ski France
May 2006

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Dome de Neige des Ecrins (4015m)

The Dome is the skiable summit connected with the Barre des Ecrins, highest peak in France outside the Mont Blanc massif. "Classique des classiques" for French ski mountaineering. It's in the interior of the Ecrins national park. I approached it from the southeast where the road was closed at Ailefroide.

the Barre des Ecrins seen from appoach on the Glacier Blanc. Dome de Neige is the snowy shoulder on the right of the Barre. (In this photo, the normal ski climbing route would start to right of a line drawn down from Dome, then diagonal up and left to just underneath the higher ice+rock Barre summit, then finish by traversing right nearly horizontally to the Dome.)

two skiers descending lower section in the middle of the north face

see more Photos of this Dome de Neige des Ecrins tour

la Grande Ruine (3765m)

Halfway between the Barre des Ecrins and la Meije, with several interesting alpine summer climbing routes. I approached it from the Refuge de l'Alpe de Villar d'Arene, then the Glacier de la Place des Agneaux. Interesting variety of skiing with wonderful views along the way.

highest summit Pointe Brevoort in center is not usually skied.
I was glad to find good conditions for climbing it.

Dome de la Sache (3606m)

in the northeast Vanoise between Tignes and Les Arcs -- but our ski route from la Gurraz on the northeast side was far away from any lifts. Lots of interesting glacier terrain (for which we had excellent conditions), and many fun ski slopes on descent.

Eric navigating thru the upper section of the Glacier Sud de la Gurraz.
(Dome de la Sache summit is the snowy nub just left of center)

see more Photos of our Dome de la Sache tour


10 May 2006 -- snowing down to the valley floor in Chamonix
Rick Marchant + Eric disembarking the Montenvers railway after a wintery day on the Mer de Glas

Refuge du Col de la Vanoise

Eager to get out the day after a wintery storm, we started from Pralognan-la-Vanoise
on a pretty tour with lower avalanche danger.

Celia (who works at the Refuge) pointing out some sights and routes to Eric.
Right of center is the Grand Casse (3855m)

Aiguille de Peclet (3561m)

The highest summit above the Val Thorens ski resort. Its west face holds a glacier which is sometimes skiable. I was lucky to be able to climb and ski it on the same day my flight arrived at 8:00 at the Geneva airport.

summit is just to right of center notch -- several crevasse zones to be avoided -- many ski tracks visible

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