Thursday, 20 March 2014

Steep Vanoise Day 2 & 3

Day 2 of this year's Steep Vanoise week saw us making the obligatory pilgrimage to La Plagne for a run on the North Face of Bellecote. Cairn couloir had some nice chalky grippy snow in it (though definitely a more serious feel than when there is 2 feet of powder, as a slide would almost certainly end very badly...).

Vadim putting in the first turns:

Amazingly we had the face pretty much to ourselves for the whole descent, with just 1 group passing by underneath on the traverse in from Petit Face Nord.

Rod lower down in Cairn:

Today we went up into Courchevel and headed off on probably my favourite tour in the area, the Breche Portetta via Les Glacerets.

After 2 hours of skinning and a short ski down the top of Les Glacerets from the Rocher de Plassa we climbed up into the halls of the mountain kings:

The Breche has become a victim of its own success (aided undoubtedly by www sites like skitour) and sadly the top part of the couloir had had so many people side-slipping down it that a side-slip was the only reasonable option for the top 45ยบ+ section.

Vadim below the first steep section:

Vadim and Amanda partway down the main couloir:

Vadim again in the more open 2nd half:

A happy team! Rod, Amanda and Vadim below the main couloir

The big face below the couloir was pretty soft & slushy, but eminently rippable on fat skis! Some gentle cruising on a forest track finally took us down to Pralognan where our taxi pick-up was waiting to take us back to a well-earned beer on the St Roc terrace in Bozel...

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