Thursday, April 22, 2010

Stuningly Good Skiing in Zermatt

I drove over to meet Francis Bridgeman, Sahil Sinha and Angus Montgomery who were all staying in Zermatt. The weather was good and so was the snow so we headed up to the Klien Matterhorn the highest lift in the alps. We immediately turned right and dived of the side of the piste to make fresh tracks we then cut further right and headed down to the Stockli glacier. The skiing was exceptional with good snow and continuously changing scenary and a unique pier exit at the snout of the glacier.
The next day we climbed the Breithorn on skis. This was to be their first 4000m peak.
During the next night it snowed a little, but high up it snowed a lot and we were lucky enough to get some exceptional powder skiing.
On the Monday we moved back to Chamonix and ventured into the Vallee Blanche. We skinned across to the Italian side and then skied the Comb de la Vierge finding some excellent snow.
Change of scene meant Francis and I went rock climbing at Barbarine and on our final day together we climbed up to Col Cornu and then skied spring snow down the comb Lachenal. A very good week!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gressoney Powder Verbier icy moguls Chamonix spring snow

Reuben & Fiona Berg and I started our 6 days together in Gressoney with fabulous sunny weather and dreamy spring snow descents. The next day it snowed a lot. It was cold and misty. But it was worth it because on the Monday we had 30cm of fresh snow and the whole resort to our selves. This was because the lift system had closed for the season just leaving 3 lifts open for the ski tourers. The top lift to Punta Indren was open which gave access to off piste runs with a huge vertical drop of 1600 m.
On Tuesday we moved to Verbier. The conditions here were not as good - it was like skiing down a sloping car park full of VW beatles.
On Wednesday we were back in Chamonix chasing spring snow descents and finally on Thursday we went for a tour up the Argentiere glacier again with good snow.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Breche de Berard

Very quiet in the aiguille rouge today. Part of the reason might have been the the train strike , which in the end was just a reduced service. Mind you my group had bigger logistical things to worry about. Imagine 3 women who are all mothers with 3 children each managing to steal a days ski touring together?
Most would say an impossible task but Marie-Claire,Lesley and Christine did it.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dangerous Sisters Hit the Powder and then the rock

Great thing about the spring here is sometimes it is possible to ski bottomless powder in the morning and then spend the afternoon rock climbing. It was a rare opportunity for me to ski with Andrea and Florence. They had no race training and I had a day off work and there was stacks of fresh snow. Joined by Jeff and Faerthen we headed up La Flegere.
In the afternoon Florence went ice skating and Andrea and Sophie came rock climbing

Crevasse rescue

It is all very well skiing around on glaciers in knee deep powder but there are holes out there and its a good idea that everyone in the group knows how to pull someone out if it all goes wrong. To that end Chris Dovell and Mark Slater spent the day jumping into crevasses and seeing if they could pull each other out.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Col du Passon

There had been lots of snow. It had fallen without wind. It was Easter and the forecast was good. All this adds up to lots of people. The Grands Montets cable car was mobbed so we left via the Bochard cable car which added about 45mns to the trip exactly the same time as queing for the top cable car.
The 1st ski down was good. Untracked liht powder. Chris and Mark were quite quick so we over took a lot of people on the skin up to the Col du Passon but then we got stuck in a long line of people all going up the gulley. I was fearful that all thses people would track the snow. Amazingly when we got to the top everyone turned left and we turned right and our descent was as near as perfect as it is possible to imagine.