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Compendium of SnowHead Ski Tour Routes

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
20th March 2018 - have changed Title of thread as originally it was 2016 Touring


Was out touring today and I thought it might make sense to post ski tour routes here so that other SnowHeads might be able to take them if in the area where you have toured.

I know this to be the case as BenA when he was out in this part of the world was very grateful for a few of the tours I've done.

In France there is a very Ski Tour site where people post their tours http://www.skitour.fr/

So I'll kick this off with a tour we did today and here is the link to the GPS track https://www.strava.com/activities/481854211 so this should have all the info that you might need.

Twas not too technical nor exposed and safe terrain, though did have to use ski crampon 70% of the time as snow frozen on the ascent.

Good route in fresh snow and a "must" in spring as predominately South facing with loads of options, but again crampons probably needed, unless your technique is very good!


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 20-03-18 17:42; edited 2 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Good tour yesterday, taking KenX out on what I think was his first longish tour.

La Crête de Côte Plaine et le Vallon de Roche Noire

After the violent winds of the last four or five days along with some fresh snow we were hoping to find some stashes of powder, which we did, but more surprisingly spring snow as well!

This tour is an excellent Spring tour if you're in this part of the world as there are so many options (both ascent & descent), and is soooooo much better than the tourist trail that is Pic Blanc du Galibier.

In terms of technicality a few steepish kick turns but nothing too major, in Spring some of the traverses early in the morning can be icy (so maybe pack crampons though I've never used them).

Avy risk is not too bad if common sense is used, I for one never climb up the road we skied down as too much above you, choosing the actual ski tour route along the stream.

Like I say not a big tour (750m vertical), but if you're not used to altitude once above 2,300 lungs and legs start to burn so have frequent rests so as not to beast yourself.

Once on the ridge stunning views of La Meije / La Grave

Here's the route https://www.strava.com/activities/486436018
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Few more tours this past week and one longish hike to get to some untracked and one trip to La Grave.

Basically now having to work hard to earn your turns though as I found out yesterday snow pack off piste is now very varied, and getting skied out as we're in the busy holidays with even an increase in ski tourer numbers down in this part of the world.

Down here we now need fresh snow or for temps to warm up more and a few days of freeze thaw to produce spring snow conditions.

Be interesting to hear what conditions others are encountering, but probably North facing sheltered slopes will deliver the goods.

First tour over in Nevache - did a variation on this last season and this time round was so much better, helped by the guy leading knowing the route!

Be warned this is a steep technical climb with many a kick turn but rewarded with safe tree skiing when conditions above the trees might be sketchy. This could well be a favourite now.
https://www.strava.com/activities/493991955


Last edited by Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see? on Sat 5-03-16 18:27; edited 1 time in total
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Thanks for posting these snowHead
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Excellent idea.

A short tour on Pic Chaussy, not far from Lausanne today. Nothing too technical, but not much room on top!

https://www.strava.com/activities/498820176

Ben
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Ok changed the title of the thread for maybe you know who to contribute Toofy Grin

So let's see what tours SnowHeads are doing as just maybe we're getting close to some Spring touring conditions finally for this season which is truly bizarre, though have managed to bank a substantial number of powder tours so far this season

That said last week we thought we'd get Spring snow and twas not the case till we were skiing below 1,600m.

Today a gang of us met at the Col du Lautaret and we were nigh on bewildered by all the potential options.

In the end we opted for a route that might well end up producing the goods, though I was sorely tempted by the North facing fresh still on offer.

It was a route that I'd done four or five times previously which meant I led, which meant I was breaking track, though fortunately was not too bad but at times was hard work.

Was pretty obvious going up that the descent was not going to be classic. Few times I had to check the route on my gps mapping as I was trying to follow some old tracks to make life slightly easier for me.

There was a small col we were aiming for (Col du Clot Julien) below the Pointe de la Tête Noire and I stopped 100m below it where the snow pack was assessed and we decided to not chance the loaded ridge above us.

Ski down was challenging and we encountered pretty well every type of snow, though don't think we scored actual spring corn!

Even though it was solid sunshine it was also very cold with a keen wind.

Forecast is for more sunshine over the next three days but temps well below freezing, we do have more planned for the coming week, but I still think we'll be skiing more varied snow pack rather than corn rolling eyes






http://youtube.com/v/QKjgjW6ur90



Strava Track https://www.strava.com/activities/1462483229
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Wow thanks for those tour ideas -- makes me think of driving all the way east across Col du Lauteret just to try them.

