Ski-Touring: Pravouta - Bec Charvet

2016-02-04 by davidof

Snow and Avalanche

Time Location Altitude Aspect Fresh/Total Type Skiability Stability
15:00:00 Pravouta 1700 South-West 0/60 Hardpack 3
15:10:00 Pravouta 1600 South-West 20/30 Heavy Powder 4
15:20:00 Col du Coq 1450 South-West 15/20 Heavy Powder 4
16:20:00 Bec Charvet 1650 North-West 25/70 Powder 5
17:40:00 le Baure 1025 South 10/10 Heavy Powder 4

Avalanche Observations

Snowline Up/Down: 1025 meters (3363 feet)
Avalanche Risk: 2

Description

Participants:
Route Taken: Pravouta SW -> Bec Charvet NW -> le Baure
Road Access Some snow after the tunnel

Vertical Climbed: 1235 meters (4052 feet)
Distance: 14.9 km
Weather Sun turning to light snow at 4pm

Comments

It has snowed overnight and reports from this morning were quite encouraging. Less snow than forecast but around 25cm of dense powder. I decided to have a look at the col du Coq routes. I'd been this way at the end of November and back then the conditions were excellent. Today it was both warmer and less snow. 10cm at the start at le Baure at 1025 meters and not much more at 1400 on the col du Coq on the road pass. The SE face of Pravouta was very bare, the rain from last weekend had obviously not left a lot of snow. The Dent de Crolles was the same and only the "goulot" on the right side of the face had reasonable snow cover, and had been skied.

My plan was to ski down the SW face of Pravouta as this holds snow better. The summit at 1760m was bare but just below there was an old layer of very hard snow with dense powder lower down. Skiing was generally good to the bottom of the ex-ski pistes of the col du Coq.

I then climbed the Bec Charvet, pretty hard work with the lack of snow making trail breaking difficult - deep snow but no base and hard climbing in places over rocks and tree stumps. The summit was much better but it was late and starting to snow again. I skied down the NW face, very good conditions but the exit lacked snow. There was then a skin back up to the col du Coq and a reasonable ski back to the car in dusk conditions. Luckily I can ski by smell :-)

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