150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Barre des Ecrins by Whymper.

 

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2014 marks the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Barre des Ecrins.

2014 backwards is the elevation of the Barre des Ecrins : 4102 m!

 

000970PM-2 - portrait, 1864

Edward Whymper

 

The first ascent of the Barre des Ecrins was made by a multinational party of three British climbers, Edward Whymper, Horace Walker and Adolphus Warburton Moore, with the Swiss guide, Christian Almer, and the guide from Chamonix, Michel Croz.

 

During this remarkable first ascent, the party traversed a good part of the Massif des Ecrins. The mountaineers set off from La Grave on 23 June 1864, crossed the Brèche de la Meije, (another first), then descended to La Bérarde for the night. The next day they climbed up to bivouac upon the glacier de Bonne Pierre.

 

25 June 1864 was “a day full of memorable events” (quote Whymper); they crossed the Col des Ecrins, and thanks to the perseverance of the guides who cut many steps in the ice with an axe, they eventually reached the summit of the « Pointe des Ecrins” before descending to the Valley of Vallouise.

 

 

The spirit of the project

 

This anniversary is the perfect occasion to showcase the Massif des Ecrins. All those involved in the project are working closely together to plan a great programme of activities and events.

 

You can share some pretty incredible and intense experiences in the mountains. Mountaineering is an activity that develops the values of solidarity, sharing and self-control; it teaches you to push your limits and make decisions. Mountain climbing enhances your self-confidence and forces you to be humble. Mountains make you step out of your comfort zone, give you a sense of freedom and are a remedy against the humdrum existence of everyday life!

 

The Ecrins may have an interesting past but they also have a bright future, with many different projects for young people on the agenda.

 

The Ecrins mountain range has changed over the last 150 years, and therefore, this anniversary is the ideal opportunity to highlight the richness and fragility of the natural environment. For example, in the last 40 years over a third of the surface area of the glaciers in the mountain range has disappeared because of global warming.

 

 

 

« Les Ecrins »

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The wildest and one of the largest glaciated mountain ranges in the Alps, the massif des Ecrins has lavender bushes at its feet and its head in the glaciers!

 

A wild paradise created for the joy of man and beast” according to Gaston Rébuffat, and indeed, for all mountain guides and mountaineers, the Ecrins is an ideal outdoor playground with no equal!

 

With 11000 hectares (27181 acres) of glaciers, the Ecrins mountains are an impressive reservoir of ice with exceptional geological wealth and an abundance of wild fauna and flora. The Ecrins National Park was created in 1973 to protect this preserved environment, designated a “European High Mountain Park” by the Council of Europe.

 

There are 150 summits over 3000 metres high in the park , and 50 over 3500 metres. The Barre des Ecrins is the highest point at 4102 metres above sea level, followed by other famous summits such as the Meije, Pelvoux, Ailefroide, the Bans and Olan.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the Mountain guides

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The first “Compagnie des Guides” in the area was founded by the “Société des Touristes du Dauphiné” in 1875. The “Oisans-Ecrins Compagnie des Guides” (www.guidesdemontagne.com) was created in its present form in 1950. It is the Project manager for the occasion, with the support and help of the Comité départemental du Tourisme des Hautes-Alpes (Hautes Alpes Regional Tourist Board), the Ecrins National Park and the Oisans Tourist Office.

 

 

 

The Events

 

The anniversary event will take place from 23-25 June 2014 and will recreate the route of the first ascent of the Barre des Ecrins.

 

23 June : set off from la Grave, night at la Bérarde.

 

24 June : climb to the Vallon de Bonne Pierre with special bivouac (also open to non-climbers).

 

25June : ascent of the Barre and descent to Vallouise for a festive evening.

 

One or several of the parties will take part dressed in period costume.

 

Parties will meet up from all the different valleys in the massif, namely Valgaudemar, the Valjouffrey, La Grave, Vallouise, and la Bérarde and finish the climb together.

 

Equally, a team will depart from Vallouise on 24 June, for a lively bivouac near the Glacier Blanc (also open to non-climbers), and the next day will join the group that left from Bonnepierre to finish the ascent together. These parties will be made up of guides, mountaineering enthusiasts, mountain rescue, members of the “Groupe Militaire de Haute Montagne”, young people and celebrities.

