Sunday, 1 March 2015

Col du Lac Cornu - Col de la Gliere, Aiguille Rouge

I arrived in Chamonix on Wednesday after the most stress free traveling I have ever had; no cues, no waiting (apart from the compulsory 2 hour wait before boarding the flight) and no rushing! I had 3 days on my own before Kev and Dave got here so had to pick my objectives carefully. With all the recent news about avalanches, I was reluctant to do much off piste, but I checked the forecast, looked at slopes below 30 degrees and decided to head up into the Aiguille Rouge and do a short ski tour.

I chose a traverse from Brevent to Flegere which only takes about 2 hours max. The weather was great: clear blue sky and not too cold. I started from the top of the Cornu chairlift in Brevent and skinned up to the Col du Lac Cornu which is about 100m above the piste. There was a good track already set by a group up ahead of me which installed more confidence in my decision for the day. Instead of decending down, which the guide suggested, I traversed directly from the Col, across to the Col de la Gliere. From here, I had a few options: either descend into the combe de la Gliere and then join the Lachenal piste or head up to summit the Aiguille de la Gliere and descend the east face via the Gendarme Wehrlin couloir to the index lift. I opted for the first descent which involved a steep top section on churned up powder, followed by some nice turns down the combe in soft powder to where it joined the Lachenal piste.
View from the Col de la Gliere down the combe de la Gliere

Traversing across to the Col de la Gliere, just out of view round to the right.

The Col du lac Cornu

Looking back to the Col du Lac Cornu

Lac Cornu, off the back of the Aiguille Rouge

Col du la Gliere in the sunlight

Top of the descent into the combe de la Gliere

I was going to head back up and do the Col des Dards but I discovered cider, bean bags and sun and got far too comfortable. So the afternoon soon went by, I headed for a few last runs down the piste and headed back to the gite. Good day over all and a great first, short intro to ski touring.

Cham does Cider!

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