Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Coed Brenin Enduro 2014

Monday, 23 February 2015

Combe de Tardevant ski tour

To build upon the great success of our piste skiing Dave suggested we head over to the Aravis (Alps) to tackle an easy ski tour. Dave knew this 'quieter' area of the Alps well and we based ourselves in the camper van at the scenic end of the road car park for a few days. 

Dave scoping the first route

We headed part way up here to mess around on the first day
Its a beautiful spot, perched at about 1400m, with extensive views of the mountains and combes nearby which provide lots of opportunity for snow shoeing and ski touring. Busy carpark by day, quite camp spot at night. The light as the sun set, and stars were amazing, but it was quite chilly trying to capture it all.

You can see it's well skied, and they hadn't had fresh snow for a week or so

Dave showing how it's done...
The first afternoon we did a short trip part way up the Troude la Mouche to perfect our skinning technique and try the off piste descent - all seemed good.

This is easy right!? Time to head back down

Beautiful evening light.

So with confidence high the next day we set off to the Combe de Tardevant and a high col at 2400m. 

For me this is steep ski ground!
Wow quite a way still to go
It initially went well, and it was fun skinning higher and higher in this beautiful landscape, but I did start to get concerned as we were skinning up slopes that seemed fairly steep to me, and I wasn't sure that I had the skills to actually ski down them. It had an easy ski tour grade of 2.2, but I didn't really know what this meant in reality. 

Getting high now (can you see the other tiny figures left of Dave?)

At the icy high point (too icy to go along the ridge)
Near the top the snow got quite choppy and icy, but we made it to the col and the extensive views over to the Mt Blanc range. I think we were both a bit nervous about the descent, and even the other locals who were clearly good skiers made the descent look difficult we didn't hang around on top and gingerly started our ski down. 

Mt Blanc range behind

Dave dropping into the choppy snow (it was steeper than it looks!)
It went okay, clearly I didn't have any style but we made it in one piece - quite an intense 6 hours out! I now appreciate I need to improve my skiing lots more, and gain some 'off piste' skills before the next one, but it was a fantastic experience and as I'd hoped a great way to travel through the 
mountains in winter. 

Lunch stop after the steep bits (phew)
Note - The next day we woke to fresh snow and had soooo much fun skiing in fresh snow all day from first lift to last lift at the local resort/pistes. Great fun skiing fresh powder, and even though we had to drive through the night so that I could catch my plane at Paris (there's a story there!) it was  well worth it. A great trip. 


  1. That looks amazing, especially the night photos! It looks like you're taking this skiing thing quite seriously. Even going so far as to deck yourself out in baggy ski pants!

  2. Its fun but wish I'd learnt to ski years back. It was a stroke of luck that I found my 10 year old snow board 'pants' in the wardrobe and could resurrect them for my new hobby!!