Route Taken: Recoin, Couloir, Roberts, Petit Van
Road Access Snow at side of road from 1400m but clear
Vertical Climbed: 0
meters (00 feet)
Vertical Descended: 250 meters (820 feet)
Weather Sunny, strong easterly wind, 2C at 10am at Chamrousse
As part of a tour to the Petit Van I decided to take in the Via Ferrata couloir rather than ski the Lac Roberts ski slope. There were no tracks on the climb up and about 10cm of fresh snow at the top of the couloir. The entrance was a bit dry but I traversed high then side slipped a couple of meters. My first turn purged the surface snow and this took out a line right to the bottom of the couloir leaving spring like snow. The only fly in the ointment was that "staircases" left by side slipping skiers were left over from the ski season so the skiing was not excellent, neither smooth spring snow nor the hoped for powder. The route seems much more popular compared to my last visit in 2010. Below the monkey bridge there was 5 to 10cm of powder which made up for things.
No avalanche bulletin now but the risk was probably about 2 at this altitude given the fresh snow and winds.