Dome des Ecrins - Mountaineering Trip in the Alps

Dome des Ecrins - Mountaineering Trip in the Alps

Hone your glacier skills, climb the Pic du Glacier d'Arsine and summit the famous Dôme des Ecrins in a weekend! A mountaineering trip away from the crowds in the Ecrins National Park. 

Location: Ecrins National Park, Southern French Alps

Holiday Price
Adult from: 1199€
Prices will vary depending on your dates, party size and / or accommodation choice.
  • 2 nights half board in high mountain refuges (breakfast, dinner)
  • 3 days guided mountaineering with UIAGM high mountain guides (guide ratio of 1:6 and 1:3/4)
  • All technical equipment (harnesses, helmets, ice axes and crampons)
  • Transport to and from local accommodation / train stations. The guide will collect you on the way in to Pre Madame Carle from nearby accommodation or train stations and drop you back off afterwards.
  • A tree planted on your behalf to help with your carbon offsetting

Climb in one of the hidden gems of the Alps, the Ecrins National Park, one of the largest, wildest and most dramatic mountain ranges in France and bag a big 4000m summit!

This is a mountaineering and alpinism trip geared to preparing you for a successful climb of the Dome des Ecrins 4015m (mountaineering grade: Facile / Easy) in the limited time of a weekend! The trip includes a day of glacier and mountaineering skills and technique and an acclimatisation climb of Pic du Glacier d’Arsine 3364m (grade: Facile / Easy) before tackling the Dome des Ecrins.

The Ecrins Massif:

The lesser known Ecrins massif doesn’t get the same number of visitors as the Mont Blanc range but it is the largest National Park in France. In total there are 170km2 of glaciers suspended from over 100 towering summits over 3000m. It’s also rich in flora and fauna with ibex, chamois, golden eagles, wild boar, marmots and even wolves and in the summer months you are sure to see the valley covered in flowers.

The Dome des Ecrins 4015m is one of the highest summits in the Ecrins National Park, just behind the Barre des Ecrins 4102m. With easy access, a 'facile' graded route and some of the best views in the Alps, it a must for all mountaineers.

The Mountaineering Challenge:

On the first day of this trip, you will focus on glacier skills on the Glacier Blanc - an opportunity to practice any glacier and alpinism skills that you have used before and learn some new ones!

After a night in the Refuge du Glacier Blanc, you will set off to the Pic du Glacier d’Arsine. This is a mixed route mainly on snow with some rock scrambling (3a). The aim of the climb is to help your body get used to climbing at above 3000m. You will have a magnificent view of the Dome des Ecrins and the Glacier Blanc throughout this climb.

After spending the night, this time in the Refuge des Ecrins, your aim on the last day will be to climb the Dome des Ecrins 4015m. You will cross the glacier in the early morning. The light at this time is incredible, giving the Dome a beautiful red tinge. You will weave your way up the large snow face of the glacier, avoiding seracs and crevasses all the way to the summit.

Your Guide and Safety: 

This summit involves traversing a large glacier with crevasses and seracs and it is at high altitude so the risk of being caught in bad weather or being the victim of an avalanche or falling serac is real.

All the guides we use for this trip are fully qualified UIAGM high mountain guides which is the highest qualification possible in alpinism and mountaineering. We also choose local guides to the region as we know that an understanding and knowledge of the recent climatic conditions, freeze thaw activity, recent avalanches, rockfall and behaviour of the seracs are extremely important in judging risk. The guide ratio is 1 guide to 3 clients for the summit of the Dome des Ecrins.

Our guides will have the final say on whether they consider the level of risk is low enough to attempt the summits on this trip safely. If there is any doubt we will choose an alternative route in the same or another area. 

Holiday Highlights:

  • Carefully prepared itinerary to optimise chance of successful 4000m summit
  • Local and experienced UIAGM guides
  • Intensive mountaineering weekend
  • Avoid Mont Blanc and its stream of tourists for a more authentic mountaineering experience 
  • Book with a responsible travel company

Who Will Love This Trip?

Amateur mountaineers looking to bag their first 4000m summit will love this trip. You need to have a high level of fitness and some experience of alpinism so you are comfortable in a high mountain environment. Ideally you will be familiar with moving together on a rope and have done some walking in crampons. These skills will be revisited on your first day and reinforced throughout the trip with your guide but a basic initial knowledge and understanding is important for your own self confidence and safety of the group.

Have a look at our mountaineering kit list for advice on what to bring.

You might also be interested in our weekend Barre des Ecrins Mountaineering trip or our Mountaineering Week in the Ecrins.


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The trip starts from Pré de Madame Carle on the first morning. The closest train station is Briançon which has various connections including an overnight sleeper directly from Paris. The guide can pick you up from the station / local accommodation and take you to Pré de Madame Carle. He will be travelling from Gap so it is equally possible to arrange for him to collect you from Gap train station early in the morning. The Briançon night train also stops in Gap.

Rebecca Gossage - Dome des Ecrins Mountaineering Trip

July 2018

Google Review Google Verified Review

In search of a bit of a challenge this summer I ascended the Dome Des Ecrins with wonderful guides Bernard and Pierre. A...

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Mountaineering and Alpinism Holidays - Matt Belton

March 2017

Customer Review

An amazing long weekend mountaineering in the Ecrins range, the best guide and would thoroughly recommend to anyone.

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