Altitude : 2 410 m
2017 season: closed for renovation
From La Bérarde, a good section of the hike follows the tumultuous waters of the Vénéon.
The climb up to the Temple Écrins really begins after about a small hour’s walk, 15 minutes after Le Carrelet. Leave the main path and take the track up on the left at the crossroads. After the footbridge crossing the stream in the small valley of La Pilatte, the track up to the refuge goes through a forest only composed of mountain pines: the shape of some of the trunks says a lot about the harsh climate!
Out of the forest, enjoy the view over the springs of the Vénéon and the Alpine meadows that replace the trees. Gentians, rhododendrons, and many other mountain flowers punctuate the end of the hike. The chamois are often present around the refuge and you also may surprise marmots or hear the choughs clamoring for their sustenance.
Be careful! In this fragile morainic ground subject to gully erosion, the road maintenance asks a lot of work to National Forest agents. Please respect their work andcarefully follow the trail.
A word from the hut keeper
The refuge is easily accessible and it offers a magnificent panorama of the most prestigious summits of Les Ecrins: L’Ailefroide, Les Bans, Le Gioberney or La Pointe du Vallon des Etages. It will satisfy both the hikers wishing to discover the massif and the mountaineers stopping on their way to the high peaks.
From the hut:
- For experienced skiers, the traverse to the Glacier Noir and the Pré de Madame Carle via the Col de la Temple is the best route. Those who like to ski on steep slopes will appreciate the numerous opportunities from the refuge, which include the Col des Avalanches, depending on conditions.
Mountaineering and climbing
- Le col de la Temple (3322m) et le Pic Coolidge (3774m)are wonderful climbs
- The Traversée des Ecrins (4102m) is a fine classic, with a complicated route leading to the only 4000m summit of the Southern Alps.
- The Col des Avalanches (3479m) and le Flambeau des Ecrins (3494m) can be beautiful objectives when conditions permit.