Pic de Neige Cordier : normal route

Pic de Neige Cordier : normal route


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  • IGN - 3436ET - Meije - Pelvoux - Parc national des Écrins



route_types: return_same_way
durations: 1 day(s)
configuration: glacier

quality: medium


PD+     II    P3 
3.1 / E1


elevation min/max : 3175 m / 3614 m

height_diff_up: 440 m

height_diff_difficulties: 440 m

slope: 45°


glacier_gear: glacier_safety_gear




First climbed by Paul Guillemin, with Emile Pic and Pierre Estienne, 3 August 1877, who first did the pass which bears the name of the guide Emile Pic. First winter ascent by A. Arnaud and A. Fleuret, with Félix Engilberge and Félician Estienne, on 16 February 1926.



The normal route of Neige Cordier is beautiful and varied, snowy and rocky, which offers a wonderful view, in particular of the cirque of Écrins, the Grande Ruine massif, and the basin of glacier Arsine.

After the Écrins refuge, you first encounter Emile Pic pass (3483 m). For this, leave NE ascending snow covered slopes, or covered with rocks and cree later in the season, until joining the descending glacial slope of the pass towards the Glacier Blanc, to an altitude of approximately 3240m. Join the foot of the corridor coming out of the pass, cross a small bergschrund if necessary and go up it (40° to the end, with possibility of a little loose rock). Then continue via the snow or ice slope, located N of the SW ridge until reaching the rocks of the W valley slope. Then by best following the easy terrace and corridor systems, you first reach a secondary summit then the summit via the ridge. Total time approximately 2h30 from the refuge.

Variations: From the Écrins refuge, you can cross high enough on snow slopes under the Emile Pic rock to a promontory (3360m) located on the SE spur, and turn to the E valley slope in the glacial slope almost at the level of the base of the corridor. This climb can also be carried out leaving from the Glacier Blanc refuge. Then you go up the glacial slope under the Emile Pic pass directly after the Glacier Blanc. This makes it possible to climb to the Écrins refuge by carrying out a route.

Bibliography: - Guide du Haut-Dauphiné, massif des Écrins, book 2, GHM and F. Labande, published by l'Envol, description p.58,59 and 60, photos p.53,54 and 87.

The descent is carried out via the normal climb route. When the corridor leading to Emile Pic pass is covered with snow or ice, it can be difficult to descend. It takes 1h30 to 2h to reach the Écrins refuge.


The snow slope which leads to Emile Pic pass faces SSE, while the upper part of the Glacier des Agneaux faces W.

The corridor to Emile Pic pass and the slope above the pass can be difficult if they are ice.

A pretty varied route ideal for becoming familiar with the mountain terrain which will get you ready for the ascent of Barre des Écrins. It is a great classic popular route which can start from the Écrins refuge, but also the glacier Blanc refuge, and is a pleasant manner of climbing to Écrins.

The Argentière-la-Bessée (SNCF railway station) > Vallouise > Pré de Mme Carle Possibility of shuttles (for information Courriers Transalpins, Tel.:, www.lavallouise.com/courrierstransalpins) or taxis (same n° or Pelvoux Écrins taxi, Tel.: or, www.taxis-pelvoux-ecrins.com).

Refuge des Écrins (3175 m) Tel. : 04 92 23 46 66. Staffed from mid-June to the beginning of September and part of spring (Tel. caretaker (Laurent VERNET): 04 92 23 34 77). 35 places in winter, bedding.

Sensitive areas
There are sensitive areas on this route. Please refer to the map.


Classic mountaineering equipment.


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