A big climb and a single huge descent on impressive N facing terrain

Statistics

6 - 7

hrs

1,352

m

1,747

m

48

max°

Difficulty

FATMAP difficulty grade

Difficult

Description

This is the icing on the cake if you can finish the tour by the described itinerary here, with a 1600m descent on N facing terrain.

Most other ways out from the Avérole Hut will involve walking downhill in the spring, so this is a real winner, being able to link into the Bonneval lift system for the final section, guaranteeing snow to the valley if the lifts are still turning.

It is a fairly steep and committing glacial ski descent, with complex route finding, so may not be suitable for everyone.

From the Avérole Hut you are following steep SW facing slopes, to the L in ascent of the Ruisseau de Veilet.

When I was there in a lean snow year we carried skis for a couple of hours, as the sun had completely stripped it.

When snow-covered it may be icy due to the melt/freeze action of the afternoon sun, so ski crampons may be required.

There are odd steep sections but broadly you are taking the line of least resistance up the slope, joining in with your tracks that you descended a couple of days earlier in the top section.

If for whatever reason you were unable to top out on Albaron, or it was misty when you were there with no views, it is a short detour to the summit.

But this isn’t needed, as once you have reached the shoulder below the summit at about 3460m, you can descend from there.

Head NW to the flat Col du Grand Fond at 3345m, then continue in the same direction on steepening ground, taking the R branch of the Glacier Superior du Vallonet.

This weaves around with odd steeper sections, but it links nicely, often in powder, due to its enclosed and N aspect, opening out to an apron of easier slopes at about 2500m, then down onto the pistes to Bonneval.