This great hiking program will reveal a remote alpine valley’s secrets in the Hautes Alpes region.
In the very small and secluded alpine village of Névache, the clear Clarée river meets the turquoise blue glacier waters of the Durance. Nearby forts and canons have long been abandoned by mountain infantries. The remaining barbed wire fences have been taken down and put away, and left room to marmots, the new residents of the old war bunkers.
Following outstanding trails and numerous off-trail routes, we will admire Barre des Ecrins and the Meije peak, to only mention a few ! Beauty is everywhere, and for us to enjoy !
This destination is not scheduled for this summer, however :
If you're a group of friends, you can ask for a "private formula", and have your own guide !
Advantages : Exclusive guide - Choose your departure date - Flexibility all along the trip.
For any further information, please contact Déborah.
Day 1 : PONT DE L'ALPE - REFUGE DU CHARDONNET
We start our hike on the GR50 (French Great Hiking Trail network) towards Alpe du Lauzet. Once at the foot of the Lauzet needle, we leave the large grassy alpine bowl and hike up under the northern side of the needle to reach the Chardonnet mountain pass. Above the Névache valley, our steps follow a rocky ridge, showing old remains of graphite mining deep into the Cerces mountain range. After a short downhill section we reach a lovely alpine site and our hut.
Up : 3 300ft / Down : 1 150ft / Hiking Time : 5 H 00
Day 2 : REFUGE DU CHARDONNET – LAC ROUGE – REFUGE RICOU
Today, everything gets bigger ! First we head towards the Casse Blanche lakes, following stone cairns through a very rocky section to reach the Cassse Blanche ridge. The nearby summit looks like a great hiking goal… We hike across a remaining snowfield and stop for a well-deserved lunch break at Lac Rouge. Later we follow the Béraudes lake trail to the Clarée valley bottom. The cherry on the cake finally comes with the final 1 000ft uphill section to the Ricou hut !
Up : 4 260ft / Down : 3 930ft / Hiking Time : 8 H 00
Day 3 : REFUGE RICOU – COL DU VALLON – NÉVACHE
Behind the hut, alpine pastures make place to the Laramon lake. Slowly, the majestic peak of Barre des Ecrins comes into view (13 460 ft). After hiking another 15 mn we arrive at the Serpent (Snake) Lake connected by a mountain creek to the Gardiole Lakes. At 8 950ft, we leave the last lake behind and start off to reach Lac Blanc peak at 9 770ft. We hike back down through the alpine valley to the village of Névache.
Up : 3 300ft / Down : 4 260ft / Hiking Time : 8 H 00
Day 4 : NÉVACHE – L'AIGUILLE ROUGE – COL DES THURES – VALLÉE ÉTROITE
We leave Névache and hike towards the Chapelle des Ames (Chapel of the souls). The red needle peak seems so close. We follow a meandering trail up to reach a perfect view point at 8 350ft from where we can admire the Briançon mountains and further away, Italian and more French mountain ranges. Back down to the Thures mountain pass, we arrive at the Chavillon Lake and finally hike to Granges de Vallée Etroite (hamlet of the Narrow Valley).
Up : 3 300ft / Down : 2 625ft / Hiking Time : 7 H 00
Day 5 : VALLÉE ÉTROITE – MONT THABOR – REFUGE DU THABOR
From the hamlet we follow the creek and reach the summit of Thabor peak after a short detour or « wedze ». Thabor is a beautiful mountain, and the climb up is just unforgettable ! The view stretches far in the distance, with Mount Viso looking to the South. A shrine path takes us to the Meandes pass and Peyron lake. After hiking across the creek we reach the Vallée Etroite pass and shortly arrive to the hut.
Up : 4 600ft / Down : 2 625ft / Hiking Time : 8 H 00
Day 6 : REFUGE DU THABOR – REFUGE DES DRAYÈRES
Ready for another stunning day ? From the hut we first hike towards Sainte Marguerite Lakes, and continue under the very distinctive peak of Cheval Blanc and reach the Thabor pass at 9 680ft. Then we follow an obvious trail through large erratic boulders, all the way to the beautiful Glacier lakes. After a short break we leave this enchanting area for Névache pass and the Muandes alpine bowl. We finally continue downhill until the Drayères hut.
