Col des Droites

After nearly two weeks of constant bluebird, we opted for a good spring snow mission. A few attempts failed past week, but the upcoming days turned out to be really nice. Johannes joined us in the morning and we took the cable car up to the Midi. A short ride-down and skin-up to the Helbronner allowed us to have lunch with good paninis and excellent cappuccino for a fair cost. I really like Italy! We rode down the Vallée Blanche, which turned into a big mogul slope in the meanwhile, and climbed up to the Refuge du Couvercle.

Here we enjoyed some cold beers on the terrace, with probably one of the best views you can get in these mountains, and had a good dinner afterwards. I like this hut and were happy to return after being there last year for the first time. It’s comfortable and the couple who are running the hut are really friendly and helpful.

After a short night and an early start in first daylight (and still some moonlight!) from the Couvercle hut, we skinned up the Glacier du Talèfre towards our goal for today: the Col des Droites. The south facing, wide snow slope between Les Droites and Les Courtes will hopefully provide us some good spring snow.

After about 800 vertical meters, we switched to crampons and walked up the frozen slope. It took us a bit longer than expected, but we just kept going and reached the Col des Droites (3713 m) without any problems. On the top, we had to wait some time for the snow to soften up, but that did not bother us: we had a stunning view over the Grand Jorasses, the Vallée Blanche and Mont Blanc all over to the Aiguille du Midi.

The ride down was in perfect spring snow conditions at 12h. The guide says “42°/200m & 40°/400m”, I would say “a great ride” 😉 But pictures say more than a thousand words:

Some snowboarding:

And skiing by Adrian and Johannes:

After that, we made our way down to the Montenvers train station by climbing through some loose rocks and skiing over glacial ice and small rivers running down the Mer de Glace… But we were happy with our two days mission and the good snow conditions way further up in the rather quiet Talèfre basin.

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