/ Ecrins ice conditions

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Simon4 - on 23 Feb 2012
In case anyone is in that area or thinking of going there.

Conditions at Bourg d'Oisans are currently very good, with morning temperatures as low as -11.5. The ice routes up to the Villard Notre Damme road from the road out of Bourg are in good nick, the sun is only on them for a short period, so objective danger is quite low. The best, or certainly the most straightforward, descent is to walk down the Villard Notre Damme road as many belay points are not equipped, so you would need several Abolokovs for an abseil descent.

Villard Reymond also in very good nick, as it is in a sheltered valley it only briefly catches the sun. Apart from the 2 obvious routes, we spotted one level with the first major zigzag on the approach road.

I don't know what areas like La Grave or the Vallon du Diable are like personally, but by analogy at least the North facing sides should be in good nick.

The cold, clear nights, with low morning temperatures is forecast to last for some days yet, then still sunny and clear, but significantly warmer temperatures, though probably still overnight freezes in the mountains. Best to get to the routes quickly before the warming comes in in the next few days though.

Ski-touring - still a lot of cover, but the daytime sun is doing a lot of damage, both to the cover and the condition of the snow. Quite an early start now needed to minimise the "soup", esp if the slopes catch the sun.
fairweatherclimber - on 29 Feb 2012
In reply to Simon4:
Any update on Ecrin conditions? Thinking about going in a week...

Slarti B on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to fairweatherclimber:
Im off there tomorrow for a long weekend. Sounds like it is getting pretty warm for next few days but forecast to get colder Monday onwards.

Will try and post actual conditions when I am over there.
Bert - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to Slarti B: I've climbing in the Ecrin in the Summer before at Ailefroide, but where do you go to climb over there at this time of year. Is it rock, ice or mixed (any is fine for me). I'm thinking of heading out there towards the end of March (its the only time I have free) if the weathers good enough. Thanks
fairweatherclimber - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to Slarti B:

That would be very handy, thanks.


To Bert - I agree Ailefroide is wonderful in the summer.

I think it's an ice venue for most this time of year, although getting late in the season, hence my question. I've had two brilliant trips staying in Briancon in previous winters.

I guess you could in theory do ice in the ski resorts and rock in valley in one trip, but don't think my circulation is good enough...
Bert - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to fairweatherclimber: Thanks,i was a little worried it was getting a little late for the winter stuff, I'll keep looking, does anyone know if the snow will have cleared enough to get into Ailfroide in late March?
adrspach - on 01 Mar 2012
In reply to Simon4: We were there 2 weeks ago and Ice was best for last three years. We climbed in Celliac (was ok bussy), Fresinier (beutifull wit drive right to the end of valley) and Furnell (great with chains needed to get you to the end of road). Souther faces will be a bit thin by now but I would expect all shadow sides are still full of ice to play with.
Bert - on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to adrspach: Excellent, thanks for the info. I'll give it a try - what guidebook is best for that area
adrspach - on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to Bert: To be honest we forgot ours and just went for what we saw and liked. There were more than plenty of it of all grades. Also guidebook will not tell you present conditions. Hopefuly next year it will be the same.
Slarti B on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to Slarti B:
Climbed at Ceillac today (Friday). Practiced on first pitch of Form de chaos then did Y. Warm and sunny but ice in good condition on Y, though had to take care in a couple of places where water was going underneath. Forme du Chaos breaking up further up.

Other teams on Sombre Héros and couple of other climbs I don't know.
Not sure where we are going tomorrow but conditions forecast to be similar ot today. Meant to be getting colder Sunday onwards
Slarti B on 02 Mar 2012
In reply to Slarti B:
And we parked the car then walked up to climbs in less than 15 mins!
Why isn't Scotland like that...
fairweatherclimber - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to Slarti B:

Starting to sound more tempting. Have to see the duration and depth of this coming cold snap...
Slarti B on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to fairweatherclimber: I am on a trip with ice-fall based in argentiere la bessee. If you want to see how conditions develop next week look at their web site , ice-fall.com.
They are really nice guys as well, would highly recommend them
Off to Freissinieres tomorrow, should be colder than recently then much colder next week.
ads.ukclimbing.com
Simon4 - on 03 Mar 2012
In reply to Slarti B:

> Off to Freissinieres tomorrow, should be colder than recently then much colder next week.

Envious. Back in a soggy London myself tomorrow, was reading the meteo France forecast showing the renewed cold.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.