday: Pic de Chamoissière 3,095m

Ascent to the 3,207 meter high Pic de Chamoissière in a crisp day hike. Descent back to the hut.

Wednesday: Pic de Neige Cordier

Comfortable start with an easy 2-hour tour. However, the last few meters of altitude to the Brèche de la Plate d’Agneaux are tough. Here the skis are strapped onto the rucksack. From the Brèche, you can ski up again to the 3,614 meter high Pic de Neige Cordier.

From the summit we have an ideal insight into Thursday’s route, before we set out on the rather short but rewarding descent down to the Refuge des Ecrins.

Thursday: Barre des Ecrins

With day luggage we climb the winter summit of the Barre des Ecrins at 4,015 meters above sea level. Here we stand on the southernmost and at the same time westernmost 4,000-meter peaks in the Alps. The ascent leads through a quite spectacular glacier, which also demands a lot from us when it comes to skiing.

We’ll all enjoy the afternoon on the beautiful sun terrace of the Refuge du Glacier Blanc hut for sure!

Friday: Col du Monetier – Monetier les Bains – Villar d’Arene

We start the day with a relatively short ascent to the Col du Monetier at 3,339 meters above sea level. Here we enjoy a last look back to the Barre des Ecrins and then tackle the very long and scenic descent down to Monetier les Bains (1,473 m).

We then take a taxi over the Col du Lautaret to Villar d’Arene and return to our accommodation.

Saturday: Tête Nord du Replat – Refuge du Chatélleret

We drive to La Grave with our cars and take the cable car to the Dome la Lauze at 3,568 meters above sea level. Another act follows, “Skiing à la Dauphiné”.

A steep descent towards Refuge de la Selle. Above the hut we strap on our skins and walk over the Glacier de la Selle to the Bréche du Tête Nord du Replat at 3,235 meters above sea level. At the end there is a wonderful steep descent down to the Refuge du Chatélleret (2,232 m).

Sunday: Col de la Casse Déserte (3,483 m) – La Grande Ruine (3,795 m) – Refuge Villar d’Arene – valley

A steep ascent over the Glacier de la Grande Ruine to the Col de la Casse Déserte (3,483 m). The panoramic view offered here is simply overwhelming. The subsequent descent leads us over huge slopes and finally through an imposing valley to the already known Refuge Villar d’Arene and back to the cars. Then we start the journey home.

Demanding ski crossing. Walking with crampons and ice ax and the ascent techniques with skis must be mastered. Safe driving on steep slopes (35-40 °) in all types of snow.

Ski tours in the Dauphiné area require good conditions. So the program is only to be understood as a guide.
Often the skis have to be carried up into the steep, narrow breaks on the rucksack or sometimes have to be abseiled briefly on the other side.

  • safe parallel skiing in all types of snow
  • Experience in walking with skins and mastering the hairpin
  • Surefootedness
  • Head for heights
  • Experience in using crampons and ice ax
  • Condition of approx. 7-10 hours

Cost per person:
Min. 3 PAX / max. 4 PAX€ 950
Plus own expenses and expenses of the mountain guide

Rental equipment available on request