Altitude : 2 225 m
- 26th of March to 30th of April 2016.
- 18th of June to 10th of September 2016.
- Week-end and public holidays from mid-May to mid-June and from mid-September to end of September with prior booking.
- Off season: ask the hut keeper.
The walk up to the refuge of Le Châtelleret offers the opportunity not only to discover two of the highest summits of the Oisans (La Barre des Écrins, 4102m, and La Meije, 3982m), but also various alpine landscapes, such as meadows, moraines and other glaciers.
From La Bérarde, there are two ways to reach the refuge: the first one starts at the entrance of the village, on the left before the bridge, and it passes at the foot of the Tête de la Maye ; the second way starts from the top of the village, after the Tourist Office on the left.
The path quickly climbs up, above the hamlet, offering a long view over the Vallon de la Pilatte. Then, on the shelf of Les Étançons, you’ll see the Vallon Bonne Pierre with its long moraine: at the end, the majestic west face of Les Écrins stands up, with the Dôme (4015m), the Clocher des Écrins…
The path continues on the left bank of Les Étançons, goes over the Cascade des Deux Soeurs, then goes past the stone of the « Cotillat ». This word comes from the local patois and it means « lace »: the legend says that the ladies who once used to take this path stopped for a rest on this stone and let their petticoats show…
The valley then makes a bend, called « La Grande Ruine »,because of the quantity of fallen rocks that form it. From there, the imposing south face of La Meije can be seen, and at its foot, you get closer to the refuge, step by step.
A word from the hut keeper
Châtelleret means « little castle ». This large stone house was built on the very place where Pierre Gaspard bivouacked the night before he conquered La Meije. The panorama is wonderful, to the extent of our great massif, in a wild and mineral world in the hollow of the Vallon des Étançons.
Silvia Palkova et Charles Romero
From the hut:
- Hikers can go on walking on the moraine to get closer to the south face of La Meije (see the access to the refuge Le Promontoire).
Mountaineering and climbing
- Le Châtelleret has always been a famous site for mountaineering and climbing.
- Numerous modern routes have been opened near the refuge. Ask the hut keeper and read leaflets..
- North peak of Les Cavales (3362m) : Fine rock slabs of the Voie Normale west ridge
- West ridge of the Pointe des Aigles (3338m)
- Climbing routes on the north Tête and south Tête du Replat (3335m)
- In springtime, the refuge is an essential site for ski touring: among the most famous, the Col du Pavé and the Col de la Casse Déserte, with its descent to the Glacier de la Plate des Agneaux on the Romanche site, which is a must for ski touring.