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Pic de Neige Cordier: normal route

First climbed by Paul Guillemin, with Emile Pic and Pierre Estienne, 3 August 1877, who first did the pass which bears the name of the guide Emile Pic. First winter ascent by A. Arnaud and A. Fleuret, with Félix Engilberge and Félician Estienne, on 16 February 1926.

The normal route of Neige Cordier is beautiful and varied, snowy and rocky, which offers a wonderful view, in particular of the cirque of Ecrins, the Grande Ruine massif, and the basin of glacier Arsine.

After the Ecrins refuge, you first encounter Emile Pic pass (3483m). For this, leave NE ascending snow covered slopes, or covered with rocks and cree later in the season, until joining the descending glacial slope of the pass towards the Glacier Blanc, to an altitude of approximately 3240m. Join the foot of the corridor coming out of the pass, cross a small bergschrund if necessary and go up it (40° to the end, with possibility of a little loose rock). Then continue via the snow or ice slope, located N of the SW ridge until reaching the rocks of the W valley slope. Then by best following the easy terrace and corridor systems, you first reach a secondary summit then the summit via the ridge. Total time approximately 2h30 from the refuge.

Variations: From the Ecrins refuge, you can cross high enough on snow slopes under the Emile Pic rock to a promontory (3360m) located on the SE spur, and turn to the E valley slope in the glacial slope almost at the level of the base of the corridor. This climb can also be carried out leaving from the Glacier Blanc refuge. Then you go up the glacial slope under the Emile Pic pass directly after the Glacier Blanc. This makes it possible to climb to the Ecrins refuge by carrying out a route.

Bibliography: - Guide du Haut-Dauphiné, massif des Ecrins, book 2, GHM and F. Labande, published by l'Envol, description p.58,59 and 60, photos p.53,54 and 87.

The descent is carried out via the normal climb route. When the corridor leading to Emile Pic pass is covered with snow or ice, it can be difficult to descend. It takes 1h30 to 2h to reach the Ecrins refuge.

  • Difficulty: UNKNOWN
  • Danger/Exposure: E1 - Low
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 440 m
  • Total elevation drop: 440 m
  • Highest altitude: 3614 m
  • Lowest altitude: 3175 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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