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Col du Montet, Val d'Isere

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
We are hatching plans for next Easter's tour and are thinking of a route that includes Ref de Prariond to Ref du Carro via the Col du Montet. We are just a bit cautious of all the glacier and the dotted blue line marked on the map around the col.

There must be some snowheads who have been around there and would know what to expect. Are we likely to fall in a hole?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
For the glacier du Montet take crampons and an ice axe. There are cliffs to your left as you climb to the col and if the snow is hard or icy you may want to go on foot.

Take care traversing above the lake.
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Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks, but I'm confused:

Travelling N to S, the map suggests easier ground on our left for the ascent. Is it craggier than this?

Can only find one lake - more of a pond really - S of Petite Aiguille Rousse. Do you mean that? Instead of traversing all the way round there, I was thinking of descending to, perhaps, Le Montet and then skinning back up to the Carro.
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Sorry I was looking at the Glacier du Montet. If I were traversing the Col du Montet to descend the north side to Prariond I would not take anything more than crampons/axe with me to potentially use traversing the col. I would be much more careful if I were to descend the main part of the Sources de l'Isere glacier though, which you could do.

All the glaciers round there vary a lot. Some that are shown on older maps have vanished. Others are full of crevasses like the Sources de l'Isere and require respect.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
It must be a fairly common day trip to cross the Col de l'Oille Noire, Glacier du Montet, Col du Montet, to the Ref de Prariond for lunch (probably the route you were thinking of) which is why I was asking.

We're thinking of:
1) Ref Fond des Fours, Col des Fours, Pont de la Neige, up thru ski area (gnar points), Col Pers, Glacier du Col Pers, Ref de Prariond.
2) Ref de Prariond, Tete des Chevres, western edge of Glacier des Sources de l'Isere, Col du Montet, Le Montet, Ref du Carro.

The bit of the Glacier des Sources de l'Isere that we would cross is shown with an easy gradient and no wrinkles yet warrants a dotted line for the ski route. It must get quite a bit of traffic the other way. Obviously, we'd be travelling uphill much slower so I'm just a bit worried that this means we have rope up.

Perhaps I'm worrying over nothing. Here's the Col de l'Iseran and what's left of the Glacier du Grand Pissailas (top right) in August this year:

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here is the col du Montet in spring



The glacier itself has almost gone at the col, maybe a few meters of ice.

Here is the south side, notice it gets a lot of wind



I think the dotted blue line is there because there is the possibility of ice on the surface.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Excellent davidof! That gives me a perfect idea of what's involved.

I did know about the wind. There's an Eagle's report of arriving there to find a huge cornice. They had to walk a long way up the ridge to avoid it - by which time the descent was quite steep. We might take a washing line.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
altis wrote:
Excellent davidof! That gives me a perfect idea of what's involved.

I did know about the wind. There's an Eagle's report of arriving there to find a huge cornice. They had to walk a long way up the ridge to avoid it - by which time the descent was quite steep. We might take a washing line.


Yes a little bit of 8mm washing line isn't a bad idea. I know a guide who uses 6mm for belaying skiers over steep sections! He says that it is perfectly good for the job.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
I've seen a video of some extreme skiers using a line with knots to 'saw' thru a cornice before dropping in.
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altis, davidof's photos give a good idea.

The North side of the Col du Montet should not have any problems at Easter in a regular year - I would be interested to see if there is anything more than a patch of neve left in the summer. South side is a bit steeper - last time I went over there with G we booted the last ~50m vert - it would be skinnable in good conditions though to give you a rough idea...
Worth having some string for the Col Pers as well as depending on snow amounts & recent wind & skier passages it can be a bit spicy for the first 30m.

( PS yes the Ouille Noir/Montet/lunch at Prariond is a classic, though most parties take one of the two cols/breches just north of the col marked on the map..)
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
offpisteskiing wrote:
...it can be a bit spicy for the first 30m.

A step up from interesting then - I might have to keep quiet about that 'til we get there!

Thanks Simon.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Okay guys - next question: what's the best way to ab on skis sans harness? I'm guessing: poles go handle first down between pack and back then rope across shoulders, under lower armpit, round arm once and then grip in the lower hand whilst the upper one just stabilizes.

Also, how much washing line? At 3.2kN or so, 4mm would appear to be strong enough (if a little thin to grip) but 50m of the stuff seems a bit excessive.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
That's what I do 90% of the time.

30m of 8mm is a common touring length and thickness (and what I often carry now that I've started). Thinner than that would be a problem to grip, I'd guess, but I've never tried it. And you couldn't go UP it if you needed to. I doubt you could use a prussic on it or a Ropeman. I'm not sure how it would do in an Italian Hitch. Might be OK: you'd have to try.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
This link to a French site seems to show details and photos of a similar trip

http://www.haute-tarentaise.net/t711-col-de-l-ouille-noire-et-col-du-montet
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
altis wrote:
Okay guys - next question: what's the best way to ab on skis sans harness? I'm guessing: poles go handle first down between pack and back then rope across shoulders, under lower armpit, round arm once and then grip in the lower hand whilst the upper one just stabilizes..


If it is at all steep, that is you are doing more than just setting up a running line for security, I would suggest taking your skis off and either lowering them separately if you are in a group or putting them on your pack. Without a harness it is possible to destabilize yourself with skis on, end up facing up the slope then falling backwards and being completely unable to stop your fall.

Remember you will need something to make a belay point at the col for the last skier unless they can get down without a rope.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thanks davidof. We'll each have axe and crampons anyway so, in extremis, we'll just reverse it if necessary.
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