Located in the Ecrins national park, Grande Ruine offers a remote summit, good skiing and a nice hut with the only drawback being the long and flat approach. Starting from Villar-d’Arêne it’s about 4 km of flatter skiing before starting the climb up to Refuge Adele Planchard. I joined a CAS group doing the trip as a round trip from the village but perhaps a better way is to climb the summit during a longer tour around the Meije massif.
The first day saw all kinds of troubles, but and after 1) hiring a pair of skis in La Grave for one participant and 2) finding a spare pair of sunglasses for another, we were finally on the way. The approach started quite cold, with strong winds but after we turned left into the new valley at Plan de Valfourche it quickly heated up. Now, instead of getting blasted with snow crystals we were cooked by the sun.