Paul and I have just spent a week in the Vanoise. From Monday to Friday we were ski touring with NOCG (Naval Outdoor Centre Germany) and Infinity Mountain Guides. Some of the highlights were;
- Rocher du Charvet (2856m) and the Palafour off piste run.
- Ouille de la Jave (2867m) and Ouille des Tretetes (2948m).
- Dome de Pramecou (3081m) and the Tour of the Grande Balme off piste run.
- Ouille Noire (3357m) and the Pays Desert.
- The Grande Motte (3423m) and the Couloir Petite Balme.
On Saturday, Paul and traversed La Tsanteleina (3601m) by climbing the North Face and descending the South Face and Glacier du Couarts Dessus. We had a great time on what was quite a physically challenging peak that before mid may (when the road opens) involves 1800 metres of ascent and a significant distance.
Lots more photos on the facebook page.
The Falkirk High Tops Team and I have been out today ski touring in the Drummochter Pass. We completed The Boar of Badenoch and A’Mharconaich.
We had a thirty minute ski carry to where we started skinning and a twenty five minute carry out. The rest of the time we had skis on our feet. There was excellent snow above 500 metres for downhill skiing on south, south east and easterly aspects.
Significant redistribution of snow was taking place.
I have just completed an excellent weeks off piste skiing and ski touring with a great team and www.infinitymountainguides.com in Sestriere. The ski area is linked to many other resorts and gives many options for off piste skiing to suit all abilities and ski tours from short outings to long days. Please get in touch if interested in visiting this less well known part of the Alps in 2019.
There are more photos on the facebook page.
Ski Touring in the Pentland Hills today above Flotterstone. Variable conditions but great to be out on such a beautiful day.
Today Martin, Ivor and I climbed at Kirriemuir. The condtions were excellent being dry and cold with autumn sunshine making the sandstone perfect to climb on. We climbed a number of routes including; ‘Slim Pickins’, ‘Flyboy’ and ‘By Hook or by Crook’. However, the stand out event of the day was Ivor climbing ‘A Touch too Much’ (F7A).
At the age of 70 Ivor climbed his first F7A at Rob’s Reed.. Last season as a team of four (Graham, Martin, Ivor and I), we concentrated on continental ice and mixed routes. We climbed sensational routes such as La Catterdale (WI5/WI5+) on Ivor’s 71st birthday. The autumn was spent in the USA climbing desert towers.
This year Martin, Ivor and I have been back in the gym lots as well as climbing on crags when the weather allows. Ivor, now 72 has climbed F7A again today at Kirriemuir. Very inspirational and all down to very hard work and determination.
Yesterday was the final day of my ski and winter season. Following about 50cm of fresh snow on Thursday night we had great conditions at Le Grand Montets.
We began the day by skiing many lines off the Tabe chairlift as the visibility was poor and the many trees in the area aid depth perception. In the afternoon the skies cleared and we had a great time skiing the classic runs, La Face and Glacier des Rognons.
I will add more photos from the week to the facebook page.
Following fresh snow overnight down to 1000m and fresh snowfall throughout the day, there was some good skiing to be had at the Grand Montets ski area. The slopes were quiet and the lift queues short allowing a number of good off piste runs to be completed.
Today the weather has been challenging in the Alps with persistent snowfall and poor visibility which started yesterday afternoon. We did however have a productive day at Le Grand Montets.
We spent the first part of the day skinning out of the ski area in the direction of the Glacier d’Argentiere. Once away from any hazard presented by skiers we covered roping up for glacier travel and crevasse rescue skills.
On return to the resort we spent time skiing the fresh snow. The highlight of the day was a descent of the classic glaciated off piste run, La Face.
The team and I had a nice days off piste skiing today at the Grand Montets ski area (located at Argentiere near Chamonix). We had a good day skiing moguls, firm snow and spring snow.
The weather was good until 2pm when the weather set in with snow at the height of the half way station.
Today I have been out with a team from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines above Chamonix.
We spent the day skiing from the Aiguille du Midi down the Vallee Blanche but on the way skinned up to the Col Freshfield (3625m) on the Italian/French border.
The Vallee Blanche is becoming lean in the icefall section and very soon will not be passable. If the new snow arrives tomorrow onwards it will be a serious proposition as the remaining safe snow bridges will be hard to find.