5 - 6
FATMAP difficulty grade
One of Pralognan’s great classics for moderate ski touring, the south side of the Col de la Glière can be a spring snow paradise if you get your timing right.
The GPS track starts at the Barmettes refuge - accessible by lift during the winter or a skin up the pistes for the early birds.
In the spring the road is open up to Les Fontanettes at 1600m from where you can skin up the pistes.
The col sits between the very pointy peaks of the Petite and Grande Glière and the views from the col are amazing, with the steep north couloir dropping into the Champagny valley, and the imposing north face of the Pointes de l’Epena brooding in the shadows to the right of this. At Barmettes cross the river and follow the skin motorway heading for the Lac des Vaches (and on to the Refuge du Col de la Vanoise) then bear left at the flat area of the lake up the steeper slopes of La Séchette (100m of 35º-ish) to enter the flat of a mini hanging valley/bowl.
Head due north passing 2 steepening with rocky steps if the snow cover is thinning (chains in place for summer climbers) and set foot on the Glacier Sud de la Glière - this is rapidly shrinking but does still have some small crevasses here & there… Continue up this to the col. The descent follows the line of ascent, continuing down the pistes from Barmettes either to Les Fontanettes or all the way back to the town.