Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hut to hut in the Thabor massif – Day 3/3 (April 14-2013)

For day one click here.
For day two click here.

The weather report announced really warm weather and wet snow avalanches had been pretty active yesterday in the pm so we figured we had two good reasons to get up a bit early, the second one being not missing out on the spring corn...We left the the I Re Magi hut at 7 and started skinning north up the Vallée Etroite and then west and south towards the Col du Vallon (2645m).  The trail started off pretty flat then got quite steep which allowed us to gain elevation a lot more efficiently than the two prior days. We were at the pass at about 10 and from there we had a wide open view towards Vellée de Clarée.

Below is our route with the day 3 route in yellow:

Topo map: 3535OT (French IGN reference)
Dominating direction: NE then SE
Starting elevation: 1780m
Pass elevations : 2645 (Col du Vallon)
End elevation: 1603m (Névache)

Click here for Laurent's photos and videos.

Here are some of my pictures of day 3 (click to enlarge):

Early start to beat the heat...
Looking back on the village and the hut
Looking back on Vallée Etroite with the village on the valley floor
 and Sestriere (2006 Winter olympic venue) in the distance.
Laurent working his way up
Lots of space and large features...
A break on the way up
Frank giving free reign to his exebhisionistic tendencies...
Really worth coming back for...
First sighting of the Col du Vallon
From Col du Vallon, looking down onto the "other side"
From Col du Vallon a view of the Mont Blanc in the distance (with max zoom)
All sorts of skiable terrain...
First avalanche from the prior day, we are glad to be here early. Click to enlarge
 to see the scale against Jean Marc who is practiclty at the end of the run off. 
They have broken all the way down the valley...
...and this is where you thank someone for still being around...
From left to right: Laurent, Pierre, Jean Marc and Frank
Last stretch on skis...
...and on foot...
...and back to Névache where it all started three days ago.

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