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La Meije Traverse

A mythical alpine traverse in the Oisans massif

At 3983m, La Meije is the second highest mountain in the Ecrins massif. The traverse is a one of the best classic routes of the Alps, following a long high ridge that overlooks the small alpine village of La Grave below.

La Meije is one of the mythical Alpine summits and its traverse is a demanding but extremely rewarding experience, much of it at just below 4000m altitude.

Along the way you will pass through rock, snow and ice - there will be some challenging climbing involved and technical descents that require a good level of fitness and alpine experience.

We start our adventure in La Grave, a small village with a big reputation that attracts mountaineers and climbers from all around the world. Taking the Vallons de la Meije cable car up into the mountains, we hike and climb over Breche de la Meije, a steep and demanding route to reach the highest point of the traverse at the Grand Pic. From here it is a jagged route along a series of "dents" or "teeth" until we reach the "Doigt de Dieu" or "finger of god" - an epic journey that ends with a series of abseils down to the refuge de l'Aigle.

The traverse of the Meije is an unforgettable experience in a challenging high mountain environment; you will be lead by a fully qualified and highly experienced mountain guide but you will also need to have a reasonable amount of mountaineering experience yourself. If you are unsure of your suitability for this trip, please do not hesitate to contact us for advice.

Description

Level Requirements

The Meije traverse is a challenging climb in a demanding high altitude environment - you will need to have experience of mixed climbing using axes and crampons. Some of the terrain is steep and a good level of fitness is necessary.

Being on a high ridge, much of the route is very exposed and you will greatly benefit from being well acclimatized prior to the trip.

The following courses are excellent preparation for the Meije traverse:

Price

1250€

Price per person for a private trip. Price of 1500€ for two people with the guide

Course Dates

Any date on demand

Included

Guide Fees

3 days of guiding and instruction by a UIAGM qualified mountain guide.

Group Equipment

Ropes, safety equipment, etc will be provided when needed by your guide.

Transport

Return transport from Chamonix to La Grave.

Office Support

Our team is based at the foot of the Aiguille du Midi cable car and will be happy to help you with any questions you may have before, during or after your trip to Chamonix.

Not Included

Equipment

Please see the "Equipment" tab to find out what you will need. Anything that you do not already have can be rented here in Chamonix, if there is anything you need then please contact us and we will be happy to organise it for you.

For private customised guiding, please contact us directly to confirm your persoanlised kit list.

Insurance

We strongly recommend that you take our Search and Rescue mountain insurance - we can organise this for you on request.

Food & Drink

The price does not include lunch or snacks. You can bring your own food and we can stop for a picnic, or there may be the option to buy lunch at a mountain hut. Please make sure that you are carrying sufficient water and snacks as we will be in the mountains for a number of hours.

Accommodation

Accommodation in Chamonix is not included in the price but we would be happy to advise or organise it on request.

Travel to Chamonix

The price does not include flights, airport transfers or any other travel to/from Chamonix. However, we can organise airport transfers for you on request, please contact us for details.

Arrival in Chamonix

The trip starts with a meeting at our office in Chamonix, the evening before we set off for La Grave.

This gives you chance to meet your mountain guide, check your equipment and ask any questions you may have.

Your guide will give you an idea of the weather conditions for the next couple of days and will outline your trip itinerary.

Day 1 : La Grave & Hike to Refuge du Promontoire

Today we make the 3-4 hour drive from Chamonix to La Grave.

Once at La Grave we take the cable car and then hike up to Refuge du Promontoire, a steep scramble of about 5 hours.

We will stay over night at the Promontoire hut in order to get a good early start the following morning.

Day 2 : Traverse Le Meije

From the Promontoire hut we begin the main part of the traverse; climbing up to Grand Pic at 3983m before picking our way over a series of smaller ascents and descents to reach the Doigt de Dieu at 3973m.

Once we've made the final climb, the descent is via a series of abseils. We have the option to stay overnight at the Refuge de l'Aigle on the way back down, depending on time and conditions.

Day 3 : Final Descent & Return to Chamonix

If we opted to stay at the Refuge de l'Aigle last night, today we hike back down to La Grave and return to Chamonix by car.

Traverse of La Meije
Traverse of La Meije

La Meije Traverse

Meije-traverse-02

Starting at the historic alpine village of La Grave, we first take the Vallons de la Meije gondola lift and then hike and climb through Les Enfetchores and over the Brèche de la Meije up to the Refuge du Promontoire hut at 3092m.

After spending a night at the hut we set off for a full day of hiking and climbing at high altitude along the ridge, tackling extremely diverse and often technical passages such as Pas du Crapaud, Cheval Rouge, and the Doigt de Dieu. The ridge is consistently at just below 4000m altitude and you'll cross rock, ice and snow along the way on exposed terrain - it is a long and challenging route but an incredible experience in one of the most spectacular parts of the world.

The Doigt de Dieu "finger of God" is the final big peak; from where we descend via a series of abseils. Depending on the weather conditions and time restraints we can opt either to stay a night at the Refuge de l'Aigle on the way back, or to continue straight to La Grave.