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Ascent of Grande Berard on 2020-08-23

Climber: Rob Woodall

Date:Sunday, August 23, 2020
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Grande Berard
    Location:France
    Elevation:10000 ft / 3048 m

Ascent Trip Report

After the previous day's Argentera ascent.

From NNE, Pont du Berard, accessed by roughish unpaved road, OK in my Ford Focus with care, water fountain where paving ends. We parked 0.8km E but parking is OK at bridge. Trail within 100m of summit, then some scrambling on rock which is stable but care needed on an overall loose chossy peak. Austere but good scenery. Summit climb from col seemed to remind me of Mt Assiniboine, the (rather more serious!) British Columbia peak.

Good trail on W side of stream, initially zigzags up thru trees, bridge to E side of (dry) stream, terrain open and grassy, then trail steepens and zigzags up ground becoming steeper and stony to col. Initially a clear trail climbs R-L across the steep stony triangular SW face, to end just before a level balcony path. Walking to R end a reasonable ascent route can be found keeping within a few m of clifftop, choosing the best rock (loose in places). Alternatively from L end of balcony path before it descends, scramble 5m up stable rock to find reasonable cairned path up a spur (route not visible from below, I descended this way). Higher up the 2 routes converge below 2 rock steps, which the cairned route takes direct (cairns not always obvious). Then short rough rocky ridge to summit, marked with large stone cairn next to metal frame marking a small trig block. Ridge continues N and looks potentially doable, and there is eventually an easy grassy descent from N top, but probably complications in between, so I carefully descended, following the cairned route leading a little R down the spur before joining the lower path at the balcony. 6h45 round trip, from col 40 mins up, 5mins on summit, 35mins down, then 1h to trailhead. A very slow 4h20up...

I'd asked Oscar A about this peak; his assesment was about right; he tells me the P150m summit immediately S is also doable, but some gendarmes needed bypassing by downclimbing to boulderfield. These difficulties are visible from Berard. I may have been tempted, but no time today.

Grande Berard photos

Next day I climb Pic Bayle with Lee Newton.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4055 ft / 1235 m
    Grade/Class:YDS 3
    Quality:7 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4055 ft / 1235 m
    Distance:10.5 mi / 16.9 km
    Start Trailhead:5945 ft / 1812 m
Descent Statistics
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip


 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
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Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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