The last time we headed out to the back of the Col Pers we trekked through blizzard and skied on frozen-over chopped up snow. After several days of sunshine and warm weather, the conditions today were mercifully kinder and incomparably more pleasant.
After traversing behind the Rochers Pers from the Col du Signal, we tracked above the Rocher du Lechoir, over the Glacier Pers and skinned up the Glacier du Gros Caval, a peak I last went up a year ago to the day, when there was still plenty of snow through to the summit.
This morning however, the very steep approach to the final stretch of the climb was all rock and no snow; perhaps manageable but not worth the risk, even though guide Chris reckoned the snow on the other side would probably be very good. One group of skiers proceeded upwards and appeared to struggle; we didn’t hang around long enough to see if and how they finally made it.
So we headed down the glacier, in a series of long clear runs towards the refuge du Prariond before walking back through the gorges de Malpasset on the summer path, which was mostly clear of snow.