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.

A to B to C.

Ross on the last change over with the south face marked in red and Plan B in yellow.

Ross on the last change over with the south face marked in red and Plan B in yellow.

Col hopping in the rouge can be fun but it can be boring when you have 3 year old split skins…. Myself and Ross wanted to ski a line on the Mont Oreb so we quested over there on the 25th to see what was what.  We couldn’t find the way in so went to B plan. There wasn’t enough snow in the B plan so we ended up skiing the South Face normal route which was interesting with spurs and gully’s and chamois trotting about and nice snow in places.

On the ridge over to Mont Oreb summit.

On the ridge over to Mont Oreb summit.

getting the good stuff at the top.

Getting the good stuff at the top.

Ross with the col du berrard in the back on the left. this was the second col we passed that day.

Ross with the Col Du Berard in the back on the left. this was the second col we passed that day.

Catching some air.

Catching some air.

Take Two….Gliere SE Couloir

The face seen from the Liason cable car station

The face seen from the Liason cable car station. The peak to the right is the Index

Today we succeeded   We succeeded in our goal of skiing this little known yet handsome SE Couloir of the Gliere.  This, unlike most of the lines I have skied in the Aiguilles Rouges is actually reasonably involved with a few pitches of steep “no fall” skiing near the top.  This was a great place to find my bindings weren’t properly set up and occasionally  I would land a  jump turn free-heel.  Scary.  We had been up to this couloir two days previously but found there was too much fresh snow and quickly realized we should be tree skiing. We turned back after three turns and ran back to the resort.   Ross still got a few photo’s here….

Today was different.  We had a clear view of where to go and how to get there (today I’m working so technically this was done on my lunch break!) and with the track already in from the top of the Cornu chair in Brevent we were up and starting to ski in no time. The snow was very firm at the top but got better the further down we got. Still it was an awesome line and well worth the effort. Here are some shots….

Take one, dropping in to the top of the couloir the first time.  To much snow and avi risk so i side steeped put after 3 turns.

Take one, dropping in to the top of the couloir the first time. To much snow and avi risk to high so side steeped out after 3 turns.

From the Col du lac Cornu looking over the the Aiguille de la Gliere which is the peak on the right in the distance.

From the Col du lac Cornu looking over the the Aiguille de la Gliere which is the peak on the right in the distance.

This time it was Ross' turn to go first.

This time it was Ross’ turn to go first.

Steep section near the top

Steep section near the top

Middle section

Middle section

Lower exit Couloir

Lower exit Couloir.

First Ski Tour of the Winter! Glacier Mort

Pistes are OK, for a bit, but I personally get feed up of them pretty soon.  I’ve been hammering about in the resort quite a lot recently trying to build up the muscles in my legs which had all but withered away since my accident.  Everything was feeling good this week and with a good snowfall behind us over the past week it was time to take things a step further.  Time to go touring!! Me and Michelle Blaydon headed up to Flegere to ski the  Glacier Mort on Pointe Alphonse Favre.  The first hike up to the Col Des Aiguille Crochues was a sweaty, busy and generally tedious experience which could have been avoided had we got there a slightly earlier.  At one point I got wiped out by a punter who decided to fall on top of me whilst I was changing from ski’s to boots becasue my knee couldn’t deal with the slippy kick turns.   Apparently it was my fault?  I think not buddy .  After the second sweaty hike we got to the top of PAV and found some great snow which lead us down to the Berard valley and on to a nice cold beer in Le Buet.  Watch out for the cliffs on the descent if you head up there to do it.  We had to hike back up 30m or so after we started to ski because we got cliffed-out following a track.

More Info here.

http://www.chamonixtopo.com/glacier-mort-aiguille-rouge

Should got there earlier.

Showing the way to get to Pointe Alphonse Favre photo taken from Col des Crochues.

Michelle displaying good color co-ordination and technique on the last hike up to the summit. MT Blanc in the Background.

The view from the summit down to the Berard Valley. If you look closer (Click to enlarge) you'll see a shuffle track back up. We should have taken notice of that.

Contrary to popular belief British climbers CAN Ski.

The NE face of The amone. Photo Courtesy of Ross Hewitt

Here are some picy’s of me and a mate Ross Hewitt Skiing the north east face of the Aiguille Du L’Amone.

This was the best days skiing I have ever had. Fact. I’m not sure why its Fact but it was damn good.

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