Coste Noundy


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Trail stats

3.81 mi
Elevation gain
2,589 ft
Technical difficulty
Elevation loss
2,746 ft
Max elevation
8,737 ft
Min elevation
5,944 ft
Trail type
One Way
3 hours 27 minutes
November 24, 2008
November 2008
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near Saint-Étienne, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur (France)

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Itinerary description

I can see this slope out of the kitchen window and my office window so it has been drawing me towards it for some time now. I had a go at it last year but the road was snowed in far down the valley and I didn’t allow myself enough time. Today the road was OK and I managed to get all the way up to the summer car park at 1810m. From here the snow was patchy so I walked up the path for just over 1 km to the Cabane de l’Alpet at 2050m.

The snow was a bit wind affected in places but by traversing a lot of the slope while skinning up I got a fairly good idea of where the good snow was for the way back down.

Approaching the summit ridge I was in the shade on the north slope and the ridge was lit up by the sun hidden just beneath it. There were wisps of water vapour being carried up past the ridge on thermals all along the ridge (which my little compact camera couldn’t capture, sadly). There were a handful of Norther Wheatears (Oenanthe oenanthe) playing about in the thermals, again too small and fast for my camera.

From the top of the ridge the panorama opens up and the views are magnificent. To the south the triangular summit of Pouzenc was stiking up into the clouds. To the north the tete de Vautisse stole the view and eastwards Viso was clearly visible as well as the brec de Chambeyron down in the Ubaye.

The descent was good. I dropped in through the cornice, out of desire – not necessity, to give myself a few steep turns before hitting the more casual 30 degree slope back down to the Alpet. I managed to stay in pockets of powder all the way down, cranking out some nice turns. It doesn’t take long to cover 600m of vertical on a big pair of Movement Goliaths so all too soon I was back down at the snow line and my waiting pair of hiking boots.

I sat and enjoyed the peacefulness of the situation, and let the happiness of being out in the hills flood over me for a bit before getting all my gear on my back again and heading back down to the car park and my waiting van.


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