French Alps climbing vacation, short break

“Climb either Dome des Ecrins or Barre des Ecrins over 3 days as part of a small group with UIAGM high mountain guides. High level of fitness required.”

Highlights

Choice of summits | Dome des Ecrins (4015m) | Barre des Ecrins (4012m) | experienced or novice route | Refuge du Glacier Blanc (2542m) | Pic du Glacier d’Arsine (3364m) | UIAGM high mountain guides |

Check dates

2017: 23 Jun
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: French Alps climbing vacation, short break

Environment

We respect and support local conservation / erosion projects by following guidelines issued by the Ecrins National Park and ensuring our clients are made aware of any specific guidelines that may affect them. E.g. carrying rubbish down from refuges / high mountain walks.

All our guides are fully trained in environmental sustainability as a part of their diplomas and they educate our clients about the mountain habitat during the activities.

Examples include educating clients as to the sensitivity of certain high mountain birds such as the Black Grouse and Ptarmigan to human disturbance. We are also actively involved in monitoring the re-colonisation of wolves in the area.

We don’t print brochures and keep paper use to a minimum in the office preferring electronic distribution as our main means of communication with clients. We provide detailed information on how to behave within the park such as carrying out all litter, no free camping and adhering to the rules of the park.

Community

The mountain refuges on this trip are all club alpine francais (CAF) refuges so they maintain the buildings but it is the guardians that will make your trip!

They live in the refuges for the summer and make their living out of the food and drinks they sell to tourists. It is a hard life and is done out of a passion for the mountains rather than a desire to make any money. It is getting harder and harder for the guardians to make ends meet and to justify their summers in the mountains, especially in the refuges a little off the beaten track.

This trip visits two high mountain refuges and as such contributes to the support of the guardians who make their living there.

We also use local guides and pay them the proper rate rather than importing ‘part time guides’ from abroad who have alternative means of income and do guiding for fun and not much money. These types of guides are able to reduce their rates significantly making it difficult for full time guides who have dedicated their lives to the mountains to be competitive.

Reviews of French Alps climbing vacation, short break

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the vacations.

I am reborn! Simply the best vacation I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 11 Aug 2016 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Reaching the Summit of Dome Des Ecrins at 08:40 on the Sunday morning after leaving the refuge at 04:00am!
Overall the experience was great, certainly recommend Bernard's excellent skills at both guiding and pushing you to reach above your goals

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Good boots that you know are essential, you'll be working them hard over different terrain, with and without crampons.
Stuff to eat while you're on the move or balanced on a snow-field - ideally softer the better - makes for less chewing time.
I would recommend a water bladder for your rucksack - makes for easier drinking for sure, using a water bottle is okay, but if I went again I would take a
bladder.


3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


For sure, the company I used was local - with local knowledge and family. I also utilised local hotels, restaurants and businesses whilst there.


4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Fantastic, would return (and plan to) in a flash! Go on this adventure

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