|Photos:||Recent | Best | Popular|
|Location:||44.8875, 6.4435 View Map Incorrect?|
|Administrators:||Euan Cameron, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)|
|Submitted By:||Emma Palethorpe on Sep 7, 2009 with updates from Rui Ferreira|
|This valley is within Parc National Ecrins|
|Comments on Ailefroide||Add Comment|
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By Jeremiah Johnson
From: Contoocook, NH
Feb 11, 2010
|I spent a week or two here several years ago and bouldered a bit. In retrospect, I wish I'd explored the longer routes while I was there. In any case the bouldering in Ailefroide is really nice: the rock is really good granite, the lines are aesthetic, and the scenery is amazing. It's a good place to go without a guide and just explore.|
By Zach Alberts
From: Gap, Hautes-Alpes, France
Nov 30, 2012
|a great place to get your granite fix. Good bouldering as well as tons of bolted multi-pitch lines on granite. A beautiful valley with something for everyone. Can be crowded in the high season.|
From: San Diego
Dec 5, 2013
I've spent my first 17 summers making amazing memories in that Valley and the ones surrounding it. Amazed to see a page about Ailefroide on mountain project!
The main campground is really big and people are extremely friendly all around. Lots of the campers come for hiking the hundreds of wonderful nearby trails, and some for more challenging mountaineering. However the climbing community is very present:
- world class bouldering events (Tout à Bloc!) & climbing/mountaineering film projections
- very helpful guides have an open office on the main / only road, where you'll find everyday weather condition and forecast, and many more informations
Like mentioned in the description there is a HUGE amount of climbing:
- Boulder fields worth exploring, some along the way up the 2km road going to the bottom of the glaciers trails
- Multiple areas of fantastic granite (you literraly are surrounded by mountains and "spot the climbers" is a common lunch game) for every level,
- but also Limestone and various formations of same high quality closeby (from 15 to 45min driving)!!
The season starts in April-Mai and ends around October, and like many places in the south of the Alps it gets great sunny days but stays cold at night. Can get stormy up to a few days in a row (mostly in August). I recommend going there in June, best temps, nature blooming and lot less people than at the peak season (mid july - mid august)
Also the gear shop and grocerie store are open earlier in the year than described. And there is no skiing in Ailefroide in the winter, the road up is actually closed when it starts snowing.
- other smaller campgrounds exist along the main road after the torrent, some are taken by kids summer camps, some by climbers
- the last 5km of road up between Pelvoux (last city down the valley; closer than Valouise actually) and Ailefroide was completly redone in '05, way safer (wider and flat) and perfect for freebording
- I very highly recommend to eat at Engilberge Restaurant-Hotel at least once in your life, landmark of the small town since 1896, awesome family business and absolutely the best food I have ever had the chance to eat!
Enjoy Ailefroide and be aware of the Ecrin National Park guidelines to preserve those awesome areas!
By James Williams
Apr 5, 2014
Ailefroide is probably the best place I've visited in the alps. There is great bouldering dotted a long the valley and most sectors are pretty close to the main campsite, there is even quite a few boulders that could easily be cleaned and developed along the rivers flowing down to vallouise.
Single pitch climbing is generally slabby glaciated granite and again there are plenty of areas within walking distance of the campsite.
Multi-pitch climbs vary from standard sport climbing affairs to trad climbing and the expectation with absails on multi-pitch routes in this area, is that you're climbing on two 50 metre ropes! A single rope just wont cut it and people get benighted every year because of this.
Higher up snow ice and mixed in summer is best late june early July but saying that there are classics in nick most of the year. The alpine rock is often adventurous, and the quality of rock can vary, however personally I think this area really has some really special routes (for alpine rock "oisans nouveau, oisans sauvage" is worth checking out its got the best topos and info). There aren't any cable cars so you've got to be pretty fit and some of the walks up to the base of the routes and huts are pretty gnarly at times, but this does means the hills aren't as busy as Cham and the huts are a bit cheaper and friendlier. Theres also a pretty cool bivvy scene going on with plenty of pre prapared spots near the huts.