Charmant Som North west Couloir

Ski-Areas > Northern Alps > Isère (38) > Chartreuse > Col de Porte > Charmant Som from les Cottaves


From the summit of the Charmant Som (reached from les Cottaves, Col de Porte or the Col de la Charmette (attention this road is avalanche prone). Ski 25 meters down the North-east ridge. Directly ahead is the Promontoire bowl and some steep cliffs (danger!!!). Ski down a narrow couloir to the north-west then turn west into a large bowl. At about 1550 meters you can climb to the south around a rock face on a suspended slope to exit onto the Charmant Som pastures at point 1729 meters. From here you can ski to the Chalet and summer road or climb eastwards to a col which leads back to the Cottaves.

Mountain RangeChartreuse
SummitCharmant Som
OrientationNorth-West then West
Starting Altitude1080m
Vertical1100 m
MapsIGN TOP 25 3334 OT Chartreuse Sud
GPS WaypointN 45.3252°, E 05.7641°
GPS RouteGoogle-Earth:Charmant-Som
Grade[1]Danger: 3, Climb: PD-, Ski: 3.2
Commentsforest skiing, attention branches and roots, danger in the couloir when icy due to cliffs just to right
SnowboardersYes but the forest tracks are narrow
Road AccessGrenoble -> Col du Porte -> les Cottaves (1st road on left after Col)

Trip Reports

27th February 2007

We left from the Cottaves but the lack of snow initially was worrying and we had to take off our skis for 50 meters in the forest but in the end it was really good both climbing and skiing on the forest trail.

The prairie at the exit of the forest was very exposed to the morning sun. We climbed very carefully following the few isolated trees and not traversing above each other. The less steep south slopes of the Charmant Som were on fresh snow on a hard base. We quickly decided to plunge into the north-west couloir. This was skiable from the summit which isn’t always the case. We skied 300m into the east facing bowl that leads to the Oursiere fountain, low down the base was a bit humid.

Charmant Som couloir nw
North West couloir of the Charmant Som

We forgot to put our climbing skins into a warm inside pocket and as a result the glue froze in the cold north slopes and wouldn’t stick for the climb. Thanks to liberal use of Powertape all worked out ok and Luc was only a bit late for work.

Avalanch risk – well the area was rated Considerable by Meteo France which seemed reasonable. We didn’t see any slabs on the route we took but the sun exposed slopes were very hot (steam coming off the snow). Snow was sluffing in the prairie on the way down and we also saw a slide on the west face of Chamchaude under the avalanche protection caused by two skiers.

  • Weather : Cloud in valleys, sunny higher up
  • Avalanche Risk: Considerable (3/5)
  • Participants: Luc, David
  • Snow line: 1080m

Category: Trip Reports

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