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Tr: Col du Pouta, Belledonne (6 May 2012)
Posted: 07 May 2012 09:35 AM  
Total Posts:  2234
Joined  2003-10-24

Meteo Chance had forecast bad weather for the weekend, good in that it meant freshies over 1700 meters, bad in that nobody was motivated to ski and I wasn’t keen to go too far from home to somewhere I didn’t know well if the weather was going to close in.

So I kind of turned full circle, the initial plan was to climbe to the Cime de la Jasse via the Pouta bowl, an off piste route of the 7 laux ski resort. At least if the weather turned bad I would pretty much know where I was.

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The promising start to Sunday soon turned into low cloud and the snow was extremely soggy below 2000 meters. Fortunately there were the ski pistes of the 7 Laux to fall back on, these were compact.

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la Jasse

I abandoned the Jasse due to the poor viz. and headed for the Pouta col. After the lac de la Jasse I was skinning through 15-20cm of fresh snow. There were a few people descending the ski runs, very carefully in almost zero visibility.

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At the col I could feel the sun was not far away. I decided to wait a bit as the cloud seemed to be clearing out in the Pra valley. I was tempted to ski this but there was a lot of fresh snow on these 35-40 degree slopes and pin-wheels were rolling off the steepest points of the slope.

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Miracle of miracles, the clouds lifted and what had been obscure and grey opened out into a pristine white landscape. I skied down the untracked slopes of the Pouta in excellent conditions whereas my predecessors had scratched there way down the pistes. As I reached the lac de la Jasse the clouds rolled back in, plunging the mountain back into obscurity.