Ski Touring: Pas du Pin in search of powder

Fri, 13 February 2015


Distance: 16.1 km

Slope Aspect: East

Trip Reports

Vertical Climbed: 1,265 meters (4,150 feet)

Avalanche Risk: 2

Snowline: 1,080


Anny said she'd found good powder on the NW bowl of the Orionde. Ben wasn't up for that, too short, done it too many times so he suggested the Pas du Pin, a double couloir that links the Venetiers and Combe valleys. The climb up didn't inspire. Cut up snow, a glassy hard surface in places. If we had to ski down the west side it wouldn't be fun. At the summit I prodded the snow, it seemed to be powder, about 5-10cm but only on the right side of the couloir, the left (sunny side) was still hard from the overnight refreeze and sun. Luc did a few turns then popped out of his ski, it seemed to be a microslab that caused the problem, he was quick to recover. Just as well on the 45 entrance slope. I followed down to a safe point and we waited for Ben and Herve on skinny competition skis and their two dogs. The rest of the couloir was in good powder then a traverse to find spring snow amongst all the purge debris.

We reskinned to the Pas de la Coche, on the NW side we found about 10-15cm of powder on a firm base. Excellent skiing. We left Herve to ski in the afternoon and for us it was a simple case of skiing on the trail back to the car.

Weather: Sun and clouds, warm

Access: Snow just after Prabert

Country: France Area: Belledonne Trailhead: Prabert

Participants:Luc Ben Herve