Day 2 of the Steep Vanoise week, and with an improving forecast we set off for an adventure on the North Face of Bellecote. After a long trudge through the lift systems of Les Arcs and La Plagne we finally enjoyed some warm-up turns linking some of the less-frequented parts of the Rossets couloirs under the Roche de Mio, with a bit of 'dry-skiing' thrown in for good measure. Up on the Glacier we stopped for a quick bite at the cafe, then headed off to have a look at the North Face.
Looking into the Cairn the entry was decidedly wind-blown, but with the promise of better conditions further down the face we set off down the ridge and carefully negotiated the entry into the Couloir des Canadiens:
After a tentative first 100m (not surprising with 1500m of air beneath your edges!) the guys warmed to the task and were soon happily linking jump turns down the couloir. Sadly the prime conditions of last Saturday had long since disappeared, and though the snow did get softer there was little serious powder on offer.
Near the top of the Canadiens:
Ian high in the Canadiens:
As always the face only revealed its true scale as we made our way down, with each individual section taking many more turns than expected...this is a truly massive bit of mountain!!
Steve approx halfway:
Mike in the last of the 'couloir' section, still a long way to go though:
Out of the couloir there was finally some nice soft snow to ski on the big open slopes before the valley bottom, and eventually we made our way down to Les Lanches for a welcome beer...