 

 

A party of mountain guides will make an attempt to scale the Barre from Valgaudemar, both climbing and paragliding.

 

Some of the celebrities who will take part in this festive and historic ascent are :

 

 

A party spanning three generations, made up of the mountain guide André Giraud, his daughter and grandson, will climb to the summit of the Ecrins, 63 years after his first ascent of the Barre with his father.

 

Lionel Daudet, a great mountaineer and author whose works include “Le Tour de France exactement”.

 

Catherine Destivelle – it is not a well-known fact but the famous climber and mountaineer knows the area like the back of her hand as she grew up climbing on many of the epic rock routes in the Ecrins!

 

Sylvain Tesson, travel writer and traveller, winner of the Prix Goncourt short story prize, and his friend Daniel Dulac, former world rock and ice-climbing champion will also be present!

 

 

To mark the occasion of this historic ascent, Christian Burger, the artist who sculpted the statue of Whymper at Argentière, will create a sculpture called “Envol” (flight). It will be carried up to the summit of the Barre piece by piece by climbers from the different parties leaving from all the valleys in the mountain range.

 

This significant event is another first in the Alps ! To date, the only works of art found on the mountain summits are religious symbols. All summer long the sculpture will stand beside the historic cross cast in aluminium in Argentière which was erected on the summit at the end of the 1940s. The sculpture will be brought back down to the valley at the end of the summer.

 

 

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Festivities with a Mountaineering theme all summer long:

 

 

18 June: evening launch of “150 years” in Grenoble, with film screenings and guest mountaineer speakers in the presence of officials.

 

 

from 19 to 22 June: reception for the mainstream press with an introduction to mountaineering.

 

 

from 30 April to 4 May: A team of ski mountaineers from the CAF (Club Alpin Français) will attempt to set the record for the ascent and descent of the Barre .

 

Throughout the summer, you will find a range of entertainment and activities, meetings and outings to commemorate the 150 years both down in the valleys and up in mountain refuges.

 

 

A photo exhibition depicting 150 years of mountaineering in the Ecrins will be shown in different venues, available in book form or panels for mountain refuges.

 

. • 10 July: following in the footsteps of Captain Durand who made the first ascent of Le Pelvoux in 1828 to measure its altitude, an expedition of expert surveyors will attempt the ascent of the Barre and the Dome des Ecrins to measure their exact elevations.

 

From 31 July to 2 August : the 13th Argentière la Bessée Book Festival will be dedicated to mountaineering.

 

• “La Saga des Ecrins”, written by François Labande (author, mountaineer and member of “Groupe de Haute Montagne”) will be published this spring by Éditions Guérin, (the author will also take part in the historic ascent).

 

The project also has a strong educational component with a programme of events planned for school children and through the Grenoble Youth Mission. Pupils and students from primary, secondary and high schools in the Hautes Alpes and Isère will take part at their own level, and some will climb the summits.

 

Many of the mountain refuges close on the weekend of 13 -14 September. There will be a festive and eco-friendly closing event open to all, including school groups, with cleaning and maintenance of the trails to the mountain huts, gatherings and debates to raise awareness about nature and the great outdoors. The following week will be dedicated to history and will end with heritage days on 20and 21September.

 

And lots, lots more! More events are being planned and there is widespread interest in the project!

 

Further information on: http://www.guidesdemontagne.com/150ans-de-la-barre-des-ecrins/

 

 

The whole mountain area will be rocking to celebrate the Ecrins in 2014!

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Escalades et alpinisme en Valgaudemar

 

[dailymotion
Le Sirac, voie normale, 1911-2011 par Dracetcourgettes nolink]

 

 

 

Escalades et alpinisme en Valgaudemar

Le Valgaudemar, parmi toutes les vallées qui pénètrent le massif des Ecrins, reste un endroit toujours un peu secret pour les grimpeurs, ici, comme «presque» partout dans le massif, avant de grimper il faut marcher. 2000m depuis la vallée jusqu’aux sommets c’est la norme, avec au milieu, mais pas de partout, les refuges. Nous restons donc loin des grands centres de l’alpinisme médiatique, mais depuis toujours, enfin depuis un siècle et demi d’alpinisme, après les pionniers «Coolidge, Pendlebury et autres Duhamel», chaque décennie a vu naitre des  itinéraires nouveaux, l’esprit de découverte, avec ses risques mais son absolue nécessité, reste ici vivace et c’est tant mieux!

