Lovely ski yesterday skiing above Chamonix’s Aiguille du Midi on Mont Blanc du Tacul. 600 m of lush cold blower powder down to Col Simond. And its September. What a gift from the Gods! With the warm sunshine, clear autumn air, and quiet mountains, its just pure pleasure being out there. Today I had the pleasure of skiing with young passionate skier Chamoniarde Nico Borgeot who I met skiing the Mallory (under the cables of Aiguille du Midi) in May.
As the autumnal days shorten and the shadows grow across the valley, I realise how important it is for me to visit these high sun-drenched places. Its had been over 2 months since I visited the Midi and on return its beauty stunned me. Couple that with the fun of sliding downhill on a pair of skis and its obvious why its he best ski lift in the world aka ‘The Mothership’. Our first turns of the 15/16 season as Tom Grant and myself get training and acclimatising for our New Zealand ski trip next week.
I managed to sneak away from work for a few days in the hope of some mixed North Face climbing adventures but the weather over the weekend was miserable. As it cleared on Monday the mountains looked plastered and it seemed like I could combine an acclimatisation trip with a few turns. De Masi was keen so we headed up the Midi with no real expectations. As we descended the arrete it was clear that there was more than a dusting. I put on my skis for the first time in a couple of months and looked down the south side which was looking tempting but slightly loaded. A brief conversation followed along the lines of:
“Hey Dave, think it will stick?”
‘Dunno, what do you think?’
“I haven’t formed an opinion yet. I’m going to wait for those guys to walk past the bottom so they don’t get sluffed. The shrund on the left is gaping open, what is it like straight down?”
“Eyes on then.”
First turn into the pow made me remember why I love skiing so much. Leaning over hard into smooth silky velvet… After that we went down Gros Rognan for a bit and cut back to the Valley Blanche and skinned into Cirque Maudit for a look around before skinning back to the Midi. That last bit felt like a slog with no acclimatisation and I was happy to get down the lift quickly!