Ski-Touring: Dent de Crolles - Pravouta

2015-04-06 by davidof

Snow and Avalanche

Time Location Altitude Aspect Fresh/Total Type Skiability Stability
08:30:00 Road 1300 South 5/10 Powder 3
09:00:00 Prairie 1650 South-West 10/60 Windblown (Sastrugi) 3 Slabby, not well bonded to base
09:40:00 Couloir W 1850 West 20/70 Powder 4 Purge in couloir
10:10:00 Pravouta 1700 West 15/60 Powder 4 Not well bonded to base
10:40:00 Col du Coq 1340 North 15/35 Powder 4

Avalanche Observations

Altitude Aspect Size Type
1600 South-West Sluff Purge

Snowline Up: 1240 meters (4068 feet)
Snowline Down: 1220 meters (4003 feet)
Avalanche Risk: 2

Description

Participants:
Route Taken: Dent de Crolles to the cliffs then Pravouta West return via the col du coq
Road Access Clear

Vertical Climbed: 1050 meters (3445 feet)
Distance: 10.5 km
Weather Strong N. wind. Sunny. Low cloud developing by mid morning.

Comments

I'd thought about heading to the Belledonne but cloud was developing at 7.30 and the Chartreuse was clear. There was also a strong N. wind blowing snow on the ridges and summits and it looked like there could be some extra avi risk. So Chartreuse it was. The Col du Coq road is still blocked at 1220 meters but there is not much snow beyond. Mostly the stuff that fell on Saturday night so it will not be a good option in a couple of days.

Feeling lazy I followed a track to the Dent de Crolles but stopped at the Pas d'Oeille. There was only about 10-15cm of fresh snow and it was poorly bonded to the base. I'd seen two people ahead and they seemed to be having some trouble. With the N. wind I was worried about the upper section being slabbly. In short too risky for me at 9am. Instead I took the couloir down the SW ridge. This had purged so it was necessary to ski either the left or right bank. Elsewhere on the face the snow was windblown and not great to ski. The best snow was below 1600 meters.

I then climbed to Pravouta, the trail had been made now although I retraced some of the more exotic parts near the summit to something a bit more reasonable. The west face had better snow than the Dent de Crolles although a bit uneven to start off and a few hidden rocks lower down. About 15cm of fresh on a hard base. I skied down to the bottom of the old ski area via various clearings.

All that remained was to reskin to the Col and follow the skis down to the road. There is not much snow cover below 1300m.

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