Tag: Early season skiing
Verbier Opening Day
We went over to Verbier for its opening day and enjoyed a fantastic day of endless powder – here is a little edit from the day. Lets hope it stays cold now! The ski season has got off to an amazing start this year after the last two dry years. I started skiing again on the Midi about a month ago and in the last two weeks Chamonix in particular got a load of snow.
I headed into the neighbour’s back garden the other day with the usual suspects; Liz Daley (armed with her perma-stoke), Davide de Masi and Dave Searle. Our efforts were well rewarded and we found exceptional rip-able powder waiting for us in this long hallway. A fantastic day which was ended with a beer ontop of a mountain in the sun.
All quiet, the cirque to ourselves
Let the dance begin Perma-stoke Searler, Liz and de Masi wishing they had spanking paddles (snow plates) in the deep pow
Davide de Masi superstylinOur line
Heading to the bar for a well earned cold beer
Couturier-Whymper on La Verte
Dave Searle and myself have been wanting to do a traverse of the Verte for a couple of years now combining climbing Couturier and skiing Whymper onsight. After all the free-riding in January and February I was up for an alpine traverse trip like this which offers so much in the way of adventure, challenge, unknown, excitement and great training. The Aiguille Verte is an amazing mountain at 4122 m and all its routes are long and demanding. We were joined by Mikko Heimonen.
Aiguille Verte on the far right with the 1000 m Couturier Couloir descending direct from the summit.
The sunny side of Aiguille Verte, Whymper Couloir descends right of the summit.
Nearing the top of the Couloir and the end of the neve with black ice and seracs looming.
We threaded the seracs along a ramp in the sun above the rock.Mikko on the Verte for the first time.
Almost feeling Himalayan due to the cold, with 40 kph wind we were glad to get off the austere north side and into the sun.
Panorama Aiguille Leschaux to Mont Blanc
Mont Blanc and the Chamonix AiguillesThe wind tugged at our skis along the exposed ridge.
This week I headed back to the Miage area to ski some more of those massive 1000 m couloir lines with Michelle Blaydon, Kirsti Lehtimaki and Mikko Heimonen who had just landed in Chamonix. The powder has all been blown away leaving hard edge-able wind buff which made the boot pack a joy. First up was the line lookers left of the Bonatti which is reminiscent of a Domilimiti line with huge walls souring high above our heads. This line is overlooked since it doesn’t top out on the ridge but with 850 m vertical of skiing I don’t care. Probably the best couloir I have skied in the Mont Blanc Massif with a few hundred metres of 50 degrees at the top and an exciting ramp above some mixed ground. Second up was the 1200 m Domenech Couloir on the Aiguille de l’Aigle which we onsighted from the top. We arrived back at Zerotta in the Courmayeur ski area early afternoon and enjoyed relaxing in the sun and eating pizza and having a beer!
Kirsti on the changing lines pitch.
Kirsti skiing the lower couloir.
Time to relax!