Wed, 1 March 2023
Minimum altitude: 1,725 meters
Distance: 21.3 km
Slope Aspect: North-WestTrip Reports
Vertical Climbed: 816 meters (2,677 feet)
Vertical Descended: 816 meters
The Laus cross country ski area, just above the village of Cervières offers a small domain of 25km of trails prepared for skating and classic skiing. Le Laus is relatively high and north facing at 1742m but the jewel in the crown is the climb to the 2360m col d’Izoard. Beware this route is not prepared every day; check with the website to see when it is pisted. You can also do this route on snowshoes, touring skis or simple on foot as the trail is prepared for various activities. You can also ski down to Arvieux and the cross country ski trails there but leave time and energy to make it back. Due to its height it is often open to mid April but aim to ski earlier in the morning when the snow is better.
The Laus sector is a high plateau with a mix of green, blue, red and a picturesque black run: the Pinatelle. Just under the col d’Izoard is the refuge Napoleon which is open for drinks and food.
During the French school holiday period the high "les Fonts" valley of Cervières has prepared trails. This valley has a unique architectural heritage where mountain chalets and chapels follow one another. The valley extends over 10 km and offers high quality cross country trails.
The start of 3 days in the Hautes-Alpes checking out the Queyras. To start, Cervières was the easiest to access although I got lost in Briancon. I wanted to tackle the Izoard climb. I knew it had been pisted on the 27/2 and things were ok up to the fork with the Pinatelle but hard going in 5 to 15cm of fresh powder although other people had skied this way. At the col I skied down a bit of the south side which was supposed to have been prepared today but it was very hard to ski so I only went a km or so. It didn’t seem worthwhile going further. The ski down as far as the refuge Napoleon was hard work in deep snow with flat light but ok afterwards where I could use the classic tracks. I took the Pinatelle loop, which was worthwhile, skiing along a balcony road then into the valley that leads to the Grand Pic de Rochebrune.
Sticky snow after midday but quite cold in the afternoon. The Izoard climb had a lot of fresh snow on it from the Pinatelle fork, hard work. About 15cm of new snow at the col.