Les alpinistes locaux de l’époque, la plupart du temps des guides au départ, mais ensuite des amateurs «éclairés», dont je voudrais citer les noms, ont été les «ouvreurs» de ces voies nouvelles. Marcel Vincent, Pierre Catelan, Guy Demenge, Bruno Vacheron, Bernard Botta, Norbert Vincent, Pierre Biju-Duval, Joël Vincent, Rolland Marie, Jean-Claude Armand, Jean-Michel Cambon, Rémy Karle… Ceux-là ont initiés l’ouverture de plusieurs itinéraires, mais bien d’autres ont inscrits aussi leurs marques, certains sont, malgré des recherches, restés anonymes, à tous merci d’être venus là, créer de nouvelles choses.

Tous ces alpinistes et tous ceux qui ont suivis, ou suivront nos traces, savent ou ont su, ce qu’ils recherchaient dans cette nature verticale, a travers l’effort physique, la fusion avec le rocher, la performance peut-être, l’amitié certainement, à coup sûr une forme aboutie de la beauté! Oui la beauté est là-haut, et peut-être plus belle qu’ailleurs…

Bonnes courses!

Rémy Karle, guide dans le Valgaudemar

Dates d’ouverture des refuges des hautes-alpes et du Vénéon ce printemps

MASSIF DES ECRINS – SECTEUR DE LA MEIJE

ADÈLE PLANCHARD

Alt. 3173 m – tél. 04 76 79 92 14
64 Sylvie Jacob – Ventelon
05320 La Grave – tél. 04 76 79 99 28
du 31 mars à mi mai STD

