View from just past the Hostel across to the ‘summer village’ on the Italian side of the pass
Link to detailed route page and map click on route title
From the Cabine we headed left (SE) up the Coombe de Barasson to just below the cross commemorating the life of the monk mountain guide (Lucien Droz who died there in an avalanche in 1951). We decided to ascend under the pylons up to the West Coll first (rated F). We noticed that there was also a trail once we reached the shoulder approaching the col off to the Right which has potential for further touring and an alternative route down to the Hospice.
The Skin to the Col was very straightforward and provided excellent views into Italy. Thought of having lunch there but as soon as I unwrapped my sarnie the wind picked up so change of plan and we skied back down to the cross for our lunch. Snow conditions were okay.
Decided to ascend the East Col as although it looked harder than the West Col we were confident it was achievable. Jacqui forged ahead as a (great) trail maker and soon found as the Col narrowed and became steeper that the route was more challenging than we expected. we discovered the slope was strongly convex leading to us needing to take extra care on the last 3 kick turns.
Once again fantastic views from the Col and much to our surprise and relief the snow conditions for the ski down were excellent. Photo in slideshow below shows me a bit anxious on the top as I wanted to get the ski down over and done with, as it was nothing to worry about. We both enjoyed a ski down, but I did manage to find a bit of breakable crust to fall in near the bottom of the Coombe, captured on video by Mike!! Unfortunately he missed my great 8s on the steepest part of the descent from the Col…
Skied down to just below the Cabine and then put our skins back on for a short hike up to the Hospice. Had a lovely welcome by the friars with complimentary sweet tea. Looked round the museum which was excellent before dinner and then a fairly early night. Note to self take a towel as these are not provided in winter.
A great start to our 25 wedding anniversary ‘treat’, which we had jointly decided to celebrate a month early!
Below are a screen show of some photos from the day