As many may know, our fellow YMC member, Lucile Boust, manages a mountain hut in the Summers, and she was dying to hear more English after being back in France for way too long. Sitting at the top of the Ecrins and midway between Turin, Geneva, and Grenoble, we thought it might be easy to find (see map below).
However, it was nice to meet Lucile and Antoine in Grenoble first and follow them, dodging the Tour de France traffic all the way to La Grave. From La Grave, one can hike up from Villar D’Arene (longer - 3-4 hours) or Pramailler (short 1-2 hours). Here’s the happy Frenchies and friends hiking up with La Meije in the background.
With a night in the hut under our belts, we set out for the F rated summit of Aiguille de Goleon the next day. A few hours up the valley and over the nice Lombard Glacier, and we arrived at the ridge for a nice scramble.
Lunch on the Summit was very French (bread and cheese), and on the way down, we learned from the experts how to spot Genepi that is ready to made into the local liqueur. Salute! Lucile and her co-manager, Myrtille, also make some mean pizza and pies. You should also not forget to sample the local blue beer (no kidding) and then wash yourself in the “refreshing” glacier-fed lake.
The next two days, we went up the pleasant L’Aiguillon, with a little bench on top, and dreamed of future objectives. We also hiked to the Chamoisserie hut (another must-visit) and did some via Ferrata.
There are too many things to see, and there’s some welcome YMC hosts, so what are you waiting for?
Oh yeah, I forgot to show the Goleon Hut, here it is in all it’s glory.