Col de Joux Plane

Since last winter Mark and Ros have had the desire to joining me on my ski tours around here and once they have some experience and become more familiar with the equipment possibly planning a few days  in La Grave. So they slowly started to collect all the necessary equipment: skis with bindings for touring, skins, transceiver, etc. When I got here last month they told me they were ready and looking forward to use all their new toys

For their very first touring day I opted for a very easy itinerary on the Col de Joux Plane, a col about 20 minutes drive from us with an altitude of approximately 1,800mt where I knew we could find an easy and safe terrain to practice on. When we got there we immediately saw the slope we were going to climb and ski. Not surprisingly, it was a north facing aspect where, considering it hasn’t snowed in over 6 weeks (!)  there was still a good amount of snow

It took us about an hour and half to get to the summit and probably about 3 minutes to ski down. This is why every time somebody wants to join me on one of my hikes I always make clear since the beginning that the day is not about skiing or better, not only about skiing. Although we are on skis (on splitboard in my case) the whole time, when you hike in this area, most of the time the skiing time is reduced to only a few minutes! Therefore, in order to make the most of the experience and enjoy the day out you need to be able to appreciate hiking up the hill, skinning and if the temperature is warm enough even sweating a bit

Ski touring is a different program. It’s about leaving the noise of the lifts behind and not having to see or deal with crowded slopes. It’s also about being much closer to the natural world than when you ski on groomed slopes in a ski resort. The other key aspect is the more physical nature of the activity. Ski touring is all about earning your turns while you are having a much more complete and connected experience with the whole mountain so the idea is to enjoy the way up as much as the way down

With Mark on the way up
View from the top

What a shame there isn’t enough snow. It’s really good fun to ski this ridge, both on this side and on the other into Le Gets

Mark and Ros resting enjoying their coffee

Few more turns before we get to the bottom.. I am off

Back at the Chalet, drying the skins and enjoying the sunny and warm afternoon

The Queen of the castle performing an extremely delicate task using one of her favourite tools

View from the Royal garden

Another beautiful winter-without-snow sunset

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