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Ecrins 4-day summer hike

This summer join Marc, UIMLA certified mountain leader, in the discovery of the most beautiful corners of the Ecrins massif during 4 days.

Mountain RangeAlps
Duration4 days
Offer periodJun, Jul, Aug
Type of tripNot specified

Description

I invite you in this occasion to a summer hiking trip in the beautiful Ecrins. I designed a 4-day itinerary to make you discover some of my favourite spots in the region.

We will be in a high mountain environment, in the Ecrins National Park. Some of the highlights of the itinerary include the Lavey valley with its unique flora, and the beautiful Fétoules lake. But there is much more than that! Check the daily itinerary below for more information. In addition, you will see that I offer different options so that you can choose the one you prefer.

The route includes some steep passages, therefore you have to be comfortable in this type of terrain and have experience. The trails are practically all on marked trail except on the third day.

Did you find this trip interesting? Then don’t hesitate to contact me for more information! I also organize other hiking trips in the Ecrins, check out this one.

Accommodation

- 2 nights in guarded refuges, in dormitories or common room (no shower) - 1 night in lodge with shower

More info

To carry: a backpack of around 8kg, including picnic and your belongings for 2 days (I will provide a list upon booking).

Meeting point

At the Bourg d'Oisans tourism office.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Pastoralism - Flora

Clot d’Outre parking (1584m) – Lavey refuge (1797 me)– Bèches lake (2417 m)
D +1000/-787m
Walking time: 5 hours

This first day will bring us to a high mountain environment without too much effort. Going towards the Lavey valley will allow us to get to know the Ecrins massif. Almost the whole route is in the National Park. A descent to the torrent, then a short steep climb takes us to the small Raja hamlet. Then we go up along the Lavey torrent, where we reach the moorlands with blueberries near the refuge. Peaks and glittering glaciers surround the refuge. We will see marmots and chamois. It’s a perfect overview of what Oisans is: a country of rock and ice. The climb to the Bèches Lake is a good opportunity to continue in the high mountain and appreciate a beautiful glacial lake. We spend the evening at the Lavey refuge with other hikers.

Day 2: The remains of the past in the wild Oisans

Option 1: Lavey refuge – Arias lodge, descending directly through the right bank, passing by Gassaudière.
D +494/-711m
Walking time: 5 hours

Option 2: Lavey refuge – Fétoules lake – Arias lodge
D +692/-832m

During this day we go by two hamlets now abandoned: the Soucher and the Gassaudière. It will also be a journey through the mountain to reach the tumultuous Vénéon torrent. The descent on the left bank of the Lavey valley is a jewel of beauty with unique flora. Marmots and chamois are often also present in this area. In the middle of the day we will be in the shade of the spruces to avoid the hot temperatures. We make a nice turn by the Gassaudière hamlet before beginning the descent for the Veneon. There will be a 1-hour climb to reach the Arias lodge at Clot d’Outre.

The option to go to the Fétoules lake will lead us higher (2240 m). The itinerary here is completely different. The small lake lies under the Tête des Fétoules, an emblematic summit of the area (3459 m). We will then go down on a little marked trail in a very wild area. It is an overhanging and open route offering, weather permitting, a unique view of the surrounding peaks and glaciers.

Note: If you have the appropriate level, there are other options available, but we have to be in good shape for the following day:
1) Ascent to the Rouies lake (D+ 925m from the refuge)
2) Going up the Lavey valley to reach a glacial lake formed above a moraine (D+ 700m)

Day 3: The mountain day

Bourg d’Arud (985 m) – Muzelle refuge (2115 m)
D +1200/-517m
Walking time: 7 hours

Today we go the most beautiful climb of the circuit. It’s demanding but the panorama of the peaks and surrounding massifs (Dôme of the Ecrins, Belledonne, Grandes Rousses) is outstanding. A village with fine examples of local architecture, a forest on steep slopes, steep passages, a beautiful aerial ridge and a view to the front rows on the imposing Muzelle glacier. These are the main elements encountered during this beautiful journey through the mountain floors. We will arrive at the Cime du Pied Barry before descending to the alpine pastures to reach the refuge and lake of Muzelle.

Day 4: Ice and fauna

Muzelle refuge (2115m) – Valley pass (2531m) – Le Plan du Lac (1185 m)
D +536/-1486m
Walking time: 5 hours

In the morning we go through a beautiful trail to the valley pass, from where we can see the Lauvitel lake 1000 meters below. We descend by the same route and continue down to the Muzelle refuge.

Note: we have other options for this day:
1) Descending straight to the refuge if we are tired from the day before (3:30hs)
2) Going up to the Muzelle pass (D +/-500 from the refuge)
3) From the valley pass going down to Danchère by Lauvitel (D -1500m) In this case we need a taxi.


About the guide

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For 15 years the Alps have been my playground. I am based at the doors of the Ecrins National Park close to Bourg d’Oisans where start the famous “Tour of Oisans”: wild trekking alongside glaciers and high summits.
I am qualified to supervise hiking and snowshoeing.
I’ve been dedicated to the mountain life since I was 12 years old. Currently, I am 48 and I practice with passion a lot of mountain activities: hiking, snowshoeing, mountain skiing, mountaineering and climbing.
I invite you to contact me if you want to discover the French, Swiss and Italian Alps, whether in summer or winter. It will be a pleasure for me to be your company in this adventure.


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