Ailefroide - Late September

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 swiftvince 03 Jun 2024

Hi all! 

I've only managed to find some old forum posts from decades ago regarding this topic, so wanted to see if anyone here had any recent information on this:

I'm planning a climbing trip down to Ailefroide (Open to better suggestions ) with my wife, my 15-month old daugther, and my mother for us to do a mix of bouldering, sport climbing, and long multi-pitch rock climbs whilst we juggle baby-care. 

I was planning to do it in the last week of September, but I am hesitating on what the weather conditions would be in the area at that time. We'd probably stay in Vallouise and drive around to the best places. 

Would love your thoughts and any better suggestions you may have for a place that would work with a family but have great, accessible climbing not far!

 martin09 03 Jun 2024
In reply to swiftvince:

Alternative could be Ariege,  rock in the valley and much higher up depending how the weather is. Plenty for family in the area.

 Mike-W-99 03 Jun 2024
In reply to martin09:

A 2nd shout for Ariege. It’d be perfect at that time of year. I’ve never had a duff trip there.

 Martin Haworth 03 Jun 2024
In reply to swiftvince:

I’ve stayed in Ailefroide in late September more than once and had great weather, quiet crags and beautiful views. Obviously weather can never be guaranteed but that aside, in my experience June and September are the best months there.

 TheGeneralist 03 Jun 2024
In reply to Martin Haworth:

I loved Ailefroide in September. The two German women I was with hated it as it was sooooo cold (apparently)

There's no way my missus would go there now with a 15 month old for very long in September.

Bear in mind that the shops, cafes and campsite facilities ( certainly some of them) will be closed by then. Or at least they closed whilst we were there in September 25 years ago!

 AndrewB121 03 Jun 2024
In reply to swiftvince:

I was there around that time last year (5-24 Sept). The weather was amazing for the first week and a half we were there, but was much more variable for the second half of our trip, with some lovely days and a few very wet/stormy days. However, overall it was very warm, even when wet. 

Also, it's worth considering that it will be very much the end of the season by then. We were originally staying in Ailefroide which was already closing down for the season when we arrived (and all the buses had stopped the day before we arrived). We then had to move down to Vallouise for the last week, where most things were still open. However, some outdoor/hire shops in Vallouise were beginning to pack up for the season, so may be closed by the last week of September. The main alpine huts such as Pre de Mme Carle, Les Bans, and Glacier Blanc that you might want to hike to were all open and still serving food/drinks. 

Everything felt very end-of-season, which was quite inconvenient for us as we didn't have a car, however, if you do have a car it could actually be quite nice. All the climbing and hiking was super quiet, we rarely saw other people on routes, except for the most popular sport climbs around Ailefroide. 

Post edited at 18:25
 heleno 03 Jun 2024
In reply to swiftvince:

If Ailefroide is too cold there are plenty of lower crags in the Haute Durance easily accessible from Vallouise. We regularly climb there until late October.

I agree that much of the tourist infrastructure closes out of season - it depends how important that is to you. 

 OP swiftvince 06 Jun 2024
In reply to swiftvince:

Thank you all for your replies!

 Kimberley 06 Jun 2024
In reply to swiftvince:

Ailefroide would be fine, Ariege is good but still too warm for me in Sept

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