LʼAIGLE

Alt. 3450 m – tél. 04 76 79 94 74
18 Laurence Leleu Résidence Les Barthioux
bât. 30 05120 L’Argentière la Bessée
tél. 06 23 97 37 98
du 31 mars au 20 mai
sur réservation
CAF
Briançon
ALPE DE VILLAR DʼARÈNE
Alt. 2079 m – tél. 04 76 79 94 66
86 André Kaincz – 05320 Les Fréaux
tél. 04 76 79 93 44
du 17 mars au 8 mai
du 17 au 20 mai
et 26-27 mai
CAF
Briançon
LE CHATELLERET
Alt. 2225 m – tél. 04 76 79 08 27
70 Gérard Turc – Brigitte Moreau
tél.04 76 80 03 86
de mi avril à mi mai C. D.
Isère
LE PROMONTOIRE
Alt. 3092 m – tél. 04 76 80 51 67
36 Nathalie et Fredi Meignan
Freydières – 38420 Ravel
tél. 04 76 51 90 31 – 06 30 71 25 67
du 31 mars au 8 mai C. D.
Isère
REFUGE DU LAUTARET
Alt. 2000 m – tél. 04 92 24 42 11
44 Dominique Mouillet
Refuge du Lautaret – Les Sestrières
05220 Le Monêtier les Bains
jusquʼau 10 octobre CAB
SECTEUR DU VÉNÉON
LA BÉRARDE
Alt. 1715 m – tél. 04 76 79 53 83
172 Centre Alpin du CAF – La Bérarde
St Christophe en Oisans – 38143 Vénosc
du 31 mars au 8 mai C. D.
Isère
LA LAVEY
Alt. 1797 m – tél. 04 76 80 50 52
74 C. et B. Bouchard – 24, rue St Eldrade
05220 Monêtier les Bains
tél. 04 92 24 45 10
we à partir du 31mars sur
réservation, possibilité de
semaine sur demande
C. D.
Isère
LA PILATTE
Alt. 2572 m – tél. 04 76 79 08 26
100 Henri et Andrée Brosse – 7, rue la Vilette
05330 St Chaffrey
tél. 04 92 24 14 17
fermé ce printemps
Isère
LA SELLE
Alt. 2635 m – tél. 04 76 79 56 56
75 Benjamin Berthier, Marielle Mollaret
tél. 06 71 33 99 31
du 31 mars au 1er mai
we de mai sur réservation
STD
SECTEUR DE VALLOUISE
LES ECRINS
Alt. 3170 m – tél. 04 92 23 46 66
120 Jocelyne et Jeff Fouchard – Rte de St
Joseph – 05220 Le Monêtier les Bains
tél. 04 92 24 48 57 – 06 63 78 51 09
du 31 mars au 9 septembre CAF
Briançon
LE GLACIER BLANC
Alt. 2550 m – tél. 04 92 23 50 24
132 J-J. et Nicole Bonniot – Rte de Pierrefeu
St Blaise – 05100 Briançon
tél. 04 92 20 11 15 ou 06 08 07 35 80
du 31 mars au 9 septembre
mail refugeglacierblanc@free.fr
CAF
Briançon
CÉZANNE
Pré de Mme Carle – Alt. 1874 m
12 non gardé ouvert lʼhiver CAF
Briançon
QUEYRAS
LE VISO
Alt. 2460 m – tél. 04 92 46 81 81
65 En cours de recrutement du 25 février au 1er mai
sur réservation
mail : refugeviso@free.fr
CAF Briançon
MASSIF DES CERCES
LES DRAYÈRES
Alt. 2170 m – tél. 04 92 21 36 01
64 Eric Puissant – 69, rue St André
05220 Le Monêtier les Bains
tél. 04 92 24 44 77 et 06 18 27 45 71
du 27 décembre au 1er janvier
du 11 février au 1er mai
mail : refugedrayeres@free.fr
CAF Briançon
LE MONT THABOR
Alt. 2502 m – tél. 04 79 20 32 13
46 Simon et Fanny Teppaz
22, route de Cotteriat – 73500 Aussois
tél. 06 34 13 18 30
du 3 mars au 29 avril CAF
Maurienne
UBAYE
REFUGE DE MALJASSET
Alt. 1903 m – tél. 04 92 84 34 04
58 Gérard Techer
04530 Saint Paul en Ubaye
tél. 04 92 31 55 42
début février à fin avril CAF Vallée
de l’Ubaye
REFUGE DU CHAMBREYRON
Alt. 2626 m – tel. 04 92 84 33 83
74 Eric Audureau
Pont de l’Estrela
04530 Saint Paul en Ubaye
du 7 avril au 8 mai CAF Vallée
de l’Ubaye
VALLÉE ÉTROITE
TERZO ALPINI
Alt. 1772 m
tél. 00 39 01 22 90 20 71
37 Ricardo et Anna Novo
Granges Vallée Etroite 05100 Névache
tél. 00 39 0122 90 11 46
Tous les WE de l’année et l’été
Réservation en dehors de ces
dates
Refuge
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I RE MAGI
Alt. 1780 m
tél. 00 39 34 96 11 29 20
35 Chiara et Roberto Nervo Campasso
Granges de la Vallée Etroite BP 204
05100 Névache
du 26 décembre au 2 janvier
et du 1er février au 1er mai
Refuge
privé
VALGAUDEMAR
CHABOURNÉOU
Alt. 2200 m – tél. 04 92 55 27 80
44 Dominique Luquet
les Emeyrères 05000 Gap
04 92 56 16 95 / 06 08 33 65 16
mi avril à début mai
les we sur réservation
CAF
Gap
LE CLOT (Xavier Blanc)
Alt. 1498 m – tél. 04 92 55 27 90
48 Sylvain Leinen – Caroline Audibert
1711 route de Cannes 06560 Valbonne
Tél. 06 50 39 04 91
à partir de mi avril
les we sur réservation
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Gap
LE PIGEONNIER
Alt. 2500 m – tél. 04 92 55 27 82
52 Thierry Chevalier et Fabien Gumuchian
8, G. Apollinaire 68400 St M. d’Hères
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à partir du 1er WE de mai sur
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Gap