Classic tour of the Plateau de Retord

First cross country ski of the new 2023/24 season. I only have my classic skis at the moment so the decision of which style to start off with was a foregone conclusion. After the snow and hope of the start of the week a warm front blew through on Thursday that washed nearly everything away but then fresh snow down to 700 meters gave new hope and the Plateau de Retord was able to prepare nearly the whole ski area with good conditions. Maybe better on classic skis than skating as the snow was a bit soft in places.

I set off from the Plan des Hotonnes to do a tour of the plateau with the hope of covering the 20 odd kms in under two and a half hours. The start is a long series of climbs over 4km. It is fairly difficult and as I stopped to fim a bit it took me 50 minutes. I finally made it to the Cuvery gate, 11km at 1h35. 1 hour to get back but 13km to cover, it wasn't going to work even if the track was flatter with some nice downhill. The winter landscape was fantastic. The high plains and summer farms were covered in a fresh blanket of white snow and the trees were frozen with rime ice.

Map Plateau de Retord


Cold, -3C at the car park at 9am. The routes were snow covered from the exit of the autoroute. The plateau was sunny but with a breeze from the north. Powder snow off piste. Good conditions on piste except under trees where there was sometimes ici.

Lachat and Giron are also open.