Sunday, 27 March 2011

Steep Tours (part 1)

Tricky conditions for the inaugural Steep Vanoise Tours week, high avalanche risk, very high 0ยบ isotherm, and mixed weather forecast all adding up to a challenging week...

On Sunday we managed to find some reasonable spring conditions in the Combe Sans Nom, with some grass hopping on the lower exit to spice things up.

Some 'Scottish' style conditions:

In the afternoon we went in search of relatively safe powder, looking for steep narrow couloirs where there might be some (but not too much) soft snow.

Jim negotiating the narrows on Petit Valdez:

Day 2 and with bad weather forecast we played close to home again, finding some soft snow in the Plattieres & Mont Vallon areas before going for a skin up to the Col du Borgne in the fog, with some good powder on the descent but no visibility...

Nick enjoying some soft snow off the Mont Vallon on day 2, before the visibility closed in:

With good weather forecast for day 3 we went on a mission to the Aiguille de Chanrossa, where we found perfect powder on the steep North East slope, and also had a triple Lammergeier spotting. No photos sadly as I had left my camera at home. The exit back down Les Avals turned into a mission of endurance, with rotten snow and a long sticky push out past Le Biol...

More to follow.

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