Whet Your Arpettetite

Its been awesome to kick the winter off out here in the best way we can with what we have.  Here’s some shots from our sweet little tour up the Arpette valley in Switzerland. Not loads of snow but super fun skiing none the less and a great little day tour.  Well worth the slog up to ski the lines up there. Thanks Ross for another great day.

We could do with some more snow for sure but I’m hoping for more of this kind of stuff throughout this winter!

Pictures speak a 1000 words. Click one to see them in Chronological order in Gallery view.

Some Extra Info

We took the lift up Champex which cost us 14CHF each one way to the top.

Total Height gain for the day was about 1500m

Here’s a handy map I made for the area so you can get to grips with it.

Breche du Carabinier, Solo Mission

Sometimes my lack of organisation leaves me going to bed without a plan for the next day.  I don’t like it when this happens but sometimes its just sweet to pack your bag and go out and see whats occurring . In my haste to pack in the morning I forgot to take the SD card from my computer and put it in my camera. Luckly I had my phone to snap a few shots…

A few different route possibilities passed through my head until I settled on “having a look” at the Col Du Diable which my friends Ross and Tom had skied about a week ago. In the back of my mind I kinda knew the snow was going to be….bad. I climbed to the Breche du Carabinier which is between the Grande and Petit Capucin.  The snow in the couloir was pretty much completely transformed which made for easy bootpacking and with the Grande Cap towering above you it gives great ambiance.  From the Breche I looked up at the Col du Diable and immediately decided I could get in in better condition at a later date. Plus the snow in the Carabinier couloir was softening up to perfection and i didn’t want to miss it before it turned to soft.  It was good skiing by myself for a change and it was nice to hike up listening to my tunes and pass by yet another beautiful day in the mountains.  Even  got back in time for some bouldering this afternoon!!!

Not the Plan but nearly…

I’d say at least half the time when skiing or climbing in the alps things don’t go to plan for me.  Its not necessarily a bad thing and without “failure” success wouldn’t be as sweet. I spend a lot of time thinking about this and how I would feel if I never or always got the things I want to do done.  For me the 2 most important things are; 1.Did I enjoy it? (type 2 and 3 fun is still acceptable forms of enjoyment).  2. Did I learn something from it?

If the answer is yes to both then its a thumbs up and is classified as a “good day”.  Today was one of those, even if we didn’t finish what we set out to achieve….

We (me and Emily Roo) had planned on traversing from the Aiguille du Midi to the Aiguille du Plan via the famous and aptly named Midi-Plan traverse. From the top we were going to ski down the Glacier d’Envers du Plan, obviously in knee deep, perfectly stable, un-tracked and sunny pow pow. We found the pow but it wasn’t in the right part. From the Col du Plan we waded our way up through steep, sugary snow on the ridge for hours. After a brief battenbourg stop mid way along (oh she does look after me:-) we decided we had had enough and started to scope out a short but steep couloir which would lead us back down to the Grande Envers via some steep turns.  I gave Emily a masterclass in how to put your skis on on a steep slope and set her of on her merry way. The snow in the couloir was pretty crusty but I was super impressed with how our lass skied it. Good work Emily! My knee has been pretty bad the last week so this was my first ski day for a while but it feel pretty good now.  Super happy with my new Salewa/Wild country kit and also my new Blizzard Cochise skis which I might go as far as to say is the best ski I have ever owned if not skied on. Super Stoked to finally have a set up that I like and trust.