Crochues-Bérard Traverse

We decided to take Dave on the amazing Crochues-Bérard traverse tour to discover Snowboard mountaineering!

Laetitia at the top of the Index chair lift
Dave teaching Pete how to use his new-fangled GPS gadget!
Dave at the top of the Crochues col

The climb up to the Crochues col followed by the traverse across to and climb up to the Bérard col were easy. But the descent was another story! I struggled so much with the snow conditions on this ski tour’s descent that I wondered if it had ever been possible for me to have completed the Haute Route – what was my problem? The descent is supposed to be the fun bit…

The awesome traverse to the Bérard col.
Check out the massive avalanche path!

Just nine months earlier we had made relatively easy work of the skiing on the seven day Haute Route from Chamonix to Zermatt, yet with a wicked icy crust the snow down the Bérard valley was a killer! At almost every turn I broke through the crust to the deep power below and “tripped” myself up, ending in a massive head-plant crash. After the umpteenth of these I was more than a little knackered and angry! :angry: Dave and Laetitia kept saying, “you are sitting too far back”, and I kept trying to get forward and be aggressive through the turns. But that just made a whopper of a head-plant wipe-out more likely (and painful). 😥

After yet another wipe out!

So, what was my problem? Well, I’d like to blame my tools, as Dave on his snowboard had no bother at all. Or I could blame it on my being heavier than Laetitia, as she was also on skis but only wiped-out a couple of times. But basically I have to face the facts – my skiing was crap!!! 🙁

Off to the piste tomorrow to brush up on those skills… 😉

7 thoughts on “Crochues-Bérard Traverse”

  1. The snow cover looks fantastic! Crashing is part of the skiing experience isn’t it?? 😀
    If you’re not wiping out, you’re not trying hard enough!! 😆 (yellow team motto)

  2. It all looks fabulous. Wish I was there.
    You know what I’m going to say: Telemark. 😉 The forward-back stability you get doing tele turns prevents you going over when you break through (not that I don’t struggle in crusty stuff too—it’s hard to be aggressive enough to keep moving while ploughing up the crust).

  3. I was fine on the walky bits in my snow shoes, the skiers didn’t seem to get away from me much. Mind you I think if there had not been several skiers through before me it would have been a different story. Main problem with snowboarding was it was a lot of faff switching between snowshoes & board. Not a big deal when theres a long downhill or long uphill stretch but when it gets more up & downy ski’s win the day. I think it might also be rather interesting in high winds with that plank strapped to my back…

    Great fun all round though 😀

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