CERCES SOUTHERN ALPS
Ski through the Nevache and La Clarée Valleys
READY TO SKI ?
This trip consists of a circuit around Mont Thabor and en route we both climb this famous peak and visit some of the most beautiful skiing country of the Southern Alps including Nevache and the Valley of La Clarée (both are very well preserved). The refuges are comfortable and, all in all, this trip is an ideal experience for those new to ski touring. (Height gain/loss is about 1,000m to 1,200m a day).
• Great first or second hut-to-hut ski tour in the French and Italian Alps
• Climb Mont Thabor at 3178m
• Great huts, beautiful mountains, no hordes, fewer ski tracks !
• An ideal early season tour
GRADE : D1 : A2 : F2
see our grade coding here
This price includes :
• 6 days guided ski touring with a qualified UIAGM high mountain guide
• 7 nights accommodation
• All dinners, breakfasts & picnic lunches (except first day)
• Transfer from/to Briançon train station
• Lift passes
• Hire gear
We organise bus/taxi for the group from Briançon to our accommodation in Le Lauzet (1700m), at the foot of the Col du Lautaret. Your guide meets you here for a full briefing for the tour, equipment check, ready for our departure (straight out on skis!) the next morning.
From Le Lauzet we climb up a small valley on to some steep slopes heading up to the Col du Chardonnet (2638m) before undertaking the easy ski down to the Chardonnet Refuge (2223m). This is the perfect ‘refreshing day’, practising kick turns and remembering how it all works. The refuge, which really looks like a chalet, dominates the Nevache Valley, just above the limit of the forest.
Leaving the refuge we ski on down through the forest to the Jadis bridge before a long climb to the peak at Le Rocher de la Grande Tempête (3002m). A lovely descent brings us to the Refuges des Drayeres (2180m).
Today is long with a traverse across the mountain (about eight hours of undulation) to the Refuge du Mont Thabor. On the way we cross three cols: the Col de Nevache, the Passage du Pic du Thabor (beside the Pic de Terre Rouge, which we can climb to on skis) and the Col du Cheval Blanc, all fairly evenly spaced along the day’s route, before a warm welcome in this modern refuge.
The highlight of today, and the week, is the summit of the Mont Thabor (3178m). The day begins with a short descent to the Col de la Vallée Etroite and from there on to the Lac du Peyron. Here we get back on skins to pass through the Col des Meandes and finally up to the summit of the Mount Thabor itself, the highest summit in this region. On the way up we will stop just before the top at the little chapel. Next comes a magnificent run down the south face of the mountain (1400m down in all) back into the forest on a route that leads us to the Refuge Re Maggi in the Vallee Etroite (1765m), where we find ourselves in Italy.
Our day begins by returning into the forest before taking a small valley to the south which comes out into the Col du Vallon (2645m). We then carry on to the Lac Blanc before ascending to the Pic de Lac Blanc (2980m) and skiing down the west face to the Refuge Ricou (2115m). At this time of the year we should enjoy spring snow and easy conditions.
We head on up to the Vallée de la Clarée before splitting off west and climbing to the Col des Beraudes (2895m). For the last part of this ascent we will strap our skis onto our bags. But this effort is then rewarded with a really excellent descent on the south flank all the way to Le Lauzet. Transfer to Briançon.
Onward transport from Briançon train station. Ask for a discount if you are taking the night train on Friday night.