Wish I was a optimistic as you for a soon transition to Spring touring conditions and weather.

Weathercam wrote:
In France there is a very Ski Tour site where people post their tours http://www.skitour.fr/

Yes and SkiTour.fr has become the popular place for French skiers to post their current trip reports.

For non-extreme backcountry ski tours, the "permanent" route descriptions on CampToCamp.org ("c2c") are often at least as good as SkiTour.fr
. . . (c2c is a fully multi-language website, so some ski routes have multiple desriptions in separate languages. Do not assume that the other language descriptions are _translations_ of the French. I recall a famous tour near Chamonix where the German version disagrees with the French version on an important point. And two ski tours where the English-language version is far more detailed and careful than the French).

Also there are at least two series of detailed print guidebooks (TopoNeige and Olizane) that cover most tours in the French Alps. Some of the TopoNeige guidebooks are now appearing as English-language editions.

Ken
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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!
Game plan this morning was to do a bit of slack country with the OH.

Take the lift up and go off the back and skin back up into the resort, only issue was that still at 11:00 snow was showing no signs of really transforming, so OH suggested we take the Rando Chiens and go and see what "Telly Tubby land" is like, even if it meant only skinning up the road and having a boiler plate ski down, and at least we could see just how much snow they have up that way.

"Telly Tubby Land" is a valley that we were ski touring in a lot last season, and it's a series of rolling meadows and hills leading up to a series of ridges along the Italian border. Last season late March we were able to drive up the valley gradually over the course of the end of season, this year however I can't see the road opening until mid May!

We parked up at Cervieres just off the Izoard road, and was evident that there was fresh snow around, and in places 10cm. The XC pisteur confirmed it was from last night!

As you can see from the map the valley is "off the back of Montgenevre", top left of the map. And you can see the number of ski tour routes just in this sector, the valley extends for another 5km!



We climbed up the XC track which was officially closed presumably due to overhead avy risk and that's the beauty of this valley in that you have a perceived long walk in until you get to the "ski area". In fact it's not that long at only around 45mins and once there with the way above average accumulated snow fall there are so many options as we were joking with the pisteur.

Light was a little flat and we only climbed just under 600m but when it's Spring snow it's going to be truly superb.

And considering we thought we were only going to skin up the road and have a look, we ended up scoring some sweet turns Cool







Strava track https://www.strava.com/activities/1464120172
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Great getting out there in places I never thought of.
Your engaging photos are nudging me to put some in my reports.
. . . (I visited Cervieres last summer to check out the new Via Ferrata, which I much liked for my style of climbing).

I found unexpected new snow this morning at Pralognan la Vanoise. Then because of lifts and terrain, I could get up to much higher altitude (partway up the SW face of the Grande Casse) where there was more than 10 cm.

I posted a detailed report on the thread "Savoie inconnu" ...
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3213203#3213203

And I did edit some nice photos for the day. But I cannot figure out how to put them on Snowheads.com.
I've uploaded photos on every other forum, but doesn't work here.
So I put the photois with a detailed report on another website.

Ken
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
@kenr, use Flickr, then share using the "embed" code
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
Spring has still not sprung - so yesterday was powder touring up from the Lautaret on the Combeynot.

Two climbs, first 700m then back up for a cheeky 375m - by the time climbed the second time skin track was well tracked and tore up there in under half an hour.


http://youtube.com/v/0sKYJ3A1IMQ

https://www.strava.com/activities/1465917515
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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.
Yes Sharon and I found some nice fluffy powder today Friday, but for sure we had to do some uphill skinning to find it.

I'm suspecting that tomorrow might be the last chance (with merely normal effort), because it will get warm, and because the locals off from work will hit whatever is left.

Ken
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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
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
Weathercam wrote:
Spring has still not sprung - so yesterday was powder touring up from the Lautaret on the Combeynot.

Two climbs, first 700m then back up for a cheeky 375m - by the time climbed the second time skin track was well tracked and tore up there in under half an hour.


http://youtube.com/v/0sKYJ3A1IMQ

https://www.strava.com/activities/1465917515


Looks nice! Just a bit jealous
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@JackSkier, lost count of the times we've said "that was one of the best runs this season"............
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
KenX wrote:
@JackSkier, lost count of the times we've said "that was one of the best runs this season"............


It has certainly been good... Cool
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yesterday did a route on the S facing slopes above Monetier as there is still so much snow.

Was able to ski to from van, through peoples gardens at 1500m.

We left really late at around 11:30 and was good to see snow doing it's thing.

