Ski Touring: Backup Plan

Thu, 1 December 2016


Distance: 12.5 km

Trip Reports

Vertical Climbed: 1,250 meters (4,101 feet)

Avalanche Risk: 1

Snowline: 1,560


After the foehn the conditions were not inspiring with little snow visible below 2100 meters. However I knew there was snow on the Pipay piste to resort level so decided to revisit a route I'd tried at the end of last season - then I'd abandoned the plan to ski the north face of the Jasse due to a poor refreeze. No chance of that today, the snow was like concrete, rough concrete. The Eveque piste, east facing, needed care due to lack of snow in places. The combe de Pra had some old avalanche debris. A bit of fresh snow appeared from 2100 meters, probably fallen last weekend. I took the left most couloir to the Jasse, I was able to climb all the way on skis which saved faff of boot packing and maybe getting my crampons out. The south face of the Jasse was spring snow but it probably didn't extend much beyond the Venetier lakes.

I picked the 2nd couloir, it had good entrance snow and is the straightest in case of a fall. It is early season and I didn't fancy finding hard snow half way down a couloir with no escape. The entrance to the couloir was at 2450m and I dug a snowpit around 2300m - so a bit higher than I thought. Off piste, skiable snow starts at 1900m on this north-facing bowl, but it is very sheltered. We ski it in June when there is not a spec of snow anywhere else.

There was no snow making this morning. The system is set up to come on automatically but the air temperatures are too warm. There has been some going on over the last days though. They want to run the lifts on Saturday for some skiers for an event but I'm not sure how they are going to plug the 100m gap they have, maybe move some snow with a ratrac?

Weather: +2C, sunny

Access: Some frost across the road

Country: France Area: Belledonne Trailhead: Pleynet