Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Snow is back! "where did it all go wrong?"

27th: Powder day Grand Montets with Rick
28th: Powder day at Flegere with Rick and Jen
29th: Vallee Blanche Laps and testing the Splitty!

So.. Rick is up over with his Splitboard. Today was the testing day but the snow was so good! So we did 2 variation laps of the Vallee Blanche and did a little skin to test out the uphill capabilities!

Plum and Guy skiing in-sync out of sync

Good snow at last!

"Where did it all go wrong Rick?"

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Afternoon Cragging

24th March 2010: Les Gaillands

Been a while since I squeezed the rock shoes on so went for a cragging session at Les Gaillands. A 2 minute bike ride from our apartment. Amazing how weak you get if you dont climb for ages!

It has been raining in the valley a couple of days which put perhaps 20cm down up high. The rain snow limit was about 2000-2300m though so everything is getting stripped low down. Spring has arrived for sure.

I am currently sat waiting for the Aiguille du Midi to open as I want to go for a quick tour but the weather doesn't look great!

Friday, 19 March 2010

Aiguille du Chardonnet - SE Couloir

19th - Aiguille du Chardonnet SE Couloir AD 400/500m. Descent - Ordinary route then ski to Le Tour

Great day out, it was about time to get on a summit so we picked an easy line up the South side of the Chardonnet with the plan to ski out to Le Tour. Turned out to be quite a long day. The ski ascent was icy, the bootpack was quite soft but not too bad and the ridge to the summit was kinda terrible.

Skin up to the Chardonnet Col, the route starts up the second main snow cone on the left. This route is skiid also. We decided to continue up mixed ground to the summit. About 600-700m of uphill to here. For those looking to ski, its in great condition!

400+ metres of solo then a pitch of fun mixed climbing took us to the Forbes Arete

We finished up the last 100m or so of the Forbes Arete, crap soft snow slowed progress but there were a few nice mixed moves on the way to the summit.

The ordinary route down. Snow descent followed by 'hunt the abseil points'. We found them anyway and made 4 abseils to the col before skiing to Le Tour.

Nice to get out on the mountain more this week. Maybe more of this to come now we are nearly into April.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Aiguille Verte: Couloir Couturier

Green line, Bettembourg-Thivierge. Red line, as far as we got :(
15th-16th March

Yet to do any Alpinism really yet this winter, Plum and I headed up to the Grand Montets to stay for the night with the aim to climb the Bettembourg-Thivierge finish on the Couturier Couloir to the summit of the Aiguille Verte. We took ski's with the interest of abseiling the Whymper Couloir and skiing home.

Sparkling Rosé but no pan!

Let's go chill on the balcony at home. On the way down.

Strapping on the ski's for the last stretch of the Couturier

Perfect weather was forecast but with a few cock ups on our behalf (forgetting a pan to cook with, my ski flying off down the mountain at 4.30am, not managing to fit in the warm toilets to sleep so bivvying out in the -26 temps etc) we decided to bail off the route after getting beasted by spindrift and strong winds.

We managed to get just below the 'rock fin'. Snow conditions were good and it turned out to be a nice day as expected but not until lunchtime. We just weren't feeling the love today (I think it would have been pretty windy towards the top), so bailed out on Abakalov's until we decided to put our ski's on for the last 200m or so.

Still..... more good weather this week. Might go over to the Chardonnet. Boss de Bosses tomorrow!

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Col du Tacul : Couloir du Capucin

Hiking up the last slopes of the Col du Tacul, picking the best line.

3 x 30m abseils into the Couloir

12th March

Went up with Andy for a good bit of exercise skinning up to the Col du Tacul followed by some steep skiing on the Couloir du Capucin (N Side) . Snow was pretty rough but the skiing was in an atmospheric and amazing environment. Loved it! More of the steeps please! Thanks Andy for the pictures.

Anxious first turn

its nice to be able to see the end. I imagine this would be great with powder! As would everything!

Andy with a limp wrist.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Come out to play sunshine

Cant wait for the feeling of ski's on back crampons on the ski boots going for it up some big faces! Lets get going....

The stars aligned and unaligned today.... which is ok because the weather looks good next week!

So excited for the winter alpinism now!

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Vallee Blanche with Byron! Whiteout!

3rd March

Byron is over this week...so the big tick was required once again! Byron has been skiing for a week or so. Here we are skiing the vallee blanche, unfortunately for him it was stormy!

Good news though! We have booked tickets to go to Yosemite in September!

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Grand Montets & Courmayeur Powder Day

Jools whooping her way down the amazing powder couloir of Canal Vesse

Tom in the trees

Jen skiing out to Zerotta

1st March: Grand Montets...hmmm great day, except I borrowed Plums old ski's, the bindings then popped at the top of Grand Montets so had to do the rest on one ski.....interesting!

2nd March: Wasnt expecting it but we got a wee powder day at Courmayeur today!

Went with Jen, Jules, Tom and Byron for a hoon around resort and ended up getting stuck in to all of the awesome off piste that Courmayeur has to offer. Finishing down the bottom of Canal Vesse. So atmospheric and amazing!