20 Feb 2014; Col de Pierre Carree to l’Arbaron

20 Feb 2014; Col de Pierre Carree to l’Arbaron
Walk descriptor France cross country Day 00
Date Thu 20 Feb 2014 Start to end time 02h 47m
Start point Col de Pierre Carree End point l’Arbaron
Miles today 05.77 Cu miles 5.77
Ft today 1,412 Cu ft 1,412
Route miles left .00 Route ft left
Today’s weather Brilliant sunshine all day. No wind, rain or snow. Cold in the shade at the start (minus 7), quite warm in sun later (plus 4)
IMG_4676 IMG_4678
Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

Our last (half) day of ski-ing. Made an early start then drove up to Col de Pierre Carree, above Flaine. At 6,100 ft, the highest point of our ski-ing this week.

It was a stunning morning out. Views were outstanding in all directions – the air was so clear it must have been possible to see a hundred miles or more. Above the col, the Nordic ski area was less well defined but there is a summer-only golf course up there with a hiking trail which we ski-ed. Allowed us to try out our off-piste technique in knee deep powder snow: brilliant fun! Though changing direction and stopping were a bit more challenging.

Mid way round, at the col, outside the headquarters of the 27th Bataillon de chasseurs alpins, a brass band struck up. Quite a surreal experience to be serenaded by Boney M and “Happy Birthday” in such remote surroundings. Presumably an army band practising for a show.

Despite a shorter day, made some progress on technique – I actually managed to get down some of the steeper slopes without wiping out or ending up with burning thigh muscles.

Many thanks to the bionic Tania Noakes for being such an excellent coach and guide. Extremely highly recommended to anyone looking to explore the mountains adventurously, summer or winter.

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
IMG_4625 IMG_4633
Icicles hanging from the hut at the start of the Nordic ski area Val and Tania enjoying a mid-morning break from lessons
IMG_4636 IMG_4655
With Val mid-morning. I look a lot more confident than I feel Amazingly, halfway round, a brass band struck up. Unique at 6,000ft
IMG_4666 IMG_4667
Enjoying a bit of off-piste exploration Winter scenery. Fantastic
Panorama to the South, over the Flaines valley.
The previous day’s blog follows below the blue line
Solid line blue