Ailefroide - Refuge du Pelvoux, Ecrins
Country - France
Region - Haute Alpes (05) - Vallee de la Vallouise - Ecrins NP
Author - Lou Johnson
Length - 14.0 km / 8.8 miles
Ascent - 1200 metres / 3960 feet
Descent - 1200 metres / 3960 feet
Time - 7.00 hours
This walk contains a section of concerted uphill walking to reach the Refuge. The path climbs in a series of loops offering wonderful views into the valley below with mountains as a backdrop.
This walk starts from the small chapel on the main street of the village of Ailefroide. From here walk north along the road to a junction. Turn left. This will lead you past the edge of the large camping area on your left to reach a car park (an alternative start if you have transport). Go through the car park and follow the clear path signed to the "Refuge du, Refuge du Pelvoux and Claphouse".
The going is fairly level with the path following the river upstream to reach a path junction in just over 15 minutes. Ignore the path going left across the bridge and continue upstream. The path is within sight or sound of the river for virtually the whole of this valley section. The path climbs steadily using ziz-zags and loops where necessary to reach another junction where the path to Refuge du Sele goes straight on.
Take the right hand path and immediately start to climb. You have about two hours of almost solid uphill walking to reach the Refuge. The environment becomes progressively wilder as height is gained. The Refuge is not seen until the last moment and occupies a stunning position with a wide ranging panorama especially to the south.
The return to Ailefroide follows the same route as used for the outward walk.
- IGN Carte de Randonnée - Meije Pelvoux - Parc National des Ecrins - 1:25000 Sheet 3436ET
French IGN mapping is available in digital format by area and 'cut your own' maps. For more information and availabilty go to the Anquet website.
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