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Group of 1 to 2 people for a private outing
A varied alpine climb in the heart of the Ecrins massif
'It is a magnificent ridge climb, an ideal adventure, constantly at a high elevation, very diverse and in a great setting.' These are the words of renowned French alpinist Gaston Rébuffat to describe the Pavé-Meije Orientale traverse. It is indeed a beautiful climb on rock and snow, along a thin exposed ridge, with breathtaking views of the Pic Gaspard, the Lautaret glacier and the Grand Pic de La Meije. It also has the advantage to be accessible in terms of technical difficulties.
The path starting from Arsine winds up and crosses the renowned Pas d'Anna Falque (1735m). Then we hike the bucolic Plan de l'Alpe up to the Plan de Valfourche (2048m) and head west following the Clot des Cavales mountain stream. The path gets steeper again and the last section before the hut is equipped with cables to make the ascent easier. The setting of the hut, right by a lake and in the heart of a rock amphitheater, is simply stunning.
1200m vertical from Arsine to the Pavé mountain hut (2841m) - about 4 hours.
We start our ascent at dawn towards the Cavales upper glacier. After crossing a crevassed area, the itinerary winds up towards the Pavé mountain pass (3554m) following a snow slope with some mixed sections. Then we cross the Etançons glacier to reach the base of a couloir of snow and ice, which we climb up for about 200 meters. The climb continues on a thin exposed ridge. From there, we can enjoy a magnificent high mountain atmosphere with breathtaking views of the Vallon des Etançons and the north face of the Pic Gaspard. A ledge brings us to the base of a couloir which we climb up to reach the snow slopes leading to the summit of the Meije Orientale. The descent is done by the normal route of the northeast ridge, leading to the Tabuchet glacier and eventually to the Aigle mountain hut.
1050m vertical from the Pavé mountain hut (2841m) to the Aigle mountain hut (3450m) - about 7 hours.