- Traversée des Dômes E >> W
Magnificent ridge, a classic without too much technical difficullty.
Choose whether to sleep at the Tré la Tête or the Conscrits. By staying at the Conscrits, you have not as far to go on the second day, important as the descent is relatively long.
Tré la Tête Hotel (1970m) + 750m/2h From Le Cugnon follow the sign-posted path to the Tré la Tête hotel (via les Plans).
Conscrits Hut (2605m) + 1400m/ count on 2h30 / 2h45 from Tré la Tête, (4h30 in total) From the Tré la Tête hotel, follow the path on the SE flank which overlooks the snout of the Tré la Tête glacier and go up for about 70m height gain. Traverse horizontally then descend about 100m to reach the base of the terminal glacier snout. This section is called the “Mauvais Pas” on the IGN map. Go up the centre of the glacier, on the rock rubble then on the true right bank. There was a land slide (winter 2004/2005) which blocked the access to the rock ramp leading to the grassy knolls 100m above the glacier. The way to the hut has been reconstructed with chains and ladders, (the first being vertical) and is well indicated, (except on the glacier.) You can also continue up the true right bank, between the glacier and the rocks, (winter route.) After having past the serac zone of Tré la Grande, continue on the flat for several hundreds of metres and leave the glacier by the path going up to the hut.
To the Col des Dômes 3h from the Conscrits hut. From the Conscrits hut, go up N for 50m until under a moraine mound. Take the path to the right (NE) which traverses slightly upwards towards the foot of S spur of Pointe des Conscrits, numerous cairns. Pass this spur and continue the traverse, under the Aiguille de la Bérangère, until you are on the Tré la Tête glacier. Go up the centre of the glacier and pass under the S spur of the Dôme 3633m. It is possible to go up the snow slopes to the W of this spur. The classic route goes around the spur to reach the cwm leading to the Col des Dômes (3564m).
Variant For those starting from the Tré la Tête hotel, it is possible to avoid going to the Conscrits hut, by staying on the Tré la Tête glacier, (numerous crevasses.)
Traverse of the Dômes E » W From the Col des Dômes, it is possible to go up to the E summit, (highest point,) and back. From the col go up to the left, (W,) to reach the W summit. A nice ridge, very photogenic. (30min for the ascent.) From the W summit, descend easily the first slope and follow the ridge Descend another slope, (steeper, 40º) to the Col de la Bérangère (3348m). A narrow ridge, mixed, climbs back up to the summit of the Bérangère (3425m).
By the normal route for the Aiguille de la Bérangère (Recommended) Descend the rocks to the S for 50m to reach a 30º snow slope. Go down this (200m) and go to a little col on the right. Cross this and make a descending traverse for 100m along a snow slope. Continue down snow slopes to the Conscrits Hut. From there follow the sign posted path.
By the Armancette glacier Early in the season one can go down the Armancette glacier. Follow the centre of the glacier until about 3000m, then make a long traverse to the right to reach a non-glaciated mound, which you descend by going to the right to come under the Pointe Covagnet in passing the Pointe 2772m on the IGN map (ski de rando tracks?) From here go to the west into a cwm which narrows down into a fairly steep gully leading to Pointe 2330m on the IGN map. (You are no longer on the ski route.) The descent continues firstly down the true left bank to quickly join a well marked path which crosses to the true right bank and leads to the Lac d’Armancette. From here an easy path goes down to the road head at La Frasse.
• Camping possible near the Conscrits hut.
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