We packed our car on Friday and drove 75km to Verbier to Switzerland. The main street had changed into Nissan Xtreme freeride circus – with hot dancers in plastic balls and all… We spotted “Le Pub” and tons of chatting Finnish people on the sunny terrace. It was like a little cousy colony in the middle of it all. We mixed in, met some old friends and made some new.
We slept on Tankki’s sofa for 2 short nights. Saturday was not much of skiing, just chilling. On Sunday we managed to get up to Col des Gentianes and watch the last freeriders at Bec des Rosses. After the competition we did some very good curves including a tour on top of Mont-Fort (3 330m). For the grande finale we climbed about 100 meters from top of Attelas for a cruise through a couloir, an avalanche and some woods and landed through a shortcut directly to Le Pub for some beers, what else 😀
Spot the rider.
It has been sunny for the past 10 days, nothing to complain. Yesterday it snowed again and I took a hike at the Bossons glacier. I climbed up in my thick HH jacket to 1 425 meters at the refuge and wondered what is going on with the climate control. My own climate was some what tropical at that point 😉 But so are the Alps: at the viewing point all there is left is a huge gravel pit where the ice used to stand in it’s endless glory. Now the lowest ice cubes lie above 1 500m. I got curious what is the Tourist Board of Chamonix is doing about making the valley greener. For those who are interested there is more to read about integrated tourism for instance at www.espace-mont-blanc.com or chamonixgoesgreen.org. Let’s keep up the good work and carry along the beer cans and picnic left overs from our own tours to start with. One thing going on in the valley is car sharing but what I’ve seen so far is just plenty of hitchhikers. Don’t know if that is good or bad..
In the meanwhile, enjoy the spring sun peeping through the clouds.
Hello again from the sunny slopes.
This time the snow report is all about sun and skiing. I kind of like this combination. Also I finally look like a panda but with a red nose. These are the side effects of spending too much time “out of office” ;-).
We have done some grand skiing and some grand apres-skiing. Simple as that.
During the weekend we headed out to the Swiss side and took a freeride tour to Trient. It took just 3 hours including the transfer back to Vallorcine by bus. Today we tried the same route but start point from Col de Balme. We managed all the way into the woods on the riders right. Then it became too much for me and we had some family consultation in the bush, climbed back about 30 meters 35 degree uphill and found easier way down to the valley. I bought Jari the largest cold beer in da house at Relais du Mt Blanc and tried to be a nice girl for the rest of the day 😀
The beagle has landed.
Groowing in the sunlight.
On a sunny Sunday we did The Vallee Blanche with a group of 8 people. It was such a nice tour! It was like many say – over appreciated – in terms of skiing, but… still… nothing to be missed. We took easily the kindest route down – after all it was Sunday. Our grand guide Skipe leaded us through 17km of massive glacier with some great skier-stories on the way. Though, I guess we all rated the 400 stairs we had to climb to get to the Montenvers train back down to town for afterski the toughest part of that grand day out ;-).
Highway to Mer de Glace.
And the beat goes on…
The past days have also been the warmest. When it’s -2 in the morning it gets high as +16 in the afternoon. Some cold beers absolutely included there. Looking forward to April..things just keep getting better. So kippis!
View from our terrace in evening wear.
Hello from the snow.
We have had a week of avalanches, alpine touring and afterski. In other words never a boring moment. I’m having a day off so I am sitting at the office for a change 😉
Hans from Norge made a vitesse visit on his way to Spain. We rocked at Chambre Neuf one night. Later same night we also tried to order other than French wine at Le Monchu which was definetely a no-brainer. The next day was a day devoted for pepsi, pizza and DVDs. And not so much for the multitasking.
I got to try that part on a tour to La Poya with skis and skins on starting from Flégère one sunny morning. We took 3 lifts up as high as we could get and then started swetting with human muscle power uphill for about 400 meters (peanuts ;-)). We passed the top at Grande Floria and slided down to the valley on the backside. Then we continued upwards to the Aiguilles Rouges (the red tops) for a picnic with a superb scenery over the endless, white chain of mountains and valleys. The tour ended at a tiny bar/lunch place at La Poya and a few cooooold beers, aaaahhhh!!! We took the train back to Les Praz but had no money as we had spent all on our drinks.. Anyway it was a trip well done.
In the beginning of this week we got tons of new snow which is now melting away in the sun. Weather report is all about oh happy days until Tuesday next week. It’s amazing what a wonder the spring sun makes. Yesterday we had Christmas and today is Easter – luckily it is still cold at nights.
The Grand Blanc sunbathing.
Last Saturday we had the joy of attending a serious course on avalanche awareness – digging wholes in the snow and going round in circles after a beeping tone. I felt almost like Einstein. Later the same day we were heading for a couloir on the southwest facing slopes of Le Tour with our guide. We were sliding along like five little elephants following Mr. Blizzard (nous guide des alpes). Suddenly on the upper part of that couloir the snow ground cracked litterally under our feet and slided down the ravine about 150 meters (that felt more like 150 000 meters to me). We were standing on the edge on some vage heather sticking out from the slope just like the last life buoy thrown at us… So we took off the skis and kindly climbed back not saying too many words. Then it was time to dig some more.
Yesterday I made a touristy-tour up to Aiguille du Midi. The upper station was covered in snow and ice and looked all mighty-whity down from our terrace. It was a freezy -15 on top excluding the wind factor. Which any of you can count in a sec. I sure was one big a smiley to see the mountains again after we’ve been floating in Gin & Tonic for the past 3 days 😀
Hopefully I’ll get wired with the Olympus soon so you’ll get more cover on the storytelling. Until next post!
Aiguille du Midi. Altitude 3 842 m. Latitude priceless 🙂