/ Barre des Ecrins

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Babika - on 14 Jul 2017
I'm going to Vallouise last week of September for a bit of a break, never been before.

I was thinking of some general climbing, via ferrata etc but wondered about the Barre des Ecrins. Not a lot of info on UKC, unfortuantley it seems to be quite popular to turn back near the summit due to poor conditions, rock etc

Any advice available? Is late September probably too late for a successful ascent?
Doug on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Babika:

Don't know about current conditions but its very common to climb the Dome des Ecrins (still a 4000m summit) rather than the Barre itself which from memory is 'just' a snow plod zigzagging through the crevasses. When I climbed the Barre (August many years ago) from the col below the two summits it was steep snow up to the ridge, then easy scrambling along a rocky ridge with the odd snowy patch. I wore crampons but many others were putting them on/off at frequent intervals (& were very slow as a result).
Martin Haworth on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Babika:
Depending how late you are in September the refuge des Ecrins may not be open but there is a winter room. It's a high peak to do late September but with decent weather should be fine. The rock is OK on the ridge, if there is fresh snow it will be harder. The Voie normal is a glaciated north face until you get to the col where you join the ridge, so crevasses can be an issue late season.
Tim Sparrow on 15 Jul 2017
In reply to Babika:
It's not a snow slope to the ridge anymore unless you head up before the col. A section of step scrambling up left puts you onto the ridge ( or a harder entrance via a steep wall plus fixed rope direct from the col). The ridge is reasonable scrambling with one steeper section. Quite crowded when I did it last August which provided some entertaining overtaking opportunities.
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Babika - on 17 Jul 2017
In reply to Babika:

Thanks - all very helpful comments.

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