Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Flégère - Col de la Floria – Floria Couloir N - Brèche de Bérard – Le Buet – Flégère


This is yet another great idea for a tour by Philippe Dilloard. Between a spring like weather forecast (confirmed on the ground), north faces with lots of powder and a limited avy risk, this was the day to push the envelope a little bit further.  This Chamonix tour is in no tour guide manual nor anywhere else so thank you Philippe for sharing!

We started skinning directly under the col de la Floria (2752m) at first skinning then soon boot packing up to the pass. The pass overlooks a North-facing couloir (45o and starting off with a choke) skied it and and then descended into the Combe de Balme Combe down to approx. 1900m where we made the junction with Combe de l'Envers de Bérard. We then went up to the Brèche de Bérard, skied down the Vallon de Bérard to the village of Le Buet and from there took the bus back to La Flégère.

Massif: Mont Blanc – Aiguilles Rouges
Topo map: 3630OT (Chamonix)
Aspect: N (for the couloir)
Starting elev: 2385 (Index six-pack)
1st high point : 2752 (col de la Floria)
1st descente down to 1900m
2nd high point: 2701 (Brèche de Bérard)
Final elevation: 1330m (Village of Le Buet)
Net elev. gain: 1200m
Net skied: 2400m

Here are the pictures (click to enlarge):

At the Index top station the skins come on. From left to right:
Jean Charles, Marc-Antoine and Philippe
Skinning the reasonably steep boot pack
From the Col de la Florie vue on the Mer de Glace (sunlit in
 the middle)
View down the couloir and the Glacier de la Floria
The line of the day. The couloir drops 1,100 feet then you
go on to a  nice 35o for about 1,700 feet on the glacier 
Transitioning at the junction from Combe de la Balme to
Combe de l'Envers de Berard for the skin up to the Breche de Berard (the keyhole)
On the hike up to the keyhole, view in the distance
of our line and the glacier below it.
On the ridge line to Breche de Berard  
 Breche de Berard, the keyhole that will let us drop in to the
Vallon de Berard  and more powder  dropping  another
5,000  feet of great skiing.
The skiing was so great, there are no more pictures...

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