Velan Combin tour

~ Sunday 2nd May 2010

 The last week of my ski season and a great way to finish with an adventurous ski tour around the Grand Combin area. Starting from the Mont Velan hut - nice hut but tiny beds! - we climbed Mont Velan via the Col de la Gouille. This gave us a great 1400m descent on good snow with some steep skiing.

Skiing Mont Velan

A long hot climb in the afternoon led up to the Valsorey hut, and on day 3 we crossed the steep Col du Meitin to the Panossiere hut. We abandoned our plans to climb the Grand Combin on the way. The normal route is bare ice and the Corridor route looked very threatened by seracs - this turned out to be a good choice, as from the hut terrace we watched a huge serac fall obliterate 500m of the track on the Corridor!

Steep ground on the Col du Meitin

Next day we split into 2 teams, 1 team climbed and skied the excellent Tournelon Blanc in the morning, then skied a nice descent from pt 3402 under the Combin de Corbassiere in the afternoon, while the others climbed and skied the Combin de Corbassiere. 

Skinning up the  Corbassiere glacier in the early morning

 Near the top of the Tournelon Blanc, Grand Combin behind

View to the Combins from Tournelon Blanc

Excellent descent on Tournelon Blanc

Skiing Tournelon BlancThanks to Rupert Hoare for this picture of me skiing on the Tournelon Blanc.

On the last day with bad weather forecast we escaped to the valley coping with classic end of season conditions - ice, slush, crust, grass, and eventually a well-earned beer in Fionnay! There are more pictures here

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