I’ve just had two great days of ski touring with Elkie and Tim around the Chamonix area.
It had snowed during the weekend so on Monday we were at the aiguille du midi nice and early to try and beat the crowds and get up to the Vallee Blanche.
The powder was on a super firm base, so it was total hero skiing and we had fresh tracks down to the edge of the Tacal, where we then donned skins to tour up the side of the Tour Ronde. Italy had a spectacular cloud inversion but we didn’t hang around too long because we wanted to ski the snow before it warmed up too much.
So back down and then up to the Helbronner lift so we could ski the “Italian Vallee Blanche”. This really was good skiing in the powder, with blue skies as well…
Day 2 was looking like it was going to get progressively cloudy during the day, so we picked a relatively short tour from the Grand Montet. The col du Passon is one of my favorites, and I hadn’t skied it this winter, so I was keen as well!
It was pretty busy heading up to the col with lots of teams heading off to the haute route. Once down the far side though it was pretty quiet, and we skied a variation that was totally untracked. More hero powder!
The bottom quarter was very hard going though, refrozen Avalanche debris and tree bashing, yuk.
A quick coffee in the appropriately named Passon cafe and we caught the lift at Le Tour for a little bit more skiing.
Sometimes with touring you have to weigh the benefits of the ski down against the effort of the skin up. One of my favorite little skis at Le Tour involves skiing down the start of a valley before turning back in yourself to skin back up the same way, which does require a little motivation!
The little valley was untracked and unskied, and with perfect thin powder again. We skied for just a few minutes, but it was brilliant skiing and only a quick fifteen minute skin back to the col for a slushy descent back to the valley.