3 - 4
FATMAP difficulty grade
This quiet ski tour journeys into the wilder side of the a popular neighbouring peak - the Croisse Baulet. The view towards the Mont Blanc Massif is spectacular as it is towards Pointe Percée and the Aravis.
Rarely well tracked it has multiple options for multiple descents on the wide open slopes. It is a good ski tour in variable visibility as there are trees and a number of buildings to give some definition in poor light.
The Cabane du Petit Pâtre itself is a basic shelter with a bench inside but that's still very welcome in poor weather.
Please leave it tidy, clean and free of snow inside ! Although the ski tour is on mostly mellow angled terrain some large avalanches have been known to have crossed the stream bed to below 1600m which have come from slopes above, so don't forget to check on avalanche conditions before setting out.
The ski tour is described up to the Cabane du Petit Pâtre itself but continuing up to the rock buttress on the Croisse Baulet can provide a couple of pitches of steeper North Facing Skiing to add to the day. After parking in the Cordon Ski area parking walk down to the bend in the road to start skinning.
Go up through open meadows to join an obvious track at Le Charne, follow the track which drops down slightly to cross a bridge over a stream.
Climb up the steepening path in the trees passing by a building on your left, after which you will reach a large clearing and another building.
Head into the clearing and higher up skin through one of the wide gaps in the trees to reach one of a few buildings on the route.
Open terrain leads to another building before climbing through a section of forest which opens out and takes you out of the forest.
Go up open terrain, crossing a stream bed, before passing the final building and reaching the Cabane du Petit Pâtre.
Enjoy the view, have a look over to the Col de Niard and beyond and either continue up for a couple of pitches or get ready to ski. The descent is back the way you came but with some imagination there is plenty of terrain to play with.
Enjoy the space and the fresh tracks ! When you reach the tree line there are plenty of gaps in the trees to enjoy.
Lower down there may be some ‘combat skiing’ on or surrounding the ascent path but with care there will be soft snow and areas to shave speed off.
Finally ski the open meadow from Le Charne to the bend in the road.