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Clot la Cime from Col d’Izoard, Queyras

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Here's a summit that overlooks almost all of the Queyras as far as Mont Viso, and offers glimpses of the Écrins glacier further north. The ascent to Clot de la Cime from Col d'Izoard is a classic, offered almost everywhere as a round trip. Here, the route forms a loop, passing over the Col des Ourdéis on the way back, enhancing interest and panoramas, but taking in a more difficult section from the summits to the col. The loop is therefore suitable for more experienced hikers, but is not overly difficult either. On the other hand, being in the high mountains, the weather must be good, and if it isn't, you'll have to make do with the return trip.

Dans la descente vers le col des Ourdéis

Technical summary

Departure point: Col d'Izoard, Queyras, Hautes-Alpes (05)
Type of route: high-mountain loop hike
Distance: 6 km
Cumulative elevation gain: +425 m
Cumulative negative elevation gain: -425 m
Estimated total time: 2h to 3h
■ Min and max altitude: 2365 m / 2732 m
Marking: yellow PR trail on the way up, loop via the Col des Ourdéis on unmarked trail
Equipment: none
Equipment required: GPS track useful for return loop

Difficulties: in the 2nd part, ridge and descent on steep, unstable terrain, some orientation in the 3rd part.

Access to the place

From Guillestre, take the departmental road up to Chateau-Queyras, then branch off towards Arvieux. Pass Arvieux, La Chalp and Brunissard to tackle the iconic Col d'Izoard climb. At the pass, park. Starting point of the hike. The summit of Clot la Cime is visible from here, on the left as you arrive, to the west. You can also see the path that crosses the mountain to the left.

Itinerary description

Course

The ascent to the summit of Clot la Cime is marked in yellow by the PR, while the return via the ridge and the Col des Ourdéis is on an unmarked path with cairns, and even off-path to return to the col via the north side of the mountain.

1st part: from Col d'Izoard to the summit of Clot la Cime and Antécime Ouest (2732m, 45' to 1h)

The trail starts from the Col d'Izoard, crossing the road and passing behind the stores. You'll find the sign for Clot la Cime on the PR, marked in yellow. Follow the clearly visible traverse path, which literally cuts across the mountain to the south, climbing very slightly. At the end of this traverse, the path begins to go around the mountain, climbing a little more. There are 2 passages equipped with cables, for safety in case of rain or snow, because even if the slope is steep, there are no difficulties. Behind, the path winds northwards up the grassy side of the summit, with a steeper gradient. You soon reach the double summit: to the right, on a small promontory, is Clot la Cime, overlooking the Col d'Izoard and giving an impressive view of the Queyras and Mont Viso in the background; to the left, walking a little along the ridge, is Antécime Ouest, where, facing north-west, you can see the Ecrins bar and the white glaciers in the background.

For those wishing to avoid the descent to the Col des Ourdéis, now is the time to turn around and retrace your steps.
Part 2: Clot de la Cime to Col des Ourdéis via the ridge (2420m, 45' to 1h)

From the summits, continue on the ridge without difficulty, heading due west. At the end, you'll find the descent to the Col des Ourdéis. There's a minimal path with cairns for descending, staying broadly on the ridge. The terrain is unstable and steep, so you need to be careful. After a long descent, the ridge becomes less steep, passing over some pretty bumps of orange earth before finally descending to the Col des Ourdéis. The route from the summit is obvious in terms of orientation, just be careful on the steepest passages. Avoid rain or snow...
Part 3: Col des Ourdéis to Col d'Izoard via the north side (30' to 45')

From the Col des Ourdéis, set off on the north side along the signposted path, which we leave fairly quickly to cut across to the east, trying to stay as high up as possible. We cross some grassy areas, then descend a little to pass under some pretty sculpted white rock formations before climbing back up into the forest. You then come to a path and a track leading from the refuge Napoléon. Walk along the track until you reach the 1st 90° downhill bend. At this point, to avoid losing too much elevation gain, cut off the trail as much as possible, ending up on a scree path that leads to the last bend before the north-side pass.

Map & topo

The route back from the Col des Ourdéis to the road under the Col d'Izoard is approximate.

Voir en plein écran

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