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A great classic and an ideal initiation to alpinism
The Meije orientale is the easternmost point of the ridges of La Meije, the iconic mountain of the Ecrins range culminating at the Grand Pic (3982m). The peak is clearly recognizable and its ascent from the Aigle mountain hut is a beautiful mountaineering course. The normal route by the northeast ridge is a popular classic, with stunning views of the Lautaret and l'Homme glaciers, as well as of the steep north face of the Pic Gaspard. From its summit, we can contemplate almost the entire mountain range of the Alps, from the Matterhorn in Switzerland to the Monterosa in Italy.
From the Pont des Brebis, we hike on a path crossing the Romanche river and through scree and snowfields. Going up those snowfields with slopes getting gradually steeper, we reach the Col du Bec (3065m) then the ridge between the Pic de l'Homme and the Bec de l'Homme. The Amieux ledge (3200m), discovered by local guide Lucien Amieux, is equipped with a cable and allows us to leave the ridge and set foot on the Tabuchet glacier in a less steep and crevassed place. We follow its right rim up until reaching the Aigle mountain hut.
1800m vertical from Villar d'Arêne (1650m) to the Aigle mountain hut (3450m) - between 5 and 7 hours.
Night in the mountain hut.
From the Aigle mountain hut, we hike up the Tabuchet glacier towards the Tête des Corridors. At 3600m, we reach a snow-capped pass of the northeast ridge. Once we have crossed the bergschrund, we hike up a snow or ice slope of about 40°, then climb through a breach, and along the ridge to the summit. The descent to Villar d'Arêne follows the same itinerary.
400m vertical from the Aigle mountain hut to the Meije orientale - between 6 and 8 hours.