Adaptation on the taillefer tour in the ecrins

Going on a trek is above all about developing your ability to adapt.
Sophie and her friends have put this to the test with this trek rich in panoramas and its share of (mis)adventures!
Read the story of her epic journey below!

Not far from Grenoble, the Ecrins Massif offers beautiful and affordable escapades with sublime bivouac spots.
And when the elements are not with us, it is very easy to adapt your trek so that everyone is satisfied.

Some information about this trek in the mercantour:

  • Duration of a trek


    3 days

  • Distance of a trek


    36 kilometres

  • Elevation of a trek


    2000 m D+
    High point: Head of Louis 16 (2408 m)

  • Difficulty for beginner



  • Autonomy of a trek



  • Best time to travel

    Best time of year for this trek

    From May to October

Sophie’s itinerary on the taillefer tour

(Trek done in july 2021)

1. Ornon Pass
2. Head of Louis 16
3. Villard Reymond
4. Taillefer Refuge
5. La Jasse Sheepfold
6. La Poyat

From ornon pass to the head of louis 16

The small car park at Ornon Pass makes it easy to park your vehicle and set off on the path of our trek, the "Taillefer Tour", which was originally planned to last four days. After a small mistake on the road, it is late that we start our walk: fortunately the July days are still long!

The path climbs gradually through a pretty wood that offers from time to time breakthroughs allowing us to observe superb panoramas on the valley, enough to give us a good view on this first stage. The flowers of July are also very present, with a good book in hand it is an opportunity to discover and learn about mountain.

Hike to the Head of Louis 16 Adaptations on the Taillefer tour in the Ecrins
Mountain vegetation Adaptations on the Taillefer tour in the Ecrins

Bivouac at corbière pass

A stream providing water in the middle of a large plain of fresh the clock ticked, we decided that the Head of Louis 16 would be the perfect spot to pitch our tent that evening. Like any good hiker who spots a cross on high ground, you still have to climb to see the landscape: the wide angle view is magnificent! As there is little wind, it would be a shame not to lie down and wake up there. So off we go to set up our tents at the summit, followed by a little water and food chores before our first night in the great outdoors!

Corbières Pass : Adaptations on the Taillefer tour in the Ecrins

Descent to villard reymond

It was a restful night, and we woke up to a beautiful ray of sunshine with our tea in hand. We fold up the camp quietly before resuming the descent towards Villard Reymond, this intriguing little village, the highest in Isère, where only 6 people live all year round.
The weather soon changed and the morning sun gradually gave way to a light rain, not unpleasant but incessant. The pretty little refuge of Eau Blanche catches our eye, and the desire for a coffee and a bit of dryness makes us go back there.. We discover a nice little haven of peace, with board games and jazz music, run by Ela and Simon, two people we would like to meet more often on our way.

Villard Reymond : Adaptations on the Taillefer tour in the Ecrins

In search of the taillefer refuge

Once the break is over, we continue our hike in the direction of the Taillefer refuge, next to which we imagine setting up camp for the evening. This will undoubtedly be the occasion to have a good hot chocolate and warm up our little feet which will have taken water all day.
The plans did not go according to plan on this stage, the rain intensified, the much hoped for refuge was closed... more and more wet, with a rather unpleasant wind it was high time around 7pm to stop our walk and try to recover some strength.
The sheep and patous help us to find our way through the mist and it is as if by magic that the "Bergerie de la Jasse" appears in front of us, an unguarded hut which will be used this evening to welcome the lost mountaineers that we are. With a roof, a stove, a big table, nothing but happiness before putting up our tent outside in the middle of a storm.

Adaptations on the Taillefer tour in the Ecrins: La Jasse Sheepfold

Trekking also means adapting!

Trekking means dealing with what nature gives us and in groups with the desires of each individual. The bad weather exhausted Aurélie's strength and she was unlucky enough to have a puncture on her mattress. With her thermal layer missing, the pleasure was gone.
No worries, the massif gives us the possibility to adapt our route to shorten it a bit. This is the option chosen this morning. We head for the Col d'Ormon, our initial stage, this time passing through the hamlet of La Poya;

Hike to La poyat

As a bonus...

Mercantour trekking backpack

Fauna and flora spotted

Fauna: Bird of prey, Sheep
Flora : campanulas, astrances, coronillas, euphorbias,... July is a good time to spot mountain flowers

My sustainable development tip

Aleppo soap was tested and approved during this trek. Made of olive oil, bay leaf oil, natural soda and water it is 100% natural and biodegradable. Cleansing, disinfecting, moisturising, the small bar of soap can be used to clean your hair, wash your dishes and disinfect small wounds.

My trekking anecdote

Le Col d’Ornon…or how to lose two hours before starting the trek? The reason is simple, there are two Ornon passes, one in the Isère department and the other in Savoie. Foolishly following the GPS can play tricks on us, as I have seen once again. Well annoyed by all this driving and our absent-mindedness, we set off on our way in silence. Today we laugh about it and Ornon Pass will be part of our memorable souvenirs on this adventure.

The good tips for this trek

Unguarded huts are a great way to find comfort when the going gets tough. Not always easy to locate, they give us the impression of a small paradise when we find them. More information available on the website :

My favourite

Our first bivouac at 2500m, above the Head of Louis 16 allowed us to observe from above the whole Ornon valley and to wake up with a wonderful sunrise. After the long drive from Lille to the Alps, this first real night in a tent is our first real break of the holidays. The connection with nature, its light, its silences, its smells does us a world of good.

My mountain essential

It doesn't take up much space, it doesn't cost much, it allows you to sit on wet grass and protect yourself in case of rain, I named the poncho! Always have one in your bag! Well positioned on its back it will allow you to dry a few things hanging on your backpack, even when the weather is gloomy outside.
The waterproof bag allowed us to keep our sleeping gear dry. A few changes of clothes, a dry duvet in the waterproof compression bag... this is what allows you to hold on for the long term when the rain comes!

Taillefer trek testimonial

Trek undertaken and narrated by sophie

Product owner in data, looking for an escape whenever i have free time

His extra advice:
"Never forget that after the rain comes the good weather"

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