Jan
06

Haut Giffre - Pointe de la Terrasse

Flaine outing

 

Outing date: 2013-01-06

Altitude of access point: 1350m

Maximum altitude: 2734m

Elevation gain/loss: +1400m

Snow depth at 1350m: 40cm

Snow depth at 2734m: 130cm with 20cm of compacted/winded snow or hart snow

Weather: sunny

Departure/arrival time: 08:45/16:45

 

 

The departure point was in the village of Le Buet (Haute-Savoie) next to Vallorcine. Benoît would like to show me the Terrasse sector and the North East chute of the Pointe de la Terrasse. This sector is located in the Haut-Giffre range just next to the swiss border. We started to hike at 8:45 from Le Buet. The first part of the ascent is long but very easy as it is on a 4x4 large way.

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At the end of the way we reached a wide plateau at 2000m which opens the view on the Terrasse sector and the majestuous Cornes de Loriaz. It was not our objective of the day but seeing the beautiful chute between the Cornes de Loriaz it was already clear in my mind that I will come back to ride it as soon as possible...

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... later and higher, the sun had a very bad effect on the South slopes we hiked on. The snow was terribly heavy and sticky. It was as to have two anvils in your boots.

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We decided to hike directly under the Pointe de la Terrasse in the North East chute instead of choosing the Terrasse pass route. The snow hadn't been deteriorated in the North exposed slopes and it was really easier to climb.

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After a few efforts we finally reached the summit of Pointe de la Terrasse and we had an impressive view on the Mont Buet from there.

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The snow was good although a bit irregular in the North chute and until 2100m. It was an amazing ride. From 2000m and under, the snow was wet but not so bad and it was fun to ride between the trees.

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After a well deserved beer at the Hotel du Buet it was time to enjoy the last scenic lights of the day and to drive back home...

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... a special thanks to Benoît who shows me the way to this beautiful place.

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Jan
05

Aravis - L'Etale Combaz

Flaine outing

 

Outing date: 2013-01-05

Altitude of access point: 1456m

Maximum altitude: 2483m

Elevation gain/loss: +913m >> -170m >> +200m >> -200m >> +170m >> -913m

Snow depth at 1456m: 40cm with 15cm of powder snow

Snow depth at 2483m: 120cm with 20cm of compacted/winded snow or hart snow

Weather: sunny

Departure/arrival time: 10:30/16:45

 

 

This outing was again in the Aravis range. My objective was to ride the Combaz chute just under L'Etale summit. The chute is mainly North oriented and the slope is roughly 45° with a short section at 50°.

I started hiking from the parking of Aravis pass at 10:30. It was foggy until 1400-1500m.

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The first step was to climb in the Marion valley to reach a little pass at 2360m. The snow was not so bad but I had to put the crampons in the second part of the ascent. The valley was quite crowded, five ski tourers were before me and maybe more behind...

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... I reached the pass which gives access to Blonnière valley around 12:15. From there the chute was visble on the left of the valley. I decided to keep my splitboard skins to cross the valley in direction to the bottom of the chute.

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I quicky accessed the bottom of Combaz and after having packed my splitboard and prepared my ice crampons and ice axe I started climbing in the chute. I chose the line on the right side of the rocks lock. In the middle, next to the rocks lock, the ascent was difficult. Lack of snow avoided to easily use the ice axe and it was bit sketchy.

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It took me 30 minutes to reach the top of the chute.

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I kept the ice axe to ride down because the snow was a bit hart in the first part of the chute. In the second part, after the rocks lock, the snow was better and I had a very nice run.

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Back to the pass to Marion valley...

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... it was time to have a last look to the Combaz and to ride down to the parking in the Marion valley.

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