/ Ecrins or Cogne for ice climbing ?

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tinkadventures on 11 Aug 2017
I'm organising a club trip in February for ice climbing for around 10 people. We all have ice climbing experience though some much more than others. Many of the members have been to Rjukan numerous times so I'm looking at other venues.

We'd be after an area with a mix of easier WI3's multi or single pitch, and harder WI5 multi pitch routes for the more experienced members.
I'm currently looking at the Ecrins and Cogne, and would appreciate suggestions.
smithaldo - on 12 Aug 2017
In reply to tinkadventures:
My two penneth...The ecrins are much more spread out as there are multiple venues but long drives between. If you go somewhere for a week you would likely need to drive round quite a bit as there isn't really one venue with loads to go at across all grades.

The routes are good though. Celiac, fressiniers, la grave are all good.

I think though that cogne is a lot better for this type Of trip if you haven't been to either area as it's basically two valleys that you walk down as far as you want and pick a line that you want to do.

Also nowadays I would imagine conditions are more reliable in cogne over a wide range of route grades.

The accommodation is good in cogne. We went with a club and there were some bi apartments. Can't remember the name though.

If you've only climbed in rjukan the grades will bruise your ego somewhat in both areas!
tinkadventures on 13 Aug 2017
In reply to smithaldo:
:D thanks for that! I'll have a proper look at Cogne then and factor in bruised egos!
tonyaitch - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to tinkadventures:

Went to all 3 - Cogne (3rd trip), La Grave, (10th) and Ceillac/Fournel (1st) in Jan this year and Ceillac/Fournel definitely had the best conditions. Cogne was particularly poor. There had been little snowfall, so the snowmelt routes weren't well formed and Cogne hasn't got many natural water course routes. We found more in Ceillac and in Fournel which gave good (and much less busy) climbing.
beardy mike - on 19 Sep 2017
kevin stephens - on 19 Sep 2017
In reply to tinkadventures:

Cogne would tick all your boxes bur conditions can't be guaranteed anywhere. Early or late Feb? Late feb can be too late for Cogne; higher sun angle = melting ice and thin or less safe conditions. I've not been to Ecrin so can't comment on it

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