BARRE NOIRE

Summer guiding season is on! And this year it begins with a technical climb on the highest summit of the Ecrins Massif, La Barre des Ecrins, 4102m. With my great friend and guide partner, Cyril, we organized this trip couple months ago… first time together to do a guided mountain trip in Summer but we work all winter together… Our objective with our four clients, is to combine the steep and snowy couloir of Barre Noire and the final steep face of La Barre, both on the North Side of the Mountain.

The trip’s dated were booked almost since the preparation of the trip… we had to deal with the weather and make the final call either we were going or not. Looked like there was a window between storm for our summit attempt to we decided to jump in!

After the classic but useful final gear check with everyone, we head off of 4 to 5 hours of walking to the hut for the night.

First step was to access to the Glacier Blanc refuge at 2500m. a solid 2 hours approach but easy walk!

After a good break and a nice lunch we head off towards the glacier and the last couple of hours before the Ecrins hut at 3170m, our final destination for day 1.

We decided to take snow shoes to make our path on the snowy glacier easier…. it’s the early season and the snow is still not fully compact…

The summer season for a guide is always special… we usually do trips alone, but hut’s times coulee be social as we usually meeting others guides friend! In winter we ski usually all day long all together, it’s easier to team up for a short run!

But the hardest part of summer is the “alpine start”… a really early wake up, this time 2.50am…

The advantage is that we get to watch a awesome sunrise almost every time! Makes you forget your early morning start!

This trip it was the case! great night, great sunrise and sky colors for the beginning of our climb….. but unfortunately the weather decided to change our plan and push us to abandon our first summit objective… way to windy and stormy to carry on the final face of La Barre des Ecrins… So we decided with Cyril to push anyway into the white out to the Dome des Ecrins, the shoulder of the true summit, but still 4015m high! and also easy walk from the top of the couloir we’ve been just climbed. It was hard to say no and change plan… but safety always comes first in the mountains, specially when you’re guiding!

Great moment once again in the mountains, great time with Cyril as usual…. and thanks our great team!!

For the first time also for me was to try a new camera set: Fujifilm XT-2 and 3 lenses kit: XF 14mm, XF 23mm and XF56mm a great combo ! really promising for the futur!!