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Col du Replat: W - E Traverse

Because of the sun on the eastern slopes, it is necessary to descend rather early. You can get there from the Deux Alpes or La Grave ski lifts and Col de la Lauze or Col de la Girose, or by going up Vallon de la Selle, as described here. In this case, unless you leave very early and are very fast, it is advisable to sleep at the Selle refuge (STD) (2673m).

First day -Climb to the Selle refuge (2673m) -1050m -3h From the parking lot take a large trail on the left bank for approximately 200m and traverse the right bank of the dale just before a water intake (1690m). The easily go up the right bank of the dale, first towards the northeast, then turning regularly towards the east. When the dale widens around 2500m, you see the refuge on the left. You can finish the day with a round trip to Col de la Selle (3201m).

Second day -Traverse of Col du Replat -550m -4h The day second, an ascending traverse on the left leads to the refuge at the entrance of the Selle glacier (elevation 3000m) passing just under the southern spur of Pointe Thorant (spot elevation 2926m). You traverse south facing slopes which can be icy and require the use of  harscheisen.  A glacial slight slope without difficulty of 1km towards the southeast leads to the foot of Col du Replat, that is reached by an unrelenting slope (35° for 100m). From the pass, you can climb the northern ridge of Tête Sud du Replat (3428m) (PD, snow and exposed rocks, crampons, ice axes, 90m of HD).

The corridor which follows on the eastern face is not always skiable. The first 50 meters are steep (45°), and very boxed in but not too exposed. A handrail safety rope is useful, do not to hesitate to descend this part with crampons if in doubt. Then descend beautiful slopes towards the south until the altitude 2750m approximately. There, traverse the eastern ridge resulting from Tête Sud du Replat and traverse diagonally to the right heading southwest until under Tête de la Gandolièr (2900m). Then go around an area of rock bars. Descend the right branch of Gandolière glacier (the one on the left disappeared!). Cross a rocky narrow spot around 2600m then pull to the left in the eastern scoop which leads to Chatellerêt refuge, go to the left to avoid the rock barriers at the bottom  of the dale (2450 to 2200m). From there, you can descend towards Chatellerêt refuge, attended on spring weekends but not in winter.

From Chatellerêt, the return on Bérarde is done by following the bottom of Vallon des Etançons  (in spells of milder weather, side snowslides almost invade all the dale) then on the left bank from Plat des Etançons (1800m). Leave a car in La Bérarde. In winter, the road is not cleared beyond Champhorent, which adds 7km of cross-country skiing...

  • Difficulty: S3 - Medium (<35°)
  • Danger/Exposure: UNKNOWN
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 1699 m
  • Total elevation drop: 1699 m
  • Highest altitude: 3335 m
  • Lowest altitude: 1639 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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