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Ecrins – Remote, Wild and Beautiful Alps

KE’s Accounts Manager Martina can usually found behind stacks of spreadsheets, running her two children to after school clubs or squeezing in a fell... Read more
Ecrins – Remote, Wild and Beautiful Alps
KE’s Accounts Manager Martina can usually found behind stacks of spreadsheets, running her two children to after school clubs or squeezing in a fell run on the local hills. We thought she deserved a week away for some relaxation… with our version of that including 1000m ascents and descent in a peaceful, forgotten corner of the French Alps. 

In August 2019 I was lucky to join an amazing and breath-taking trek in the Southern Alps of France – walking the GR54 on KE’s The Ecrins Circuit. Living in the Lake District and being in love with fell running I was really excited to be able to take on this challenging trip. This was also going to be my first time in the Alps, a first time week of point-to-point trekking and the first time being away from my family for a whole week with a group of people I have never met before. The Challenge was on but I was absolutely thrilled and full of curiosity at what the Alps had to offer. Little did I know this would be one of my best adventures and how much my heart would be filled with a love for this beautiful part of the world. 

I knew the Ecrins were not going to be as popular as the area around Mont Blanc, however I quickly realised just how off-the-beaten-track Ecrins are. This is a little-known route with absolutely stunning scenery. We were group of 9, included myself, but we gelled immediately and neither of us could wait to wake up every morning with the excitement of what spectacular view we were going to see that day. And it was never disappointing, we were rather puzzled if it actually could get any better.  We were trekking really hard, quite long hours with a hard terrain under our feet and mostly steep but we could never get tired of that scenery around us. Stunning mountains, beautifully shaped with all their nature inside them were our best company all week. The noise of marmots everywhere was just the right music for our ears too.

The Ecrins are very quiet, remote and wild and peaceful. You would hardly see any people around. I felt like we were part of them, just the Alps and us. As if all that treasure of nature was just for our eyes and our souls. My favourite day was climbing Col de la Muzelle. The view we reached was just something out of this world. I was so stunned I was running around like a little puppy trying to capture this ‘view’ on my camera.

One of the most important part of this trip was our guide. We were so lucky to have Nirmal who was absolutely passionate about the Ecrins. His knowledge, experience and love for this area immediately glued on to us and he made this trek unforgettable, one of the greatest experiences for each of us. He quickly assessed our abilities and made sure everyone was comfortable with the pace whether ascending of descending. His enthusiasm and great character really brought the group together. The lunches he prepared for us were one of the best parts of the day while trekking. He supplied us with local food – bread, cheeses, meat, vegetables, fruit and chocolate. He would always find a perfect place to have a lunch too: tops of coles,  or mountain huts situated in the most beautiful places where food tasted better than anywhere else.

Each day we were staying in a different places: hotels, gites or a mountain hut. Not many of them had a wifi but we would sit in a beer garden every evening after the trek and enjoy passing the time with a good cold beer or few ‘piches’ of a red wine. Always overjoyed with the route we did that day, we would talk about it but also planned the next day with our guide Nirmal. All our trekking was accompanied by a good laugh, brilliant sense of humour, enthusiasm and amazement from all our group. I have to say that every traveller finished this trip as a very happy! We would have loved to trek Ecrins for a few more days, that’s for sure.

So if you are looking for a challenge and you are passionate about Alpine trekking this is the place to go. Digital detox, spectacular scenery, untouched wildlife and rocky paths will enrich your minds countless times. Yes, you will have to work pretty hard to get to see those views but it’s just worth it so much. This is the place where every view is ‘The View’. One of the travellers on the trip, David, who is a passionate photographer, too explained why he would recommend to visit Ecrins: ‘Having visited Ecrins 8 years ago, I fell in love with the place. It is the most fantastic mountain area, wild and untouched. You couldn’t find the better experience in the Alps.’ And as Nirmal would always say to me: ‘Martina, Ecrins equals Pure Mineral’.

Do you want to know more about KE's The Ecrins Circuit Trek - GR54? Just give Martina or a member of our adventure-loving team a call on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415.

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