Sunday, 12 February 2012

Chamonix Skiing

Skiing - isn't it amazing!!! Jen and I had 2 weeks of fantastic skiing in the Chamonix valley. It was soo good that I'm tempted to sell all my climbing gear and just buy skis! I'm just getting into skiing and really keen to start doing more ski touring and back country skiing where mountaineering and skiing skills combine to take you into some amazing places! We arrived the day after it had just put down 4 ft of fresh snow so avalanche risk was pretty high. The fresh snow was pretty heavy so it made for some challenging off piste. Throughout the first week we had more fresh snow falls and  some awesome powder but the unsettled weather was not great for touring so we just had to shred the vast amount of easily accessible off piste.

View from the Flegere ski area to the Aiguille Verte and Les Drus

Jen on the traverse of the Crouches bowl

Below the Geant Icefall in the Vallee Blanche

Climbing up to Col du Crouches

Approaching Col du Crouches

The weather for the second week was better although towards the end of the week it got bitterly cold! At the top lifts it got down to -25c. We managed to do the classic Crouches/Berard tour and enjoyed amazing fresh powder in the Berard valley. The highlight of the week was skiing the Valley Blanche from the Aiguille du Midi at nearly 3800m all the way to Chamonix at 1100m. Jen and I were joined by friends Greg and Christina  and we took a variarion on the Petit Envers descent finding some nice powder stashes as well as a few areas of grim breakable crust and windslab. Check out the video of our descent below.

Skiing the Vallee Blanche from Rory Shaw on Vimeo.

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