Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Col de la Glière

Feeling frustrated with my total lack of alpine climbing this season and having spent a brutal weekend working (admittedly with a Petit Envers lap of the Vallee Blanche in the middle of it!) I really wanted to take advantage of the forecast and get something done in the mountains. Only restriction was that I had a transfer for my flight home at 11.20am… Plenty of daylight before then but not much time after first lift up anywhere; definitely not enough time for climbing or queuing off the Midi. Then I remembered the Col de la Glière, perfect for a quick hit but would I be up and back home fast enough for my transfer?!
A few avalanches crossed the skin track on the traverse.
As soon as I got off the Cornu lift, I knew I could make it and stopped being stressed about timing. There was a skin track already in, but it only had two kickturns, managed to traverse the entire face and had 3 substantial cornice collapses across it. So of course I put in my own track on the totally unthreatened right hand side! When I finished the traverse across from the Lacs Noirs, I realized that no one else had skied down from the Col de la Glière itself. Bizarrely there was a skin track up it with a long traverse to the col. Someone else had skied off the skin track, but nowhere near the normal descent so I got fresh untracked powder the whole way down, more or less to the piste!
A high traverse gave a few more powder turns, quite a few people have skied the Pourrie if not the Col de la Gliere.
Still untracked snow just above the ski area!

I got back to the bus stop at Flégère an hour after getting off the Cornu lift so comfortably (ish) made my transfer PHEW! Although nothing like as long as my last solo ski adventure (the Aiguille d’Argentière at the end of April) it was good to get out in the hills for a little bit! May well be my last mini alpine adventure for a while as I’m spending most of the next few weeks in the UK. Hopefully climbing conditions will be amazing in the last half of March though when Chamonix quietens down again!

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