Today dawned with clear blue skies and temperatures of about -7 deg.? We put on our snowshoes about 200m from the Hotel Grand Bec before joining a track rising gently through the lowers slopes of the mountains.
The views increased as we gained height and we looked out over the village of Pralognan as our snowshoes crunched on the compacted snow of the track.? Soon we were in the sun looking across the valley to the highest peak in the Vanoise, the Grande Casse (c. 3800m) and the Grand Bec.
We left the track to follow a winding path through the widely spaced pine trees towering above us.? The only sound that we could hear was the tweeting of birds high overhead.? A slow, rythmic base helped us to gain height without apparent effort and we gained a couloir with lovely powder snow.? A small spur in the forest and a spot in the sunlight was a good spot to have a snack.
The path’s angle relented and it traversed in the forest before it opened out as we reached the summer alpine pastures.? We passed some chalets completely buried in snow that would have been well over 2 metres deep.
The views were stunning as we approached the small group of chalets, known as La Montagne, perched on a small knoll.? It was the most wonderful place to enjoy our picnic.
The descent took us momentarily into the shade of the summits above before we picked up the route for our descent.? A great powder field took us down through small pines to a well defined track and our route home.? A great final day snowshoeing in the Vanoise.