Spring 2019

Last ski-tour of the season in the Vanoise – 20th April 2019

On the approach into to Refuge du Col de la Vanoise, looking ahead to the Grande Casse and some amazing rock scenery. The Col de la Grande Casse in at the back in the centre.

Looking back at the start of the main Vanoise glacier, and our refuge below.

After a couple of hours of touring the last section to the col de la Grande Casse needed to be done on foot.

Great to be at the summit…

… and to see the view beyond. Here we are skiing down from the prominent col right underneath the big north wall of the Grande Casse.

A good ski down the mountain before reaching the valley back to Champagny.


Bishorn summit and then on to the Blanc de Moming – 14th April 2019

An early start to catch the best of the mountain before the afternoon cloud was to roll in. Here we get a glimpse of the Brunegghorn and the Barrhorn, where we had been the day before.

A steady climb up the main glacier

The last part of the ascent is a short simple mountaineering section and then the Bishorn summit at 4153m  is reached.

Skiing down in atmospheric conditions and on excellent snow.

The journey continued round to the Refuge de Arpitettaz and then across and up the glacier to the Blanc de Moming.

Looking south from the Blanc de Moming…

… then skiing back down its north flank, beneath the summit dome

The descent continues in increasingly heavy snow beneath the rocky summit of Besso

With Besso at the back, the ski descent makes its way through the larch woodland and a welcome track that takes us all the way back to Zinal.


A fantastic day on the Barrhorn – 8th April 2019

High above the Brunegg glacier and with the view of the Bishorn behind, we made our way up the south flank of the Barrhorn…

… to the summit!

The descent found its way down a big broad couloir down the north side, with some excellent snow

Looking back at the Barrhorn and the broad valley couloir of our descent.


Ski-tour traverse of the Breche du Berard – 28th March 2019

Skiing down from the first col, the Col du Crochue

Skinning the next slope, with plenty of kick-turns included…

… and one short section of exposure as the ridge narrows.

Looking back at the Aiguille Floria

The ridge continues up towards the breach itself, with a spectacular view of Mont Blanc in the background

Skiing from a high position at the top of the Berard valley


Cold day on Mont Buet – 26th March 2019


Traverse of the Col du Passon – 24th March 2019

Starting up the Argentiere Glacier looking up at the Aiguille du Chardonnet and the start of our ski-tour adventure to the left of this peak.

After skinning for way, the couloir narrows and needs to be climbed…

… not too steep but good fun to use the axe and crampons

A bit cold at the top, at the Col du Passon

Skiing the Tour Glacier all the way back to the village of le Tour


Pointe Alphonse Favre and the Glacier du Mort – 22nd March 2019

Booting up the big couloir start to the Pointe Alphonse Favre, with the Col du Crochue just visible top left, where we had skied across from.

Climbing up the final snow pitch to the summit…

Great to arrive at the rather small summit

A comfortable wind-scoop just below the summit was good for getting the kit sorted and for a lunch with a view….

…. before setting off to ski the top section of the Glacier du Mort

The snow slope winds its way at a good gradient through the steep rocky terrain all around….

… before arriving at the upper slopes of the Berard Valley


Ski-tour over the Col de Fenestral – 20th March 2019

Above the village of Finhaut are a number of ski-tours that involve a good hike for 3-4+ hours but they take you high up in the mountains and can have some good snow on their shaded north-facing slopes.

The journey up to the Col de Fenestral is mostly in full sun, so it can be quite hot work by the time you reach the col.

The snow down the other side was worth it!

Lots of potential for fresh tracks…

Looking beyond the Val d’Emanay to the Grand Combin

…. and an adventurous exit finish the day back into the ski area.