Saturday, December 1, 2012

Col de Balme (Aravis)

Today I went out to La Clusaz a resort in the Aravis range (about half an hour away from Annecy). They had their opening today so I was able to work out on avalanche controlled terrain. La Clusaz data are as follows:
Number of lifts:                  129
Tot. run length:                   200 miles
Highest lift:                         8,121 feet
My favorite part of La Clusaz is the col de Balme area. It’s a bit like Snowbird with an extra 1,000 of drop and minus a lot of grooming. From the top at col de Balme you get a nice consistently steep run in ungroomed terrain (5% or so is groomed but you never have to ski on it) dropping 4,000 feet. Not too shabby…
Here are the pictures of the day some are captioned some not (click to enlarge):

Sunrise over the Aravis.

While some are in heaven, some are just a tad bit below...

View of the next resort over: Le Grand Bornand.

Peaks all around.

Testimony to the not too intrusive grooming at La Clusaz.

View of the Mont Blanc from Col de Balme.

Pointe Percée, the highest peak in the Aravis at 9,021.

Mont Blanc panorama.

La Tournette in the clouds.

The pass in the middle is the Col de Balme.

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