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Via ferrata de Pra Premier, Arvieux

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Above Brunissard, the Pra Premier via ferrata offers an opportunity to discover the high-altitude alpine pastures of the Queyras and the traditional chalets of Clapeyto. A popular route because it's quick and easy to get to, it's not too difficult, with options to add a little more difficulty at the start and finish. The high-mountain atmosphere is superb, with splendid views over the Arvieux valley and the peaks around the Col de l'Izoard. You could follow this up with the via ferrata at the nearby Crêtes de Combe la Roche, which is still easy to access but much more difficult.

Dans la partie finale de la ferrata, surplombant Pre Premier

Technical summary

■ S tarting point: above the Izoard campsite, Brunissard, Queyras, Hautes-Alpes (05)
Type of route: high-mountain via ferrata
■ Direction: north-east
Fitted length: 370 m
Positive vertical drop: +200m
Estimated total time: 1h30 to 2h30
■ Min and max altitude: 1900 m / 2279 m
Equipment in place: rungs
Equipment required: standard equipment

Difficulty: AD or K3, the original route includes small sporty options.

Access to the place

From Guillestre, as you enter the Queyras, climb up to Chateau-Queyras and Saint-Véran on the D902. Before Chateau-Queyras, turn off towards Arvieux, staying on the D902. Pass Arvieux, La Chapl and in Brunissard, turn towards the Izoard campsite and the ferratas, which are signposted. The road winds its way up the narrow valley, literally crossing the campsite and parking higher up before the hairpin bends in the piste. The approach starts from here, for the 2 ferratas. There is an option to climb to the upper parking lot via the track, which is in good condition, but this depends on the weather conditions.

Itinerary description

Hiking to the start 10' à 20'

From the top parking lot, simply walk along the grassy plateau and around the pond to the left, then climb up to the foot of the wall. Everything is well signposted. From the lower parking lot, there's a path that climbs up into the forest to cut through the twists and turns of the track. Further up, you rejoin the track to finish at the upper parking lot and continue towards the start of the route.

Course 1h à 1h30

The ferrata, which is free of charge, is open from June 1 to October 15.

The Easy start is of little interest, as it seems to involve walking up the wall to find a higher entrance. It's better to start with the Difficult access, which is rather Rather Difficult. The first wall is fairly vertical, followed by an alternation of traverses and small jumps to climb, and inclined ramps to climb with lots of bars. Along the way, there are a few small vertical passages, including 1 or 2 slightly overhanging but very short pitches. Nevertheless, the route gains height and you soon overlook the lake and the grassy starting plateau.

Almost at the top, there's an escape route on the right (probably an old one) that allows you to avoid the final section. This final section is indeed even more aerial, with a fairly long, vertical section that doesn't really pull on the arm (AD+). We come out on the ridge, in the middle of the Clapeyto valley.

Back

From the ridge, follow the return signs. The path descends south-west to Collet Haut at 2207m. There are 2 options: either go left and return directly to the parking lot, passing under the ferrata. Or - and this is what we did - go right and enjoy a short stroll through the Clapeyto mountain pastures, admiring the splendid Queyras wooden chalets. The itinerary is obvious, and the path joins up with the track below, which we follow to return to the upper parking lot after a long, winding climb.

Map & topo

The red ferratas and the start of the return from the top are indicative.

Voir en plein écran

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