However above 2,100 it had not transformed and was quite awkward to ski not helped by going into the trees to avoid the wind blown sastrugi, as in the trees you went from Spring to soft snow in one or two turn as the shade of the trees meant the snow was no where near transforming and OH came a cropper and injured her knee, not too bad but enough to be off games for a few days.



I'm going back up there again today as curious to see what the snow is like after yesterday and the subsequent freeze and hopefully thaw.

And for the first time this season that lovely sound of Spring snow and granulated crystals along the surface of the snow.


http://youtube.com/v/bfpl87xWh44

https://www.strava.com/activities/1467421461
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Thanks for the warning about the snow above 2100m not transforming.

. . . (So for tomorrow Sunday, Sharon+I might make try for one more day for higher-altitude N-facing.
. . . . Meteo France avalanche report this afternoon saying still powder in the Vanoise).

Ken
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Back up Monetier again, this time another 100 vertical (860m) to 2,420 and truly amazing how the snow can change from day to day as we pretty well scored sweet spring snow all the way down Cool


http://youtube.com/v/dD5ZRph6FNA

https://www.strava.com/activities/1469100171

Up early what with the clocks and going out with Les Rando Chiens, objective La Gardiole at 2,753 so a 1,300m+ ascent
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Weathercam wrote:
we pretty well scored sweet spring snow all the way down

What a nice result!

Funny because I passed on your warning from Saturday to some visitors staying in Argentiere-La-Bessee -- so they changed their Sunday plan from Pic Blanc to Combeynot, and found good powder skiing (and heard reports that Pic Blanc had challending crust.

Ken
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I found nice powder remaining in the Vanoise today, posted my report on the "Savoie inconnu" thread:
http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=3215164#3215164

Can find my (over-detailed?) English-language description with GPS track on c2c:
https://www.camptocamp.org/routes/882123/en/col-de-gebroulaz-gebroulaz-greater-borgne

Hope I get some time to edit and post some photos (but of course on some other website, not Snowheads).

Ken
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For Austria (Routes in German with english translation function)
https://www.outdooractive.com/en/backcountry-skiing-routes/austria/backcountry-skiing-routes-in-austria/1467357/
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
kenr wrote:
......Hope I get some time to edit and post some photos (but of course on some other website, not Snowheads).......


That seems a wee bit antagonistic - like I say about you, sometimes I think there's an element of lost in translation or at least you don't think about how you might come across / be perceived ??

As for yesterday (Sunday) - wee bit of a disaster.

Managed to get to bed at 02:00 old time pissed as a parrot and then up at 07:30 (old time) to try and start climbing at 09:30 new time.

Objective was La Gardiole again (2,753) from La Salle so a big 1,300m climb.

Weather was bright and sunny with a chill breeze blowing. I hooked up with a mate I know about half way up he was climbing up from the more normal start point, this was just after I had a major school boy error in putting my ski crampons on which resulted in one sliding 30m down the slope and Les Randos were not about to go and get it.

We waited at the top for around 45 mins and could see a big group approaching, the first of whom arrived at the summit as we were thinking about getting ready to go down, turned out they were Italians from Genoa and there were 27 of them, most on old school retro touring gear.

Ski down was diabolical with the snow not having transformed at all and looked like it never had over the last couple of days! My mate was all over the place.

I only started to find some decent lines / aspect at around 2,200 whilst my mate decided to ski back down the road. The rest of the descent was very sweet though with some good combat skiing in the trees and bushes down the bottom, but not too sure it was worth the climb especially the way I was feeling, but the dogs as ever enjoyed it!





Strava Track https://www.strava.com/activities/1471179238
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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!
Domes de Miage traverse + Armanette Glacier descent
. . . 2-day tour at the southwest end of the Mont Blanc massif.
I posted a detailed description with GPS lat long waypoints to UKclimbing forum (since this tour has a technical mountaineering segment)
https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/skiing/ski_mountaineering_france_2018-683026

Each of the ski descent and the alpine ridge traverse is classic on its own -- and highly visible from the A40 motorway and many other places around the main Arve valley of Haute Savoie. Or dramatic close-up from the upper lifts of Hauteluce (Savoie) and Les Contamines / Mont Joie.

Nico and I found easy snow conditions for the Miage ridge traverse (which though not long stops many parties, including Yan-Eric + his father + me five years ago). And not-bad often-rather-good snow surface for the upper 1750 vertical meters of the Armancette descent (long and interesting and worthy of "top 10" status of great backcountry ski runs of the Alps).

Ken
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