/ Destination for a week-long group trip in summer
Sounds just like the Ecrin.
I should also have said, the group will be of mixed ability (that is, the gamut of abilities from beginner to mid-grade bumbly, no rock or ice gods/godesses here)
> I should also have said, the group will be of mixed ability (that is, the gamut of abilities from beginner to mid-grade bumbly, no rock or ice gods/godesses here)
Yes, the Ecrins is the place to go for a group holiday. There are plenty of apartments to rent in Vallouise, hostel (gite) accommodation in Valouise or Ailefroide, or a campsite in Ailefroide. Oodles of VF, trad, and sport climbing within a short drive, as well as great walking, cycling, rafting, and should you be so inclined, alpine climbing. The scenery is superb and the climate very nice (I have spent two separate weeks there - in June/July - and not had any rain at all). It can be a bit awkward to get to by air in the summer - Turin is the best airport, but as far as I know there are only flights from London. Email me if you would like more information.
We did two weeks without stepping on a glacier although theres plenty of that kind of stuff if you want obviously.
Flew into geneva and drove down. Stayed in Puy St Vincent although would probably pay a bit more and stay down in the valley next time.
There are various guidebooks available locally, mostly in French I think, but the latest edition of this one: "Escalade en Brianconnais, Haut Val Durance, Queyras" (Yann Martine & Jean-Jacques Rolland) has text in both French and English. It covers the main sport crags in the area and costs about 30 euros. Available from sports shops in the valley (which also rent VF gear in case any of your party need it).
Only in French, I'm afraid, but there's some good information about the via ferrata routes here:
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