Thu, 23 May 2019
Minimum altitude: 1,577 meters
Distance: 17.3 km
Slope Aspect: West
Vertical Climbed: 636 meters (2,087 feet)
Vertical Descended: 638 meters
I decided to head back up to Le Pleynet. The aim was to ski over to the Grand Rocher with a bit of portage but things had changed a bit since last week with little snow at the level of the Merdaret (1800m) or on the ridgeline. Globally things were still skiable and I learned a bit more about the possibilities for next time. This time I climbed up through the woods, which seems like a better plan. The Chantemerle piste now had no snow and the best plan would have been to climb on foot to the col, instead I traversed a wet snow covered plateau before joining the Chantemerle with soggy feet. At the col I skied down the Balcon piste, smooth spring snow already softening the did a bit of the border cross - but after the first few turns the slope back up looked like very hard work so I abandoned. In fact it may have been interesting to do a loop via the Cret Garnier piste which I skied later. The Pleynet ski de fond trails were still skiable but the high altitude rain had formed more sun-cups which were less agreeable to ski than last week. For the return I stayed high and was able to traverse via a path all the way back to the Chantemerle start then a short section on south facing slopes to pick up the snow again for a return to Pipay on skis.
Refreeze wasn't brilliant but I only arrived at the col at 10am; already a bit late. Snow less smooth compared to last week due to high altitude rain. Better to aim for high cols like the Roselund which looked very skiable today.