Haute Route Days 3 and 4
Day 3 Mont Fort Hut to Prafleuri Hut
Excellent weather again, up early and onto the Col des Chaux, felt strong and did it in one go. A good hard start to the day.
Switched to clothes for warm weather which helped massively. Eivind got his fishnets out, something which an English woman found very exciting.
Pushed onto the Rosablanche (3336m).
The slope of the Rosablanche is north facing which meant nice dry snow. Dropped the sack and did an extra round along with Eivind and Johan.
Afterwards we had a tasty lunch on top of a rather large cornice (we didn’t realise this at the time) and then wandered up to the top and took some photos.
Learnt 2 new Norwegian words, both which translate to bitch.
Next skied all the way from near the Rosablanche summit to the Prafleuri hut. Snow at the top was amazing but it got a bit wet towards the end. Rosti and beer was waiting with the others who got there before us, as our skiing laps took more time.
You have to be careful about when you approach the Prafleuri hut, as late in the day there is high avalanche risk.
Some guy broke his ski and a helicopter delivered him a fresh pair en route to a helibombing mission. Only in the Alps!
A group of plucky Americans arrived late in the day having skied from Trient and an hour or so after they arrived the approach was avalanched.
If you are a strong group I recommend skiing from Trient to Prafleuri in one day if you are doing the Verbier variation, just make sure you keep good time.
Day 4 – Prafleuri – Lac Des Dix – Prafleuri – Pralong – Arolla
Started early, weather wasnt ideal with snow and bad visibility. However, the main problem was an overcast night meant that the snowpack didnt refreeze overnight. The snow was completely rotten right to the ground and skiing was challenging.
All of the guided groups made the decision to turn around, we deliberated for a while but decided to also turn around as it may have not been possible to skin up the Pas du Chat. (It transpired later that a german group without a guide carried on but had to turn around due to snow conditions.) We made the right choice.
We went back the way we came over the Col De Roux to the Prafleuri to look at our options. Apparently the avalanche danger directly below the hut was too high despite the previous days helibombing. Luckily there was a 1.6km disused tunnel under the hut which would pop us out further down the mountain!
There were loads of weird and wonderful ice structured in the tunnel. We walked with some of the guided groups.
The avalanche danger was still relatively high after the tunnel experience. When then relied on the guides to check the slopes and set off a controlled avalanche to evacuate their clients. We potentially would have been faster without the guides (and a swedish prafleuri hut guardian told us about a safer route further to skiers’ right.) but we kept with them.
We finally got to a road but unfortunately this road was closed, lots of large avalanches were funneling into the valley off a huge cliff at regular intervals. To get to civilisation it meant skis on the back and a 6km walk in ski boots to the hamlet of Pralong. Safety!
We eventually squeezed ourselves into a taxi (guided groups had priority) and drove all the way to Arolla. We stayed in the hilarious, ancient Hotel Mt Collon. The food was great, the hotel itself was a blast from the past!