Ski-Touring: Spring Chamechaude

2015-03-29 by davidof

Snow and Avalanche

Time Location Altitude Aspect Fresh/Total Type Skiability Stability
13:00:00 Summit slopes 2000 West 5/100 Corn 4
13:30:00 Above carpark 1250 South-West 0/30 Hardpack 4

Avalanche Observations

Snowline Up/Down: 1240 meters (4068 feet)
Avalanche Risk: 1


Route Taken: as topo
Road Access Good

Vertical Climbed: 830 meters (2723 feet)
Distance: 5.2 km
Weather Mix of sun, cloud and snow/rain.


Luc said that there was a weather window on the Chartreuse between 10 and 1pm and so it turned out (thanks to I actually set out quite late as I was worried the snow would be hard earlier in the morning. Probably not with the cloud cover. In fact at midday it was perfect for climbing. I took the drag lift climb with a small variant at the end to avoid the ueber-steep last pitch. After the Bachasons I also took a steeper climb to avoid the long traverse to the plateau. There is still good snow cover. A few skiers descending when I climbed but not many people.

The ridge has a lack of snow due to wind erosion but it was still possible to ski from the cables keeping to the right bank. I didn't climb to the summit as there was now some light snow (which continued to about 1400 meters). I took a direct line through the avalanche protection and the snow started as a bump piste but quickly turned into a thin surface coat of creamy snow on a hard base. The ski down through the forest to the ski slopes was very good - again a bit of a mogul piste with trees so you have to watch your head. The ski slopes were perfect, fast and hard snow with a soft top layer.



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