THE RIDE BLOG FEATURING (ALMOST) DAILY UPDATES FROM THE MOUNTAINS WITH OUR EDITOR AND TECH EDITOR AND THOSE OTHER RENOWNED POWDER HOUNDS, THE RANDO CHIENS. CATCH OUR RESORT CRUISING, OFF-PISTE, BACKCOUNTRY, SLACKCOUNTRY, TOURING AND EXPLORING NEW DESTINATIONS WITH REPORTS ON CONDITIONS, DESCRIPTIONS OF ROUTES AND IMAGES.
Best ski tour of the season with the Rando Chiens up the classic route to Galibier.
Although I knew that there would still be powder to be had off the lifts I wanted to be out with the dogs away from people.
I arrived at 09:00 about a couple of km shy of the Col du Lautaret (1960m) where we usually park up, as I thought it was already quite busy with people
So much for getting away from hordes you may ask, but I felt pretty sure that we'd be away form them soon.
There was a well worn path for the first 100m vertical and then they all B'off towards Pic Blanc which is always the case. Must be something about reaching a summit and the climb as the skiing down is not that brilliant, especially with so many people going up there. Though I suspect that many would have problems skiing the deep powder on the descent as I have witnessed so often!
After the junction it was down to me to create a route up in the fresh powder which is probably 30% more energy sapping than just skinning up in someone elses tracks.
The dogs had long since given up exploring and followed in my tracks.
We had a brief photo stop at La Mandette and then carried on up.
I took a slightly different route than usual as I knew, with the dogs in tow, that we would not be going to the top as it would simply be too much for them on the descent. We came across a park bench which I've never seen before, probably because it would normally be buried in snow.
After about five minutes the dogs started barking and suddenly a big black hound appeared with another one soon after along with a couple of ski tourers. How dare they come on to our mountain!
We only went a bit higher to around 2470m so about 500m of climbing.
Once into descent mode it was the first real opportunity to see how my new Scott Powdairs skied - or should I say floated as the powder was just so effortless.
Great thing about having the dogs is that it makes you stop and slow down, as unlike spring snow they just can't keep up - and it was more than once when I thought I'd lost them. Down towards the bottom where there were more tracks and I disapeared over a ridge to traverse into an untracked bowl, they must have thought bugger that and continued in the tracks.
The skis were more than I could have hoped for, and no issues with the new Vipec 12 bindings, though I think you could ski on anything as the snow pack was superb!
And here's a YouTube of the dogs down towards the end.
Click on an image to start the gallery up and see descriptions
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With the Etape du Tour and the Tour de France over and all associated with it be it amateurs, professionals, organisers, spectators and the hordes of camper vans Serre Chevalier will now return to a more peaceful setting.more