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L’Aiguille de la Bérangère: compete against nature

, September 25th 2014, No comment, 980 vues.

Have you ever tried to measure yourself to nature? Man is insignificant in this vast natural playground! This is exactly what I said to myself, more than 3,400 metres above sea level, on the Aiguille de la Bérangère…


It’s a long climb up to the Aiguille de la Berangère, a difficult 2 day itinerary. I did it this summer with my father and brother.

Passage-Corde Chamois-au-passage-corde Passerelle

A delicate passage on the way / Chamois watching us climb / The footbridge just before the shelter


We left at 10.30 am on 31st July. Two hours later we arrived for a picnic at Tré-la-Tête, at 1,970 metres above sea level. This is where it all began…

In the middle of the afternoon, a young man with a little beard and soft eyes appeared. Our guide’s name was Thibaut Beck. He led us slowly towards the refuge des Conscrits, whistling Georges Brasssens all the way.

We made progress stone after stone, pause after pause, rope after rope, stream after stream, chamois after marmot. Given the difficulty of the slippery and muddy trail we shouted out. We were far from imagining what was to come the next day! Our guide remained perplexed, he was intending to walk down via the same trial (apparently much easier than the old trail)


 reguge-de-loin coucher-de-soleil vue-à-six-heures-du-matin
Refuge des Conscrits seen from afar / Sunset around 9 p.m. / 6 a.m. on the glacier


We arrived at Les Conscrits in time for dinner. We changed into dry socks before enjoying a good meal and a well deserved nap. We planned to set off at 3.30 am the following morning to climb the Aiguille de la Bérangère!

4.30 am. With our ice axes securely attached, crampons, harness and headlight we set off to conquer the heights. The climb was incredibly steep. We crossed a glacier, a rocky peak and a wall of ice before reaching the gentle slopes (or not!) of the Aiguille de la Bérangère. We arrived at 3,425 metres altitude at 9.00 am.



ça-grimpe-dur vue-cime-dômes-en-haut-de-laiguille laiguille-par-les-conscrits

A steep climb to bypass the rock!   / On the needle! A view of  /  Aiguille de la Bérangère as seen from

Our guide seeks to secure us / the ridge of Les Dômes de Miage/ direct path to Les Conscrits


We arrived back at the Conscrits refuge in no time , thanks to the improvised sledge tracks. Here we had a good meal to keep us going all afternoon on the downhill walk. Thibault had the good idea to go via the Tré la Tête glacier instead of taking the same path as on the way up. It was much easier as we avoided the mud and slippery rocks. We had to use our crampons one last time in the middle of the glacier just before reaching Tré la Tête around 4.00pm, a little more than three hours of descent .

All we had to do now was walk back down to Les Contamines (at 1160 metres altitude). The signposts indicated 1 hour 30 minutes. I can confirm that after a big climb one is miles from the specified time! I can also confirm that a hiking trail suddenly appears easily accessible. One subsequently understands the difference between ‘middle ‘ and ‘high’ mountain range! I recommend you discover the high mountains but make sure you take a experienced guide on your climb to the stars!



aiguille ici

Aiguille de la Bérangère : gateway to the dômes de Miages.



Clément Nicole

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