This is almost certainly going to be my last Virgule Couloir of 2019. First off all getting up at 6am during the week is not my cuppa but the reward is seeing the sun rise over the Alps.
I was back from a week in Paris and feeling quite tired so wanted somewhere close and not too complicated - easy climb and ski and no reskinning.
Powder in March is pretty short lived, here today, gone tomorrow.
With the col de Marcieu closing its nordic ski area and le Sappey in poor condition the next nearest nordic ski area is the Beldina / les 7 Laux.
Thib had warned me there was not much snow left but I had difficulty believing him as conditions had been good a few days ago.
I'd not been back to Barioz for a while but had a half day off to enjoy the last of the summer in winter weather.
Tot was keen to do a morning at St Hilaire. The snow conditions are still really good and we tried to arrive in good time to ski for a couple of hours.
I'd wanted to do a return trip along the Herse early in the day (9am start) but the Herse had not been pisted from the Combe Noire junction (not enough snow depth and too hot apparently).
It seemed like late spring today. 20C in the valley and a lot of smog, some of the worst valley pollution of the season.
The snow was reasonable good so decided to climb to Emeindras at the summit, or nearly, of the ski runs. Of course the descent was icy which meant it was not too reassuring on cross country skis.