Mon, 5 April 2021
Minimum altitude: 1,300 meters
Distance: 10.6 km
Slope Aspect: North-EastTrip Reports
Vertical Climbed: 1,120 meters (3,675 feet)
Vertical Descended: 1,120 meters
Avalanche Risk: 2
The North East slope is suspended above high cliffs. There is only one way off the summit at the bottom via the last but one couloir which you ski down a short distance before crossing back north across another couloir to a break where you can ski a small north-east facing couloir to the Lac du Crop. The
Chris called, he wanted to ski the West couloir of the Grand Replomb, I thought it would be frozen and proposed the east slopes, we split the difference and settled for the NE face of the same peak. A route I hadn't skied before but with difficult route finding - only one non obvious way off the suspended summit bowl and a fairly major line although it has slowly been de-rated from 5.1 to 4.2 with some suggesting 4.1 is fairer. It is definitely harder than the 4.1 routes I've skied. We decided to ski the slope "a vu", that is we would climb by the easier NE bowl without checking the descent first.
From the summit there is a little access couloir that is very exposed with cliffs on both sides. Afterwards we found a mix of spring snow and ice - the old saharan sand layer was deep frozen. Chris then skied across to the top of the powder bowl but reported it was guarded by a section of tricky ice. I skied down directly 30 meters on some old powder then traversed below Chris. The slope was now powder or snow that had destructured in the cold that was really pleasant to ski. Further down it turned more springlike. We traversed right across the slope to take a couloir near the end, where it gets steeper we traversed over to the right to a gap that leads to the only way off the summit, a narrow and steep couloir that faces south east and had very soft snow. It was still possible to do a few turns down, at the exit you can ski another couloir down to the lac Bleu or continue to another slope that leads to a tiny couloir and again down to the lac Bleu. It was now a simple job to ski back to the car park on nice spring snow apart from the icy traverse below the lac du Crop.