Nordic Skiing: Tour de Retord - 1,278 m. (4,193 ft)

Sun, 3 December 2023


Minimum altitude: 1,034 meters

Distance: 23.5 km

Slope Aspect: Various

Vertical Climbed: 514 meters (1,686 feet)

Vertical Descended: 514 meters


First ski of the 2023/24 season. I only have my classic cross countries skis with me at the moment so the choice was quickly made. After the snow at the start of the week all was nearly washed out on Thursday but new snow on Friday gave some hope and the ski area of the Plateau de Retord was able to get nearly all its pistes prepared for the weekend with good conditions; possibly better on classic as on skating the track was a bit soft in places.

I headed out for a tour of the plateau, hoping I could do it in under 2 and a half hours. The start is a long series of climbs over 4km. Quite challenging and because I did a bit of filming it took me 50 minutes. I arrived at the Cuvery entrance, 11km after 1h35. 1 hour to get back but 13km to cover; that wasn't going to happen despite the slightly easier terrain to cover. The winter scenery was wonderful. High plateaux and summer farms buried under a blanket of snow and trees frozen with rime ice.


Cold, -3 at the car park at 9am. Roads snow covered from just after the autoroute exit (700m). Sunny with breeze from the north. Powder snow off piste. Good piste conditions except under the trees where there was ice.


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