Fri, 15 March 2013
Minimum altitude: 1,060 meters
Distance: 6 km
Slope Aspect: EastTrip Reports
Vertical Climbed: 800 meters (2,625 feet)
Avalanche Risk: -
Climb to the summit of the ski runs (watch out for downhill skiers). At the top take the small path the climbs above the ski life to the north-west. After the ski lift take a left turn up a steep gully/avalanche couloir. After about 50 meters turn SW on a forest trail. Follow this up to a clearing at the altitude 1451 meters. Turn NW for 300m then south into the natural rock ampitheater of the Aulp du Seuil. You will frequently see chamois here. Climb to the bottom of the cliffs on a zig-zag path then turn north on a flat ledge.
The Comma Couloir is at the end of the traverse. After you exit the main couloir traverse right into the forest which is very skiable. You can then ski down to find the forest trail or traverse until you reach the clearing at 1465 meters.
Comments on route: The climb of the ampitheater takes about 20 minutes but is exposed to purges when it warms up as snow slides off the upper grassy sections. The "couloir en virgule" - so called because of its comma shape can have slabs at the entrance, on the banks and side couloirs. The greatest danger is after south to north-west winds. Avoid climbing to the summit cross under these conditions, descend the couloir directly. The slope is 40° over 200m with a 3m bottleneck.
Access: Grenoble A41 -> Crolles Exit -> La Terrasse > Saint Bernard du Touvet > 2nd right in village to the Col de Marcieu (VFD Bus Service from la Terrace)
Equipment: Ski Crampons
Country: France Area: Chartreuse Trailhead: Col de Marcieu