I hadn’t been up to the Moucherotte since March 2006, and then it was nightime:-
it is the other side of Grenoble and I always get lost in a maze of industrial parks and roundabouts. However with torrential rain to 1200 meters over the weekend we needed a reasonably high start. St Nizier is at 1150 meters. The snow was also somewhat variable, wind blown, icy in places, powder on a icy base in others.
At the start there was 10cm of humid snow, it had rained at this level and, looking at the trees, to around 1300 meters. At this point the snow turned to hard pack (it is a very trafficed route) with 1-3cm of fresh and continued like this to the summit. Clouds were hugging the summits (it would clear up to a glorius day in the afternoon) as we climbed the former ski piste to the summit.
The weather at the summit had closed in and it was quite cold and windy
I didn’t bother with pics on the way down, it was either cloudy or we were on the old ski run. At the car park we did 4 avalanche beacon searches to revise some of the techniques.
There is little snow in the woods in the Vercors, you really need to be on open slopes and even then conditions can be variable with some quite high freezing levels.
Avalanche risk: 2/5