Evettes Hut to Gastaldi Hut via the Albaron

Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne

A memorable ski mountaineering traverse, with the addition of the Passage du Colerin to take you over to Italy

Also in Savoie, France

Ski Touring Severe

Distance
14 km
Ascent
1.6 km
Descent
1.6 km
Duration
7-8 hrs
Low Point
2.5 km
High Point
3.6 km
Gradient
46˚
Evettes Hut to Gastaldi Hut via the Albaron Map

The traverse of the Albaron is a ski mountaineering classic day out to a high summit, using a full range of skills. This alone will satisfy most people, with a long descent to the Avérole Hut. For strong skiers, with a small reascent, you access a steep but short couloir on the Italian side to the Gastaldi Hut, but the standard Maurienne traverse, with average skiers, wouldn’t do this. There are extra day tours you could do instead from the Avérole Hut, to make your Maurienne traverse longer if needed, but you can complete the standard traverse in as little as 3 days. To do so you would miss out this extension into Italy and descending straight from the Avérole Hut to the valley if needed.

Description

Leaving the hut, reverse your final tracks from yesterday, but then head pretty much due S up onto the Evettes Glacier. The exact route varies, but it takes a sneaky rising traverse, missing out the worst of the crevasses and avoiding the steepest ground. You are heading for a shoulder at about 3470m called the Selle de l’Albaron. From here it is skis on packs and a lovely mixed ridge, never too difficult, but definitely mountaineering, to the summit of the Albaron at 3637m. This is a fine viewpoint and one of the tallest peaks in the area.

Descent from the summit block is to the SW, with a fixed rope in place, and is usually descended via a short rappel. Most descend to the Avérole Hut, but when I was there we did a descending traverse to about 2970m, before a short skin up to the Passage de Colerin at 3207m. The far side of this is a steep couloir, 40-45 degrees, but not for too long, as it opens out and eases off below. Mellow slopes then descend and traverse around a long rocky ridge then to the Gastaldi Hut at 2659m.

Difficulty

Severe

Steep skiing at 38-45 degrees. This requires very good technique and the risk of falling has serious consequences.

High Exposure (E3)

3 out of 4

In case of a fall, death is highly likely.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

March, April

Features

  • Alpine
  • Couloir
  • Ski Mountaineering

Equipment required

  • Rope
  • Skins
  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area