samedi 18 février 2012

Les Grandes Autannes

As I often work with english spoken people, I wanted to write this post in english.
So I first want to apologyse for my bad english.
This is the story of a nice Hors-piste skiing day as we can have many in Chamonix Valley. But it’s a particular one because I shared it with an amazing croatian girl : Ena Vrbek.

 I first met Ena one year ago on the Millet Expedition Project. She and her croatian friends wanted to climb « Communism Peak » and Millet helped them.
Anyway she was in Chamonix for few holydays and wanted to discover our nice hors-piste runs. So we decided to go skiing on « les grandes autannes » on le tour. The idea was to find good fresh snow on a place we have to climb up before skiing down.
It was my very first experience in guiding someone on a hors-piste I’ve never beeen before ! A bit scary, but with good maps, good topos and lots of information from my guide friends we had a very good day.

The day starts by taking the « Charamillon » gondola and « Autannes»  chair lift on « le Tour » aera. Then you have to step walk with the skis to « col de Balme » (2191m).

 Once on the pass we put skis on backpacks and start climbing. On the begining it’s a quite easy snowridge but it rapidly turns on mixed climbing. Don’t worry, there’s nothing very difficult but it’s better to have the rope.

 It tooks us 1h30 to climb the 500 m up to summit of « Grandes Autannes » (2680m).
Once on top, view is fantastic on all the Mont-Blanc range.

Then we descended N-E on a nice combe called « vers la gove » Snow is good and it’s not extrem skiing ;)

Descent becomes easier, less steep and we crossed some people ski-touring. As you ski on an avalanche deposit, snow is a bit harder than on the top but view and sunshine make it cool.

On the bottom you find a track that leads directly to « Trient » village (1297m). Here we are in Switzerland. In fact, it looks very like Vallorcine but you can feel on holydays, visiting an other country !

Then you have to take a bus (7,5 euros) to go back to Vallorcine. An other run-up with the gondola and « tête de balme » chairlift brings you on the top of « le Tour » resort.
You just have to let you skiing down to find the car or bus in « le Tour ».

Equipement :
Freeride skis
Skis boots you can climb with.
Harness and rope
Security equipement for hors piste skiing.
Map : 3630 OT « Chamonix »
ID cards (Switzerland)

You can do this trip in half a day, if you climb quite fast. But sometimes it’s good to take our time, smiling like two idiots on a perfect day.

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