Saturday 7 March 2015

Plaine Joux touring

Despite all the fresh snow that came on Wednesday, good skiing doesn't seem to be that easy to find right now, probably due to the hurricane force winds that accompanied the fresh stuff midweek. With this (plus the high and unpredictable avalanche risk) in mind, Sharon and I decided to head up to Plaine Joux for some easy touring and to admire the view.

The plan was to do the Pointe Noire de Pormenaz, the prominent summit to the north of the Brévent. You can ski in from Brévent but I don't know the terrain and didn't fancy onsighting it with the current avalanche risk so we decided just to do a "there and back" from Plaine Joux. 

This was probably the steepest bit of the Plaine Joux resort.

The mighty Rocher des Fiz, towering above the forests.

Sharon at the end of a long shuffling section.

Stunning views across to Mont Blanc.

All went well until we'd shuffled over to where you start to skin and realised that the route was not nearly as safe and easy as it looked on the map. Plenty of people had skinned our intended route, up to the Refuge d'Anterne but there was a huge amount of avalanche activity above the line and we really didn't fancy it. This being Chamonix, plenty of other people seemed to be completely happy to do it! (Judging by Facebook, people seem to have been swarming all over some of the dodgier slopes of the Aiguilles Rouges so maybe I'm just being overcautious. Then again, maybe not.)

Having still not had skins on by this point, we carried on descending via a fun little forest track to the Lac Vert. 

Lac Vert looks even better in winter than it does in summer, which is saying something.

A short skin took us easily back up to Plaine Joux and a not-very-well earned coke. 

Plaine Joux may well have the best view of any ski carpark in the World.

All in all, not a great success ski wise, and we didn't even really get much exercise either! Still, some days are for going hard, others for enjoying the scenery, and today was a very enjoyable case of the latter.