/ Ecrins in late September?

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StuartCJones - on 06 Aug 2012
Any experience?
What are the conditions generally like?
Wanna come?
David Rose - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones: It can be quite dodgy. I have been there twice in late September. The first time, managed to do a few routes, then got stormed off the Meije south face around Sept 25. (No, this wasn't forecast.) After a terrible bivvy, we fought our way leftward along a ledge system to the bottom of the Carre hanging glacier, then down the normal route to the Promontoire hut. Woke up next morning to about 70 cm of snow there and it was still snowing. Sbow, then torrential rain, all the way down to La Berarde, where we were warned we should get the hell out asap lest the road be closed by a landlslide. Went back a year or two later. It had been a lousy early September and only the big valley rock routes were in nick. Tried the Pic Nord des Cavales north ridge (normally a D rock arete). Gave up after struggling up a couple of hundred metres through waist deep powder.

Then again, you might be lucky. But just as in the rest of the Alps, September snow will not usually melt.
Martin Haworth on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones: If your planning to do multi-pitch alpine and valley rock routes I'd say September is a great time to go. The snow line tends to be high and the weather is more often than not settled without being unbearably hot. I've been out in September last two years and had a fantastic time. Will be out again this year around 3rd week in September in Ailefroide.
Weather is always a lottery but Ecrins is generally better than other Alpine areas, and September is as good as the summer(better in my experience).
kheegan - on 06 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones:

Late September is gonna have dodgy weather. No chance of making it late August/early Sept?
StuartCJones - on 06 Aug 2012
Unfortunately not, I've been trying to sort out my leave from work today and the best I can get is the last week in Sept and then a week in November. I have no idea what to do!?!
David Rose - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones: The eastern Alps may be better in late September. Often it can be good in the Dolomites or Bregaglia. I would book a flight to Milan, from where you can go anywhere, and arrange to rent a car. Then follow the best weather. The Gran Sasso is a possibility if the Alps are poor, and it has big rock routes. Alternatively, the Picos de Europa in northern Spain is a great area and often settled in late September and October.

As for November: Chamonix ice routes might be in good nick. Or they might not. Again, leave the decision as late as you can. You might be better off considering "sun rock" alternatives such as the Calanques, Provence or southern Spain.
StuartCJones - on 07 Aug 2012
In reply to davidoldfart:
Very helpful. Thanks a lot pal.
Ronan O Keeffe on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones:

I'm assuming that Oct is even more of a lottery in terms of conditions but I was hoping to get out there for a sneaky week. Has anyone any input or alternatives for that time?

Hope you don't mind me posting in this thread Stuart, having two in the one forum for a time span a few weeks apart didn't make sense.
R.
adnix - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones:

Last October I had fairly succesful trips to Dolomites (Milan+car) and Riglos (Barcelona+car). This October I've booked a trip to Wadi Rum which is not much more expensive. The flights were only 150 euros more than I regularly pay for the Alps.
jon on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to adnix:
> (In reply to StuartCJones)
>
> This October I've booked a trip to Wadi Rum which is not much more expensive. The flights were only 150 euros more than I regularly pay for the Alps.

How much did you pay, and from where to where?

David Rose - on 08 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones: October can be very calm and settled in the western Alps, with very good conditions on mixed and ice routes. More reliable than late September recently, I think, though colder and shorter days. It's a time when you often see ascents of routes such as the Eigerwand, the Colton-McIntyre, the Grand Pilier de l'Angle N face, etc.
adnix - on 09 Aug 2012
In reply to jon:

From Helsinki to Amman via Istanbul and Turkish Airlines was about 380 euros when we booked it two months ago.

Never been there yet but I've undstood the taxi from Amman to Wadi Rum is about 100/party. Depending on the number of persons it's something in between 20-50/person
alasdair19 on 10 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones: don't expect to buy much in ailefroide of its really late Sept. We had 7 days of blue skye in a deserted village no mountain due to injury but v good bolt clipping.

Get in touch if u fancy late Nov euro ice or Scot
tistimetogo on 12 Aug 2012
In reply to StuartCJones:

Had a good experience in La Berade from early to mid sept. Would even dare to say this period can be the best time to visit. Can give some of the most stable weather but with the downside of being late in season.

Would love to go but already had an early trip this summer.

But yeah, stock up on food; note that berade valley completly closes come winter.

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