Location: Parc National des Ecrins (French Alps).
Map: IGN 3436ET http://goo.gl/maps/mpOgg
Family rating: Excellent.
The village Ailefroide (Pelvoux) is one huge camping site. Plenty of space for kids to play and explore. Special “ecoles” are equipped for starting climbers/kids, every type of climbing (boulder, sport, multipitch, trad, alpine and in season ice climbing).
Family crags at walking distance (10 to 25 minutes) + boulders starting at the edge of the camping. Readily accessible and very good equipped multipitch climbs at walking distance for the older “kids”.
Topo guides are available in the local shops. Comprehensive topo (Escalades autour d’Ailefoide) published by J.M. Cambon, local guide and routesetter of hundreds! of routes in the area. Selected routes can be found in guide books covering the wider area (e.g. Escalade en Brianconnais Haut Val Durance Queyras).
Spring-Summer-Autumn. Temperatures in summer can rise to 30°C, but weather can change fast here. You are in an alpine environment! The campsite is at 1500m altitude.
Ranging from 3 to 8… . Single and multipitch routes (15 to 500 meters) on solid granite. Mostly friction climbing (ecoles + multipitch) but there are vertical and athletic routes as well (crags e.g. la Gorge, Terra Nova, …).
Multi pitch routes: about 100 (?) (from 2 pitches up to 500 meter). Easy climbs (6a max) can be done with the more experienced kids (e.g. Ein zwei Draye (D+), Cascade blues (D+), …).
Routes for little kids/teaching crag: yes (crags e.g. Les Etoiles, Ecole Buissonière). See Ailefroide for kids
Boulders: from small pebbles to nerve breaking high balls. Separate guidebook available in the local shops.
Campsite: Camping d’Ailefroide (may-september, depending on local weather). Almost “climbers only” campsite. A climber only needs a hot shower and a toilet, no swimming pool !
Local shops (newsagent, sports, grocery) next to the camping site have “everything” a climber needs.
Too tired for cooking, local hotel-restaurant-café available
On a resting day:
- Swimming pool in Pelvoux (10mins by car)
- Much nicer swimming in a small lake near Chapelle de Rame (http://goo.gl/maps/rJVAb)
- Beautiful hikes.
- Tête de la Draye (2390m). Some steep part were you need to keep an eye on the kids. A little higher delicious blueberries!
- Pre de Madame Carle + Glacier Blanc
- , l’Alpe de Clapouse (2160m), very safe walk. The alpine meadow is a perfect pick nick place with a nice view over the surrounding mountains (Pelvoux) and valleys.
- Many others
- Aquatic canyoning: contact local guides
- Combine shopping in Briançon with a visit of the fortified old city.
- Short via ferrata (start right outside Les Claux at the bridge over the Torrent d’Ailefroide)