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Roche Faurio: Versant SE (voie normale)

Day 1: If the road is not open until Pré de Mme Carle, start by following it cutting across some bends until the meadow. Go past Cézanne refuge and go up the south slope right bank of the torrent of Glacier Blanc, primarily along the path of the summer trail. This slope dries quickly during the season, while the meadow may still be covered with much snow. Above point 2163m a rock band cuts across the slope. Cross it via the trail if it is visible, if not slightly more to the east, be careful the slope is steep (S3) and exposed.

By ascending traverses you then reach the broad flat area at the foot of the final arm of Glacier Blanc. This entire first part is exposed to avalanches due to strong snow cover.

Pass to the left bank of the dale and climb in the direction of Glacier Blanc refuge which is visible. Go up the dale until near the rock barriers dominated by the seracs of the glacier, and climb NE in a steep corridor (S3) emerging to the west of the refuge. Sometimes it is more comfortable to climb this corridor on foot. (It takes 2 hours from Cézanne refuge to Glacier Blanc refuge 2550m).

Go past the Glacier Blanc refuge and go up via a corridor to the right of the summer trail, to top out to the west at the altitude of 2640m. Via dales and croups on the left bank of the glacier, you reach the glacier and take foot on a not very inclined area around 2850m. Stay on the left bank of the glacier to surmount a crevassed area, pass the dale which rises in the direction of Col Emile Pic to reach the foot of the bar which supports Ecrins refuge. You reach the refuge (3175m) via an unrelenting slope (S3) to the east of it which passes the rocky steep pitch. (it takes 2 hours from the Glacier Blanc refuge, 4 hours from Pré de Mme Carle ).

Day 2: Descend the glacier via the slope you went up the day before. Stay on the left bank of the glacier in the direction of the Ecrins pass.

Go past  Pointe Louise, and go up (from 3280m) a crevassed steep slope to the SW of the SE ridge of Pointe Xavier Blanc. This slope can be avoided by going around it to the west. You arrive at gentler slopes around 3400m, pass broad crevasses and via a short steep slope (S3 -often weighted after a snowfall) reach the southern ridge of the Roche Faurio slightly to the north of point 3550m.

Go up this ridge in the direction of the summit by crossing a steep pitch then by climbing a steeper slope (S3) which finishes in a triangle at the foot of the final ridge, mixed with primarily rock (3 hours from the Ecrins refuge). Note: it is possible to reach this point directly from the gentler slopes between 3400m and 3500m, by an unrelenting SE facing slope on the left of the Tombe Murée notch.

It is possible to reach the summit 3730m, via exposed rock climbing, first on the southern slope then via the ridge edge (it takes 30 minutes round trip).

Descent: via the ascent route. The SE facing slope which avoids the ridge is particularly interesting (unrelenting S3). It is interesting, if the snow is transformed, not to descend the flat part of Glacier Blanc too late to have glide.                      On the flat area of Glacier Blanc, starting from 3250m., it is possible to descend the right bank. Skirt close to the slopes of Pointe du Serre Soubeyran (3472m.) and enter the right bank serac area. Avoid the seracs via a secondary corridor under the east face of Pointe du Serre Soubeyran. (entrance of the corridor at 2880m. S3). Skirt the glacier to reach the flat area under final glacier arm (2300m.). Be careful, be sure to locate this section during the climb to the refuge the first day, and make sure it has sufficient snow cover. The top out of the glacier between 2500 and 2300m is very exposed to stone falls and is done on fresh ice covered with stones when the snow has melted.

  • Difficulty: S3 - Medium (<35°)
  • Danger/Exposure: E1 - Low
  • Time: 06:00 hours
  • Total climb: 734 m
  • Total elevation drop: 104 m
  • Length: 3.78 km
  • Highest altitude: 3720 m
  • Lowest altitude: 3071 m
  • Extra gear: None
  • Lift access: No



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