Saturday, December 15, 2012

La Roche Plane

Last Thursday on 12/12/12 I went to the Roche Plane, in the massif of the Beaufortin, with a group from the “Club Alpin Français”. This was my first outing with the club and the snow conditions were amazing although the avalanche risk at Medium (Risk 3) were less than ideal. Because of the avalanche risk it was decided that the relatively low angle of La Roche Plane would be a suitable destination. The initial objective (scheduled well ahead of time) had been the nearby “Legette du Mirantin”. We left at 7 am from Annecy and drove 1:30 h to just a little past the town of Beaufort and parked at 1,030m for the start of the hike to the 2,165m of Roche Plane.  The net elevation gain is a bit less than 4,000 feet and this was a full on spectacular bluebird day with a 4 foot snowpack at the bottom of the valley and about 6 - 7 feet on top. In addition we had a foot plus of freshies, it could have been worst and it has... 
Here are the pictures (click to enlarge): 

On the opposite side of the valley: Sunrise on Aiguille de Grand Fond.

The sun is still rising... 
...and here too.

Ski in ski out anyone?

View towards the end of the valley.

Mid-point rest spot on the way up.
Overview of the valley from a higher vintage point.

La Legette du Mirantin. This was the original objective but Risk 3 "Medium" says: Avalanches may be triggered on many slopes even if only light loads are applied. On some slopes, medium or even fairly large spontaneous avalanches may occur so we decided to not go tickle the great white one..

When you do ski la Legette du Mirantin, then this is what the ski out looks like.
You can see why it wasn't that easy to turn down.. 

This is La Roche Plane our more modest objective of the day but the powder was price less.

This was our dining room...

This is the Pierra Menta across the valley from us, a high point of international AT racing.

On the way back down view on a typical town of the Beaufortin.

And this is where it all ends with a beer or two... "Randonneur" is the alpine
tourer, a testimony to the valley's dedication to the righteous cause...

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