The green contour on the map is the previous outing and this report is about the blue one. Going up to the pass de Balme was completely without snow. But my super light skies didn't bother me too much on my back.
If there is a moment in my life to which I would like to return once, then except from first kiss of my wife it is skiing down that slope from the pass de Balme. Nobody around, Sunrise, hard snow with thin soft layer on top like a cream on an apfelstrudel (who doesn't know aplfelstrudel with cream or vanilla sauce haven't been alive so far).
|Col de Balme|
I used crampones. All the way up along the glacier. And I don not regret. Slope is around 30 degrees. Some very fast ski-alpinist was still 50 meters behind me and he did the same. Of course if the snow is soft, the skies would be better choice but then you have to count on the fact that the slope is infinitely long.
The official ski route leads out of the glacier over rocks at very left. But as you see on the picture above, it is much more reasonable to go by glacier on left side. There is one big crevasse. Better not to go there to late or to early in season.
When I reached glacier plateau near d'Orny hut, I thought I am done. But it wasn't completely true. There was one technical problem from pass du Tour. I was f-cking exhausted after 2500 meters elevation gain and at that point I had to climb down. It is better to rappel. But I had no rope with me.
But don't worry I survived. Descent is perfect, no issues.