Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Skiing but not as we know it.
Hard to describe what happenend but Jeff Brown and Faerthen Felix and I turned up in Courmayeur for a rendezvous with a helicopter. The plan was to use it to catapult us upwards so we could ski the north face of Mt Blanc. First problem was the pilot never turned up. Just as we were about to leave someone turned up who said he could fly a helicopter. So an hour and half later we took off and landed in a crazy place just below the Pitons Italian. We were faced with a narrow ridge and some thought provoking rock climbing. This was interspaced with some thigh deep trail breaking. Eventually we arrived below the Vallot hut where the writing was on the wall. Too much wind and not enough time meant we needed a plan B. Something different was what we came up with and that was to ski the Gouter Couloir. This is the standard way climbers attempt MT blanc in the summer, where hundreds of climbers pass each day. Today there was no one. The entry into the couloir was very steep and rocky, further down it mellowed out and we got sensational skiing into the ski resort of Les Houches where we picked up the piste and skied to the valley floor.