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Mountaineering in the Ecrins Massif

Classic Snow, Rock and Mixed Climbs

Paperback (96pp)
  • Paperback £14.95
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Mountaineering in the Écrins Massif showcases the Écrins’ most beautiful summits through a selection of the area’s best lower grade snow, rock and mixed climbs.

Authors Frédéric Chevaillot, Paul Grobel and Jean-René Minelli have chosen 25 classic Écrins routes – graded between F and AD – that have come to be regarded as classics due to their quality, their altitude or, simply, their easy access.

These routes provide the essential pleasures of mountaineering: getting off the beaten track, enjoying the pure mountain air and delighting in the charms of the high mountains. Most of these routes are at the boundary between hiking and technical alpinism and should be within the capabilities of any fit hiker-mountaineer.

Routes and peaks featured include the Aiguille du Goléon; the north ridge of the Aiguille Dibona; the south ridge of Pic Coolidge; the north-east face of the Meije Orientale; and the traverse of the Barre des Écrins ridge, plus many more.

Each route features a detailed and comprehensive route description, a sketch map and a route summary detailing the start point, difficulty, timings, height gain, best time of year and the gear required. A conscious decision was made to limit the selection to relatively easy climbs, and so the routes described in this book – a mere fraction of the climbs in the magnificent Écrins Massif – should be within the capabilities of almost all mountaineers.

Frédéric Chevaillot, a mountaineer for more than 30 years, is also an accomplished photographer. These two passions have taken him all around the world, from Sinai to Poland, from Vietnam to Afghanistan, but he has lost none of his love for the wide-open spaces and marvellous light of the Écrins. He decided to live in Saint-Christophe-en-Oisans, where he is one of the village’s few year-round inhabitants, so he can continue to explore the area throughout the seasons. He regularly contributes to outdoor magazines and has illustrated several books, including La Meije, reine de l’Oisans (with Pierre Chapoutot, Hoebeke, 2000), and Les plus beaux raids à skis (with Mario Colonel and Jean-René Minelli, Arthaud, 2004).

Paul Grobel is a mountain guide who loves sharing his expertise and experience with clients throughout the year, specialising in mountaineering, ski tours and expeditions to distant lands. Two ski traverses of the Alps, from Austria to the Mediterranean, have broadened his knowledge of the area’s summits and the culture of the people who live in these high places. Expeditions to the Arctic and the desert confirmed the joy he feels from being in wild and remote places. In recent years he has specialised in leading expeditions to Nepal, but the Écrins, close to his home in La Grave, remains his favourite massif.

Jean-René Minelli is a mountain guide in La Bérarde. He has climbed throughout the Alps and the Pyrenees, as well as in many other mountain areas across the globe, generally with clients. However, it is at Ornon, in the heart of the Oisans, that he has set up his base camp. Twenty-five years of mountaineering have not dampened his enthusiasm for the magic of the high mountains, where he prefers novelty to performance. His passion for sharing and his hyperactivity have led him to contribute regularly to the outdoor press and to write a number of books. With Frédéric Chevaillot he wrote Sommets des Écrins, les plus belles courses faciles and Écrins, ascensions choisies, both published by Glénat, as well as Les plus beaux raids à skis, written with Mario Colonel, illustrated by Frédéric Chevaillot and published by Arthaud.

  • Title: Mountaineering in the Écrins Massif
  • Sub-title: Classic Snow, Rock & Mixed Climbs
  • Authors: Frédéric Chevaillot, Paul Grobel & Jean-René Minelli
  • Imprint: Vertebrate Publishing
  • ISBN: 978-1-906148-82-9
  • Rights: Great Britain, Ireland, Europe, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand.
  • Publication date: 17 March 2014
  • Edition: First
  • Format: Paperback
  • Size: 225mm x 140mm
  • Extent: 96 pages
  • Weight: 230g
  • Retail price: £14.95

The pictures are simply stunning… a happy reminder that, even after thirty years, I have several lifetimes of climbing to do.
- Andy Perkins, Mountain Guide

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