Ski touring up to Pointe De La Sana 3436m Tignes/Val D’Isere – 1st of May 2014
I actually saw you last year in February at the top of the Grand Pre chairlift when I took a short day trip to Val D’Isere to visit my family. You stood out from the rest of the peaks in the area with your beauty and your height. All winter I have been admiring your elegance from a far, from chairlifts and pistes whilst I have been teaching and on fairway pistes where I have been giving ski lessons. Since after February 8th I have seen ski tracks up to your summit wishing that they were mine. I never had the time of or the weather window to climb you!Until yesterday, It was now or next season.
Thanks to Ali and Rab who came with me they made the climb possible. I had calculated the distance of 7.5k = vertical 846m
= 7.5 x 15 = 113 mins + 90 mins = 203mins = 3.3 hrs to climb up Sana. It could be nearer four hours if we had to make new tracks so that would be between 1-1.30pm before we would summit, making it late and a race against time as a new front with bad light and snow was beckoning. We traversed off piste from the Borsat chairlift keeping as high as we could into the backcountry with Sana insight. We then put our skins on and started the climb. In no time at all skinning on a flat traverse with a small gradient Sana was getting closer. The most entertaining part was then skiing down in touring mode with skins on our skis for a section of 60m. All style and finess had disappeared where balance and survial turns had to come into play. I did laugh out loud when I saw Rab going over the handle bars and shortly after Ali doing the same thing.
It was great to be away in the back country again. I feel so alive and lucky to be there, with no crowds,no idoits hurtling pass you or going into you. Just the peacefulness and the beauty with the occasional meet of another ski tourer.
After an hour in of the journey we then started to climb this time gaining some vertical height as we were still only the same height of the top of the Borsat chair lift at 2778m. The scenery and vastness was breathtaking. I often stopped to gain my breath and to admire the surroundings. We finally reached the col of La Sana 3047m after 2hrs and 20mins of ski touring. In my head I had always planned to summit in the boys mind the touring up was over.
With the summit still in view we knew we would have time to conquer it, taking on more fluids and after discussion we pushed towards the summit. Digging deep for energy and strength the final push to the summit took 1hr and 5mins ski touring with kick turns to the top. It was the hardest part of the journey. We made it and summited at 1.22pm on schedule and then it was all about the race to ski down before the weather really came in.
Now next winter I can smile and admire your beauty and understanding with a sense of achievement.
Different to any ski school FREEFLO offers intutive British Personal Ski Coaching in the snow-sure resorts of Tignes, Val D’Isere and La Grave. We specialise in all mountain and off piste skiing, plus backcountry ski touring and women specific ski courses. Fun and passionate we are highly experienced and fully qualified to work in France. With FREEFLO the quality of your experience, and safety are our priorities. With passion we help people to improve, have fun and to enjoy the freedom of the mountains. For further information please drop an email to: [email protected]