Ski Mountaineering in the Haute Maurienne

Tina, Scott and I have just finished a great weeks ski mountaineering in the Haute Maurienne. This brilliant area which borders the Vanoise has many great summits for the ski tourer and a number of summits which involve the use of crampons, ice axe and ropes to gain the highest points.

On Monday we approached the Refuge d’Averole before climbing Ouille d’Arberon (3563m) on the Tuesday. The final ridge of the mountain was under deep snow making this section time consuming. The descent on skis to the Refuge d’Averole was on mostly good snow.

Wednesday promised perfect weather. Therefore, we traversed L’Albaron (3637m) from the Refuge d’Averole to the Refuge des Evettes. This is a very long day involving 1500 metres of ascent, some pulling up on fixed ropes and a brilliant alpine PD ridge. We had good conditions for the ascent and descent including a number of good ski pitches on spring snow. The traverse of this mountain requires good visibility as the terrain is complex.

Thursdays forecast was for less good weather but we still had a great day skiing the Col de la Disgrace (3232m) before returning to Bonneval sur Arc at 1800 metres giving us over 2400 metres of skiing in descent.

On Friday we climbed from Bonneval sur Arc to the Refuge Carro. The road to L’Ecot is currently closed making the approach longer than normal.

Our final day touring was spent climbing L’Uja (3379m). It had snowed overnight giving us brilliant powder snow on the glacier followed by perfect spring snow to a long distance below the Refuge. This was followed by a quick descent back to Bonneval via the ski du fond tracks.

Many more photos can be seen on the ClimbNow facebook page.

Descending from L'Albaron (3637m).
Descending from L’Albaron (3637m).
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