Saturday, 21 February 2009

Col du Biol / Couloir des Chamois

With conditions continuing to hold fair today, I ignored the desire to finally have a lie-in and not put ski boots on (14 days on the trot now??) and headed out to explore yet another of the great tours over to Pralognan from Courchevel, via the Col du Biol, and a sneaky route into the north-facing Couloir des Chamois (cheers for the info Will!) where I hoped to find some relatively untouched snow.

The day started with a quick ride through the lift system (deserted today..) and then a slide around and down past the Refuge du Grand Plan, followed by 600m of skinning up to the Rocher de Plassa. A few nice pitches of powder on the Glacerets take you to the start of the next climb..

Looking across to the Col du Biol from the Glacerets descent, the route goes through the narrow gap in the rocks on the far skyline:

Looking up at the Breche Portetta, quite a few tracks in here now:

The final steep skin up to the Col du Biol. A great place to practice your kick turns:

Ginny on the way up:

Passing through the breche of the Col du Biol:

Coming through the breche you are finally rewarded with great views of the Vanoise, with the Grande Casse as centrepiece:

Some more nice soft turns, then a last short skin back up to the ridge, Pralognan 1200m below..:

Along the ridge to the couloir:

Looking down the Couloir des Chamois - 600m of good steep powder to come before it flattens out. A few tracks in here already, but plenty of space lower down to find some fresh stuff:

The descent gave soft turns all the way, with some sections of deep, light powder, and others with 20cm of powder on top of a very firm base. All very pleasant to ski!!:

Couloir des Chamois just left of centre in this pic:

Forecast currently is for light snow tomorrow night & Monday morning, then clearing for the rest of the week, great news for the guys on this weeks Steep Vanoise week. Hopefully we will be able to get out on some of this areas great classics...

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