Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hut to hut in the Thabor massif – Day 2/3 (April 13-2013)

For day one click here.

We left the Refuge des Drayéres at 8 and started skinning east towards the Col des Muandes (2828m).  The trail was pretty flat but also pretty long so mileage was more of a delaying factor than elevation gain. We were at the pass at about 10:30 and from there we had a wide open view towards Italy. This day we got to make up for the lack of skiing from day one.

Below is our route with the day 2 route in black (click to enlarge):

Topo map: 3535OT (French IGN reference)
Dominating direction: NE then SE
Starting elevation: 2180m
Pass elevations : 2828 (Col des Muandes)
Hut elevation: 1780m (Refugio I Re Magi)

Here are some pictures of day 2 (click to enlarge):

Jean Marc, Laurent and Frank bright and early
Wide open spaces...
Yours truly
You get enough time out there to get into the zen of the mountain
Skinning some more... surroundings where you can find an infinite amount of appealing lines...
...and amazing winter landscape.
This one is here just because...
...and this one too.
At the Col des Muandes with a view into Italy.
Starting to make up for no downhill ski yesterday.
Jean Marc plying his trade...
...and Frank too
Nice Aiguille
To the left Pointe Balthazar - to the right Pointe Melchoir,
 and, as I found out later from an Italian guide: in the middle
Couloir de la  Gallina. I will have to come back for that  one.
This is where we stopped for lunch...
...for which both Jean Marc and Frank brought a bottle of Graves and some cheese...
Enough sitting around, back to work...

View into Vallée Etroite at the bottom if which we'll find the hut.
Refugio I Re Magi which translates into the three wise men. The three peaks
 dominating it to the West are: Pointe Gaspard (2808m), Melchoir (2948m)
and Balthazar (3153m).
The expedition staff...
Grand Séru at the end of the Vallée Etroite.
This is what it looks like when an avalanche runs out from Pointe Gaspard.
Main course of polenta and sausages... A fitting end to any ski day.

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