The original plan had been to ski the Moretan -> Pertuis loop. The Pertuis is a very long couloir above the village of the Bourgeat Noire in the north Belledonne range.
From the Borgeat Noire we climbed through the woods to the Refuge d’Oule col de Gleyzin (2565m), above the refuge the old skin tracks were filled in, no-one had been this way today. Instead of heading to the Moretan we decided to climb to the Gleyzin with the idea of descending the east side, this is always a good plan and so it proved (1480m d+) with excellent settled powder on a firm base that transformed into spring snow as the sun hit the valley. At 2000m we started the climb up the south face of the col des Fontaines (450m d+), a fairly easy climb. At the col we stopped to drink a bit of tea and eat. Well Joël et Gab seemingly neither drank nor ate a thing the whole day although they did have a snort of the scotch whisky I had in my rucksack.
Then the steep and moderately exposed north side of the Fontaines (4.1/E2) which, apart from the first few meters of hardpack, was settled powder snow. Heavy on the legs after nearly 2000m of climbing. A long traverse took us to the east side of the Pertuis which was excellent powder snow ((300m d+). The climb was very cold and I had some skin problems, luckily spray gloop got me to the Pertuis because it would have been impossible to boot pack in the loose snow up to your waist.
A very quick stop at the col, it was now 15h30 and we started the long Pertuis couloir (4.1/E1). After some 2200m in our legs the heavy powder and sometimes hardpack was tiring and we made frequent stops. It would have been nice to have been dropped by helicopter at the summit. The snow turned to loose powder in the bottom half - it looked similar to the graupel I’d seen in the Chartreuse but much smaller grains, I suspect it was spindrift that had been blown into the couloir. The final ski down to the parking through the woods was a border cross and reminded us that we could actually ski after the long descent of the Pertuis.
A quick hello to Stephane, Anne and Olivier who did the Moretan/Pertuis loop