Up : 2 300ft / Down : 3 300ft / Hiking Time : 8 H 00
Day 7 : REFUGE DES DRAYÈRES – LE GRAND GALIBIER – PONT DE L'ALPE
Last but not least, today’s hike requires some will and courage. Yet our hiking experience has built up and makes the climb up to Grand Galibier seem like a stroll in the park ! The view over the Meije peak is breathtaking ! We gently make it down to Alpe du Lauzet, to complete this extraordinary trekking loop, filled with pride and satisfaction !
Up : 3 935ft / Down : 5 580ft / Hiking Time : 9 H 00
For safety reasons, the guide may modify the trek itinerary due to terrain, weather or other conditions.
Download the trip description
LEVEL : The Cerces & Mont-Thabor hiking trip is a strenuous and demanding trek. More than 1000m (3350ft) vertical gain and about 7 to 9 hours of hiking daily. Some days may be long and demanding, involving altitudeand high mountain passes (min.2800m). Hiking on mountain trails and terrain showing exposed and difficult sections. These trips generally require carrying a backpack with personal belongings throughout the trek. For expert hikers only. For very active, well-trained people with a solid experience in alpine trekking.
ACCOMMODATION : 6 nights in mountain hut (in dormitory). Mountain huts provide hot shower and blankets. Each hiker carries daily his personal belongings, and the picnic.
GUIDING : Maximum 7 people per guide. For maximum safety and quality guiding.
MEETING PLACE : At 7H00 am in front of the Compagnie des Guides in Chamonix on Day 1. You are welcome to come and meet your guide the evening before at our office at 6 pm.
You can meet your group directly at 10H00 am in Le Lauzet village.
No scheduled date for this summer.
PRICE : Please contact Deborah at the Compagnie des Guides for a private departure.
Here's an example of our all-inclusive price per person :
The organization and supervision of each tour by State qualified trekking guide/s
Drinks and personal expenditure (souvenirs…)
Half-board accommodation in mountain huts (dormitory)
|Repatriation insurance (mandatory)|
The picnic lunches
Transfers throughout the trek
- ID or valid passport.
- Repatriation insurance (mandatory). Cancellation insurance is highly recommended.
We provide optional insurance contracts for repatriation and trip cancellation (see booking form).
EQUIPMENT : See attached list.
INSURANCE : Our mountain leaders are self-employed professionals, and therefore covered under a liability insurance via the French Mountain Leaders Association (SNAM). As a tour operator, the Compagnie des Guides is also covered under a tour operator liability insurance contract (MMA IARD).
Repatriation and cancellation insurance are available from our office. Repatriation insurance is mandatory. We strongly recommend the purchase of cancellation insurance.
TRAINING : Good physical condition will allow you to make the most of your holiday. A month before the hike at least, we suggest you walk upstairs, rather than use the elevator. During the weekends you can run, walk or ride your bike to train for the hike. Doing a medical check-up before signing for the trip is recommended. Your guide should be informed of any medical treatment.
CLIMATE : Alpine weather can change suddenly, involving wide temperature variations. Temperatures also drop with altitude, and snow falls in summer are not rare. A high pressure moving in can also bring in cool air. You should anyhow bring warm clothes and be prepared for cold or very hot weather, while minimizing additional weight gain.
Please, feel free to contact the Compagnie des Guides for any further information.
You are a private group, you can ask for a "private formula", and have your own guide !
- Exclusive guide
A more individualized relationship between your group and the professional.
- Choose your date of departure
You can choose your date of departure within the limit of the hut availabilities.
- Flexibility all along the trip
Depending on weather conditions, your level and your expectations, the guide can suggest you some different options of itinerary.
For any further information, please contact Déborah :
Tel : +33 450 53 00 88 or E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org