Mont Pelvoux

Les Ecrins

I was cleaning up my photo files, and came across these photos from a trip in September 2012 to Les Ecrins, the southernmost part of the French alps, about 100 km south of Grenoble. There are a number of peaks over 4000m but our objective was to climb Mont Pelvoux, just below 4000m at 3946 m (12,946 ft). Bad weather in the Swiss Alps had led us to flee southwards looking for better weather. There was heavy rain all the way to Briancon, so we stayed down in the valley for the first night rather than climb to Refuge de Pelvoux in the rain. But that meant a big day the next day with a 2700 m climb to Pelvoux. We left at 3.30 am, amd climbed the 1200 m to Refuge de Pelvoux in about 3 hours, arriving just as the sun was rising.

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A slight detour to climb a small rocky peak

A slight detour to climb a small rocky peak

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Looking across the Glacier Noir to Les Barres des Ecrins (4102m).

Checking the conditions ahead

Checking the conditions ahead

Reaching the Col

Heading up towards the Col du Pelvoux.

There was lots of fresh snow on the Col from the previous day, and by this stage after 2500 m climbing, I was slowing down on the steep rock and snow. So we made a decision to turn back 200m below the summit.

Yannick descending some steep rock

Yannick descending some steep rock

 

The track heading down from the Refuge. Seemed a lot further in the sunlight, than it had when we came up in the dark with headlamps.

The track heading down from the Refuge. Seemed a lot further in the sunlight, than it had when we came up in the dark with headlamps.

One litre of water and couple of Red bulls was not enough fluid for 13 hours of climbing. Needed several beers to rehydrate

One litre of water and couple of Red bulls was not enough fluid for 13 hours of climbing. Needed several beers to rehydrate

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