Ski Touring: Orionde with Mike - 2,041 m. (6,697 ft)

Date: 02/07/2019

Technical

Minimum altitude: 1,080 meters

Distance: 13 km

Slope Aspect: North-East

Vertical Climbed: 950 meters (3,117 feet)

Rating: 2.1

Avalanche Risk: 3

Snowline: 1,080

Description

We ruled out south aspect slopes due to the poor weather forecast and the risk of crust, that seems like a good move. Instead we opted for a classic, the Orionde, a North to North-East facing not too steep slope which hadn't been skied much lately, or at all on the side we skied. The entrance was very wind blow, huge waves of snow and I came out of my binding on one. Getting it back on I got a lot of ice under the springs and it was not until I stopped a bit later and cleared the ice that I got the binding to close properly (normally I'm on Plum bindings and they don't have the same issues as Dynafiddle but one of my Plums broke).


We skied the first pitch one at a time as it is in the 30 degree range and was loaded. All good but the snow was like damp flour to ski. It got lighter as we descended but the steep pitch under the Lac du Crop was more physical as it was heavily cut up by other skiers. Afterwards we merely had to descend by the road.

The weather was not particularly cold. A couple of degrees at the trailhead. A bit of wind at the summit and grey and sleeting on most of the descent. There will probably have been a few extra cms today above 1000 meters.

Conditions

Road is snow covered from Prabert. Okay on winter tires

Avalanche risk is 3 today.  Warning was of accumulations and buried weak layers. We noticed some surface hoar around 1600 meters in a forest clearing. Something to think about after the next big snowfall.

Generally snow was a mix of more, or less, dense powder except for the road which was hardpack.