Monday saw the usual gathering of steep skiers at the Midi hungry for those oh so ephemeral routes that come into condition for just a few hours of perhaps one morning a year before the sun strips the snow off them. There is the usual stress with the potential for everyone to pile into the same place. A French team go into the Mallory which looked good but only 2 small snowfalls have covered the glacial ice on the upper slopes. Col du Plan’s ice is also showing so Luca Pandolfi, Sylvain Reynaud and myself head to the Rocco. This is the Rond entry to the Cosmiques, often rocky but good right now and a variation that I hadn’t done.

Luca scoping the entry

Looking down the Rocco into the Cosmiques

The big Italian completes the stability test!

Me waiting on the arrete

Me following the trough left by 2 160 snowboards on my 191 skis. The guy above dropped his pole which hit me in the face – thanks!

You can see the sluff from the guy skiing above coming over the rocks.  We really started to like these guys!!!

Luca approaching the step.

Looking back up at me. Think I will rap now there is no snow and I have newish skis!

Start of lap 2 skiing down the North Face side of the arrete. The speed flier standing next to Luca sadly paid the ultimate price on his last run. When we came round the traverse his body was being recovered by the PGHM in the avalanche cone. Our condolences go out to his family and friends.


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