June 2017. The day before our hike to the Carro mountain refuge we hiked up to another Vanoise refuge located on the opposite side of the valley : the Evettes moutain hut. This one is facing the Evettes glacier in a desolated and impressive landscape. A perfect place to spend a “off season” night in altitude.
From the Ecot car park near Bonneval-sur-Arc there are two paths to reach the refuge :
– the classic “Evettes” trail, accessible to all
– the more difficult trail called “Sentier à John” : longer (45 min/1 hour more) with some steep parts and security cables to use (not to do on a rainy day)
In the middle of june there is always a lot of snow everywhere in the northern Alps so my brother and I decided to take the classic trail (not sure the other one was passable anayway…). This one goes up quickly in the mountain right after the car park, but also have several “flat” parts that make the whole hike a nice trip for all. The best of this hike : from the beginning to the end you enjoy amazing views to the high Vanoise snow peaks.
It is supposed to be a raisonable trail, but on that day of june snow parts, spring rivers/streams and wet grass made the ascent longer than it should be for us. It seems that many hikers stopped the hike before the last ascent which was totally covered by snow. Sad for them, the view once on the Evettes plateau was just rewarding and impressive. It really worthed the effort !
The Evettes is located on the left of a huge plateau when facing the glacier. It is surrounded by small lakes which where still partly frozen at that time of the year. From the refuge, you can’t miss the glacier and it should be a top trip to reach him at summer time. Unfortunately the snow was still covering the whole landscape this day so we decided to enjoy the views from the lakes and the hill behind the refuge. This last one is the best viewpoint around as it shows a 360° paranorama on high Vanoise summits. Incredible.
At night time we had the chance to enjoy the refuge for us only as it was the last day before the summer season. A perfect moment in life : silence, red sunset, and a warm place for the night.
When we woke up the day after the weather was really different : colder, but clear with a lovely golden light on the snow covered landscape. It is often like that in mountain : clear morning and cloudy evening. We went for a little exploration and found the arrival of the other trail (sentier à John) : it was not passable at all. It goes through a really nice canyon that made us think that we should go back one day in a better season to make the hike from this way.
To conclude this hike report : the Evettes glacier and refuge are a really easy-to-reach mountain destination. The main trail is accessible to all and in normal conditions you will get there in less than two hours. A short time and a nice effort to enjoy one of the best landscape of the area.
In summer time, it should be a nice idea to use the other trail to go back and do a proper loop, but I have not additional information about this one.
- Departure : Ecot car park, Bonneval-Sur-Arc
- Altitudes : 2023m (l’Ecot), 2590m (Refuge)
- Elevation gain : 570m
- Duration : 2h00 (less without the snow)
- Date : june 2017
- Mountain range : Vanoise
- Vanoise National Park, but outside the “heart” area