Altitude 3943m a.s.l
View from the summit - Pelvoux © miketinnion
A massive mountain, with huge elevation gain from all sides. Also a distinct lack of huts, cablecars etc - this is adventure terrain, with long walk ins, loooong routes (often well over 1500m) and some dubious rock. Never to be underestimated.
There are lots of ways to approach. Either from Ailefroide, or the Pre de Mme Carle roadheads. The only hut is high on the flanks and is approached from Ailefroide. You can stay at Pre de Mme Carle but it doesn't gain you much. On the northern side, you can bivi above the glacier noir under some obvious boulders which leaves some walking to be done, or you can sleep below the face on the glacier. Or skip the bivi altogether meaning you don't need to take gear.
On the Southern side the walk to the hut is approx 2-3 hours and 1000m of ascent, leaving a good chunk of ascent for the morning. The huts OK, but nothing to write home about.
On the eastern side, there are ledges and paths from either Ailefroide or PdMC which allow access to the Neve Pellisier, which are more normally used for descent of the traverse, but which provide access to some of the big routes on this side, like couloir Chaud.
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