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TR: Grand Rocher, Belledonne FR
Posted: 18 December 2011 06:01 PM  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

I’d been due to lead a club group yesterday but the rain in the valley didn’t really inspire anyone to venture outside. Indeed just driving to the trailhead would have maybe been the biggest adventure.

So time for our winter pilgrimage to the Grand Rocher today with Anny, Guy and JC. It was actually snowing quite heavily in the valley at 300m but this eased of as you climbed. Roads were quite slippery with some real ####kers on the roads. I met the team at Theys and we took the Kangoo up to the Col du Barrioz at 1350m. It was possible to start from lower down but we didn’t want to be outside too long in the cold and snow. It is bad enough there are no ski lifts!

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At the summit

Someone had already broken trail although this was filling in again under the fresh snow. There was little wind but around 3cm fell over the 2 hour period we were out. The route is popular as it is reasonably safe in high avalanche risk (4 today above 1800m, 2 lower down where the snow has been stabilized by rain and a freeze/thaw cycle).

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Amazingly it was sunny climbing but the weather closed in fast.

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The descent was excellent powder, very light, easy to ski, about 30cm on a good solid base.

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At some points a scuba mask and snorkel would have been a good idea.

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