Ski Touring: Year of the Cat (Mont du Chat, Couloir des ChĂȘnaies) - 1,200 m. (3,937 ft)

Tue, 26 January 2021


Minimum altitude: 600 meters

Distance: 9.3 km

Slope Aspect: East

Vertical Climbed: 600 meters (1,969 feet)

Vertical Descended: 600 meters

Rating: 3.3

Avalanche Risk: 3

Snowline: 610


First off I beached my car on deep snow, trying to turn for the parking. I should have immediately parked when I saw the road was white. The issue was I was very close to a cliff and every time I tried to move forwards or backwards the car slid closer to the edge. Then I thought, "I've got a plan". I got my avalanche shovel out and cleared the road from under the front wheels back about 5 meters, down to the verge and tarmac. I was able to reverse back to safety and return to the car park but made good the ski touring track before I left.

The climb is a bit long on a series of traverses where you don't gain much height. I saw a track that climbs directly up the hill on the map later and maybe this would be a good idea, at least for the start. Because of the car shenanigans I didn't have time to reach the summit, I'll have to come back when it snows next. Instead I skied down the Couloir des ChĂȘnaies until it joined a large forest trail then took this and the road, which I knew had skiable snow, rather than risk the forest below 1000m which really didn't look that skiable.


50cm of fresh snow in the couloir. Already a few tracks from early birds but generally good skiing although one or two logs.


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