WHAT IS ICE CLIMBING?
It is an activity derived from climbing, which takes place in winter in either a natural environment such as in the Freissinières Valley or an artificial site such as the falls in Pelvoux, Puy Saint Vincent or l’Argentière-la-Bessée, all located in the Pays des Écrins.
The activity consists in climbing on the ice using ice axes and crampons.
Ice climbing started to develop in the 1970s. This activity requires good knowledge of the mountains and ice. We strongly advise enlisting the help of a mountain professional.
HOW IS THE PELVOUX ICE FALL MADE?
At the initiative of the Pelvoux mountain guides and supported by the Pelvoux municipality, creation of the Pelvoux ice fall began in the winter 2010–2011.
The Pelvoux municipality funded the purchase of equipment and EDF provided electricity free of charge.
Preparing and securing the site (clearing unstable rocks) is carried out each year by volunteers and mountain guides from the Bureau des Guides des Écrins.
Sami, who works for the Pelvoux municipality, handles maintenance and daily ice production at the site. It requires a daily presence and we can thank him for his work that means the climbers can climb a wonderful ice fall from January to mid-March.
The Pelvoux ice fall is an excellent training site for both beginners and expert climbers. While it is still relatively unknown, many ice enthusiasts visit it each day and its reputation will soon grow.
HOW TO START ICE CLIMBING?
You must enlist the services of a professional to try ice climbing.
Regarding the equipment, you should have warm hiking/mountaineering shoes on which crampons can be fitted, comfortable ski trousers, a good ski jacket, gaiters, gloves, a hat and glasses.
Now it’s time to make an appointment with a professional.
ANNUAL MEETING OF ICE CLIMBERS IN THE PAYS DES ÉCRINS
View the video of this wonderful meeting that takes place every year in January in the Pays des Écrins: The Ice Climbing Event.
HOW TO GET HERE AND ACCOMMODATION IN LA VALLOUISE
LOCATING THE PELVOUX-VALLOUISE SKI RESORT.
The villages of Vallouise, Pelvoux and Les Vigneaux are part of la Vallouise in the Pays des Écrins at the gateway to the Écrins National Park.
We are in the Hautes-Alpes, one of the sunniest areas in France. You can expect fresh snow, sun and a good humour in La Vallouise!
To locate us click here.
Bed & breakfast, hotels, stopover and holiday gîtes, hotel residences, estate agencies, professional furnished lets, campsites, holiday centres. Find all accommodation possibilities on the Vallouise Tourist Office website.
Please contact us on +33 (0)4 92 23 36 12 so that we can guide you depending on your needs and expectations.