Combe du Pouce

Graham: Skins back on for the crossing towards the Gliere

Location: Aiguilles Rouges
Snow: Mixed
Weather: Bluebird, warm

With warm temperatures and high winds earlier this week we weren’t expecting great snow today, but had planned an interesting new little route in the Rouges for a bit of fun anyway: the Combe du Pouce on the W face of the the Aiguille de la Glière with an exit to Le Buet roughly following this camptocamp.org guide.

From the Index lift we skinned then bootpacked then skinned then climbed a quick 500m up to the Glière on an OK track with just one other group behind us.  Snow on the descent was very mixed; some smooth and slightly chalky, some powdery and lots of wind-affected snow with mini-satrugi which my light skis really weren’t liking much.  We weren’t sure if the Floria exit gorge would go OK so stayed left with a bit of easy bushwhacking and soft tree skiing to bring us out a little lower than originally planned before a long, hot 850m skin up to the Col de Berard (definitely happy to be on my light skis for that).  Into the Berard Valley we got the best snow of the day, well-tracked but soft, before an OK track for a skis-on exit all the way to Le Buet with just a few rocks in the middle section.

Definitely one to repeat in better conditions.

Graham: Closing in on the Gliere

Decent soft snow at the very top

Graham: Practising his wrong-side one-hand jump turns in a steep little couloir halfway down

Graham: Wee drop in the trees

Got a comment, question, or your own report from elsewhere in the Chamonix valley? Leave a comment below (Facebook login required).

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