Ski Touring Col De I’Iseran to Col de I’Ouille Noire, Val D’Isere: This is a simple ski touring route that you can build your skills and confidence on. It is good physical training at high altitude as you start going uphill at 2700m to 3200m.
Route: Col De I’Iseran to Col de I’Ouille Noire 3229m, Val D’Isere, France Off-Piste skiing between 2700m -3229m W/NW Max Gradient: 36 degrees Uphill: 2.5-3hours Total Route time from Fornet lift: 4-5hrs Total Return Route time from Tignes:3.5/4hrs Skiers Level: Intermediate Ski Touring Level: Beginner/some touring experience Start: 9 am Fornet Cable Car, Midpoint back at Col De I’Iseran 12.50pm Finish: 2 pm at Fornet Cable Car Lift pass needed: Val D’Isere Map needed: 3633ET
Why did I choose this ski touring route?
The snow conditions this winter are different compared to last winter. The snowfalls have been far and few between and have brought warm temperatures and high winds. At the beginning of December, it rained up to 2900m and last Monday it rained up to 2400m which affected our snowpack.
Knowing the history of the snowpack in the ski area that you want to ski in is crucial to making the right decisions and finding the good snow. I knew that the area of the Fornet and the Col De I’Iseran had more snow than any other area in the Tarentaise Valley. Looking at the weather forecast the night before and reassessing in the morning, I made the decision to ski tour Col De I’Iseran to Col de I’Ouille Noire in Val D’Isere. I could keep at high altitude and find the good snow in the gullies. It is a smaller route on simple terrain with navigation points that I could use if the weather got worst. The temperatures in the day would stay warm and consistent which meant that the summits and ridges wouldn’t be too icy. I was really happy with my decision and with good route finding, we managed to find some good snow and reach the Col de I’Ouille Noire.
FREEFLO specializes in progressive on and off-piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women-specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off-piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner.
THE SKIERS GUIDE TO SKI TOURING THE REFUGE FREY, BARILOCHE, ARGENTINA My dream is becoming a reality. For four years I have been dreaming of leading and creating my own Patagonian adventure. One small part of this adventure includes skiing the granite couloirs and ski touring around the refuge Emilio Frey near Bariloche in Argentina. To have a successfull adventure it is so important to have the right information and make the right decisions.
Refuge details: Surrounded by granite towers Refuge Emilio Frey is on the shore of the Toncek lagoon at 1700 meters above sea level. The name is a tribute to the engineer Emilio Frey. The shelter itself is one of the most picturesque in the region. Its a true masterpiece of carved granite lintels, sills, edges and other details of high quality to ensure that the refuge blends into the landscape. The inside is lined with wood and its roof is made of tiles. On the ground floor is a kitchen and a spacious dining room with a log burner for warmth.
How to make a reservation? It is only possible to reserve a night in the refuge 3 days before on line as there is no telephone service in the refuge. For three nights in the refuge including food we paid around £25 per day. The refuge only takes US dollars ($) or Argentine Pesos (Ars). For more information you can visit the website Refugio Frey.
How to access the refuge? There are two ways to access the refuge in the summer and in the winter.
a) Skiing from the ski station Cerro Catedral: You can hike to the ridgeline Punta Princesa. Traverse west to a col and drop down a valley then ski tour up to the pointed ridgeline. The ski down from there will only take ten minutes to lake Toncek. At the lake traverse along the plateau to Refugio Frey. Ski touring from Cerro Cathedral will take 4-6 hours. Make sure you have a good weather window as its difficult to navigate. You will need to pay for a Cerro Catedral lift pass which is around £22 per day.
b) The main walkers route from Cerro Catedral.
Difficulty: Medium to Hard depending on snow conditions and how much weight you are carrying in your packs. Distance : 10 km Elevation : 700m +\- Running time : from 4 to 6 hours but the lady from Club Andino will tell you that you can do it in two hours! Access mode : Cerro Catedral line bus 55 from Bariloche. The bus journey will cost under a pound. You have to buy a SUBE card which you can buy in the newsagents, no cash accepted on the bus. The bus normally goes every hour and you need to get to the bus stop early to get a seat.
Maps: Totally different to the IGN map in France. Finding a good backcountry map to navigate from is difficult and hard to find. We used the PIXMAP Bariloche y Angostura 1:125. NB: Don’t be fooled by the distance.
Weather Forecasts: The most reliable weather forecasts we have used have been Snow Forecast and Windyty App
What are the granite spires?
The spires of the refuge are granite and granodiorite towers are intrusive igneous rocks that have slowly cooled deep underground in magma chambers called plutons. This slow cooling process allows easily visible crystals to form. Both rocks are the product of the melting of continental rocks near subduction zones.
Creating, Leading and Sharing Mountain Adventures withFREEFLO
Keep up to date with the FREEFLO Patagonia Ski and Climb Adventure 2018 and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Blog. FREEFLO specialises in progressive on and off piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities. Our primary objective is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach-approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner. Step into your next adventure and email: [email protected] or visit www.freefloski.com
The Arcteryx Norvan trail and approach shoe is the number one choice for Patagonia.
As soon as I put this trail shoe on I wasn’t disappointed. Tested in the French Alps on running trails, snow and climbing crags. I decided that this shoe would be my number one choice of footwear for the FREEFLO Patagonia Ski and Climb Adventure 2018. It would be the shoe that I could run in, scramble in and an approach shoe to refuges and climbing crags. Intelligently designed and created it will be the connection between trail running and alpinism.
With the combination of a Vibram heel and a sticky rubber compound of the Idrogrip the Norvan VT delivers excellent grip on all terrain. With the adjustable 360° support system can you switch from running mode to a scrambling mode very easily. The fixed adaptive Fit Technology wraps around your foot and keeps your foot dry and free of debris.
The Norvan VT is a shoe that gives you confidence and support over technical terrain.
FREEFLO specialises in progressive on and off piste ski instruction, backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. We offer personal British ski instruction for skiers of all abilities, though our sweet spot is helping competent skiers to improve their technique on and off piste and in the backcountry. Our intuitive coach-approach will help you to progress, have fun and enjoy the full freedom of the mountains in a safe and confident manner. Step into your next adventure and email: [email protected] or visit www.freefloski.com