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The Perfect Spot to Reach for the Sky

Posted on July 18 2013

The Ecrins Sport Climbing Area – The Perfect Spot to Reach for the Sky

You are clinging to the edge of a steep mountain, the wind rushing through your hair and the sound of bird calls in the distance. You can hear the rushing sound of waterfalls below and you can feel the sunshine on your face. You grip the craggy rock face tightly, take a deep breath of thin alpine air and pull your body up, shifting your weight and strategically finding footholds in the rock. One hand reaches high above your head, searching for a place to hold on, reaching for that stunning blue sky.

The Ecrins Sport Climbing Area within the Ecrins National Park in the Hautes Alpes Region is a popular destination for climbers from all over the world, as it offers many great opportunities for exciting rock climbing and mountaineering opportunities. This region includes a number of famous summits including Mont Pelvoux, La Meije, or La Barre des Ecrins and it is probably the second most popular alpine destination in Europe for British mountaineers. You will find many beautiful routes here of all levels that will be challenging and rewarding, with absolutely breathtaking views at the top. Climbing in this place is an unforgettable adventure that will fill you with adrenaline and excitement.

About the Area

Ecrins National Park is one of the ten French National Parks and it can be found within the South-Eastern part of France. It is a gorgeous part of the world with high mountain areas, glacier fields, sweeping valleys, alpine pastures and subalpine lakes and woodlands. This area attracts up to 800,000 tourists per year.

The mountains of the Massif des Ecrins form the core of the Ecrins National Park area in France. Here you will find many beautiful climbs within this magnificent mountain range. There is one main 4,000m peak within the Ecrins Range and many other classic routes. The summit with the most possibilities is La Meije, which has a huge south face with more than 20 pitches of bolted 6b higher than 3,500m. It also has a long classic ridge traverse and many beautiful frozen waterfalls at the bottom during the winter. There are also two stunning glaciers coming down the Barre des Ecrins, Glacier Noir and Soleil Glacier.

This beautiful area of unspoilt nature features no lifts, fewer crowds than most other alpine areas and some superb rock climbs on peaks that are very peaceful and quiet. You might have to walk in a long way it is certainly worth it for the wonderful solitude.

The Barre des Ecrins

The Barre des Ecrins is the most southerly 4,000m peak in Europe and it is very easy to recognise. It is the highest peak in the region and it offers some superb climbing opportunities. This beautiful mountain overlooks the divide between the valleys of the rivers Isere and Durance, which passes through 250 metres to the west of the mountain’s summit, along the ridge which leads to the summit of the neighbouring Dome des Ecrins.

This stunning mountain was first climbed on the 25th of June in 1864 by Edward Whymper, A.W. Moore and Horace Walker, along with their guides Christian Almer the elder, Christian Almer the younger and Michel Croz. The ascent of the Barre is challenging due to the quality of the rock on the mountain, as the risk of stones falling can be quite significant. This mountain ascent is very exciting and challenging and has a lot to offer for the climber.  

Our Southern Alps Independent Climbing Trip

We offer a special independent climbing trip which will give you a chance to climb your own routes and have your own adventures without being tied to the group or waiting for the instructors. If you are an experienced climber who is competent enough to climb routes without guidance, you will be able to make your own way and find a route that interests and challenges you. We will take care of every other aspect of the trip, from picking you up at the airport, providing you with accommodation and much more.

Our guides have the local knowledge so that they can advise you on the routes that will be in good condition and will be free of other climbers. They will also be able to offer you handy tips such as what type of gear you will be likely to need.

If you are an experienced climber and you want to enjoy an adventurous trip, contact us today.

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