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Group of 1 to 3 people for a private outing
An accessible ridge on mixed terrain
The Pic Nord des Cavales is a summit located at the convergence of the Etançons and Clot des Cavales valleys. Not as famous as its neighbouring peaks la Meije and the Barre des Ecrins, it still holds an excellent reputation with the quality of its rock. The south ridge, which happens to be the normal route, has some mixed terrain with flutes, slabs and comfortable ledges. Its ascent is enjoyable and not very physical, the approach hike starting from the Pavé mountain hut. No wonder we can find many old and new routes on its south and east faces.
Starting from Arsine, we hike up the picturesque Romanche valley and cross it. Then we reach an intersection of two valleys: on our left, the sources of the Romanche river and the Adèle Planchard mountain hut and on our right, the Pavé mountain hut. The path goes gently up, eventually reaching the hut located by a lake in a magnificent setting.
1200m vertical from Arsine to the Pavé mountain hut (2841m) - about 4 hours.
Night in the hut.
From the Pavé mountain hut, we follow the marked path towards the southwest until the 2889m point, reaching the base of the east ridge of the Pic Nord des Cavales. We continue our hike on a rocky hilltop up to the foot of the south ridge. The climb starts on slabs and leads to a breach. We keep climbing on a series of corners and ledges on the left side of the ridge. From that point, we reach a platform and easily make it to the summit. The climb down follows the same itinerary, with a 20-meter rappel.
200m vertical until the ridge - a 1-hour approach walk - then between 3 and 4 hours of climbing.