Pointe de la Sana, ENE Face (5.2 E3) (Val d’Isère) 10/02/18

It felt great to finally be able to ski the ENE Face of Pointe de la Sana and in perfect conditions too, giving a really fast and straight-forward descent. I had planned to ski the face alone but after sending out a message to my close ski partners, Adam said that he’d be keen to join me on the day. We were also aware that a group from TDC Tignes were heading for the face too, so an early start was arranged.

We left Boisses at 09:15 and made our way over to the Grande Prè chairlift to start our ascent. The Didier Givois guidebook gives an ascent time of 2 hours 30 minutes – 3 hours so it felt pretty good to have completed the ascent to the summit on the Sana in just over 1 hour 30 minutes and to pass the TDC group on the way up to sneak into the face before them 😉

I have always turned around on previous attempts at skiing the face due to unstable avalanche conditions, but I was stoked to hear that the face had already been skied 2 days previously and that Val d’Isère and Tignes were reporting a stable snowpack, with an avalanche advisory of 1/2 for the day. This all made the skin up quite enjoyable as there was no apprehension as to whether the face will be skiable or not – it was good to know that it would go today!

 

 

The winds were biting at the summit, so after stopping for a refuel and a few pics, we were good to go. The photo below of Adam pretty much sums up our mood after being chilled by the strong winds…

 

Conditions excellent, with a little stable powder to be found in the shallow couloirs on the face. This allowed us to ski the entire face one at a time with no worries at all, stopping just before the traverse into the east couloir.

Things got pretty crusty in the east facing couloir, but it was nice to be done with the exposure on the face and let the skis run a little more…

 

We returned to the Manchet valley via the Tour du Charvet, which gave an amazing descent in cruisy boot top powder!

 

The ENE Face of the Sana always looks so impressive from Manchet chairlift…