Friday, 26 December 2008

A taste of Beaufort.

The village of Beaufort, as well as being home to some of the best cheese in the Alps, has a small ski area beside it which I had been meaning to explore for a while. Home to the famed Pierra Menta, one of the classic ski-alpinism races, there had to be some good off-piste here...

With a savage foehn wind blowing the lifts up the Grand Mont side were mostly closed, so with a cheap randonneur pass in hand we took the lifts up from Planay to see what we could find. A howling wind at the top of the Combettes chair ruled out one of the possibilities, so we headed over to the Col de la Grande Combe and round to the Col de la Bathie, where I had spotted some reasonably sheltered snow.

From the col a selection of gullies gradually merge, giving a long run right back down to Planay:

As I had hoped there was still some soft stuff to be skied, if a little variable in places...
Ginny at the top of the gullies:

Looking down:

Ginny lower down, in the main gully, Mt Blanc in the background:

All in all an interesting 900m of descent, and I'll definitely be back to explore the rest of the possibilities here...

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