The Pic de l’Etendard is a classic tour for end of season.
We slept at the Refuge de l’Etendard where we went the previous day (a 2-hour trip from the Col de la Croix de Fer, mostly on skis). At this time of the year, the hut is full of pedestrians, with rare skiers. The pedestrians left at 4 am, we enjoyed a longer night and left at 6am after a quiet breakfast in the empty hut. The first half of the trip is mostly flat, along nice lakes. Then the ascent starts as we reach the Glacier de Saint Sorlin, also known as Glacier de l’Etendard. This glacier is friendly, I have never seen a crevasse there, and we carried no special equipment. The last 50 meters requires walking up and we reached the summit around noon. We enjoyed the view there for sometimes, before skiing down to the hut for a drink and a siesta in the sun. We then went back to the car waiting at the Col de la Croix de Fer, mostly on skis with 15-minute walk at the end.
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