Mynydd 2018 summer alpine meet (the Ecrins)
Dates:- 14th July to 11th August
Attendees – add your arrival and departure dates in the table here.
The venue: Ailefroide campground; at approx 1500m and situated virtually at the end of the Gyronde valley when approaching from Briancon and Argentiere la Bessee (and about 40km from Briancon).
Travel/ access– while the majority will no doubt drive, its possible to fly to Turin and complete the journey by bus or hire car, or alternatively by eurostar/tgv to Briancon, it would help save the planet if folk try to car share where possible (you did come to Kevin Anderson’s lecture recently, didn’t you?)
The camping is very relaxed and informal, quite rustic and spread over a large area with options of ‘open meadow’ or shady forest locations with the village just a short walk away with cafes, eateries & gear shops. It’s well suited to both tents and campervans and there’s no need to book. Prices are very reasonable at €7 per person
Valley climbing:– lots of valley climbing accessible on foot – some of it easily visible from the campsite for those preferring armchair entertainment
Alpine climbing– nothing like the same range of high & low altitude rock as Chamonix but the heart of the range, including the Barre
des Ecrins is easily accessible from the large parking area just 5km up the valley at Pre de mme carle also accessible by regular bus from the village), alternatively you could drive (or bus) round to La Berade- the western portal to the range and location of lots of sport crags the attractive Aiguille Dibona and access to the Meje, Pic Sans Nom & Sialouze.
Other stuff to do:
Local via ferratas – there’s some a short distance down the valley, and there’s even a 680m long one at Croix de toulouse just outside Briancon!
Explore the local attractive villages; Vallouise has a weekly thursday market (plus atm)
Hut walks & trekking;- glacier blanc hut,refuge du pre de la chaumette & gr54, refuge des bans, see kev reynolds guide; ‘100 hut walks in the alps’ or try searching; http://rando.ecrins-parcnational.fr/en/ for more ideas
Cycling– head down to Briancon to pick up the rn91 over the Col du Lauteret with access to all those infamous sick ascents;- l’ Alpes ‘d Huez, Deux Alpes, Col du Galibier etc.
Mountain biking- is banned within the Ecrins national park but there’s lots of options down near Briancon, see this vid; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzelvulmhfo including the Sere Chevalier bike park with lots of mechanical uplift and routes to suit all grades
Alpine club guide- the Ecrins Massif; John Brailsford, published 2002; isbn10: 0900523638/ isbn13: 9780900523632; definitive guide for alpine routes to whole range
Walking guides- ‘70 walking routes in the Ecrins national park’ (cicerone) by Kev Reynolds
Maps; best overall map for alpine approaches/ trekking;-ign carte de randonnees parc national des ecrins (1;50,000); covers whole range on one sheet.
There are some more route recommendations from the UKC forums in a folder here.