Vallée Blanche Powder

The "short bit" up from the end of the glacier to the buvette and the track down to Chamonix

After days and days of lots and lots of snow, with poor visibility and high winds keeping skiers on the lower slopes, at last the day came when we had sunshine and no wind. It had to be a day for the Vallée Blanche.

There was no need for an early start. There’d been so much snow we knew there would be plenty of fresh powder to share amongst the many skiers. Rebecca and Mathias were excited, but it was such a shame the day came too late for Dave and Jon to enjoy the adventure.

Without the strong winds, the walk along the arete in crampons was fairly easy…

vallee blanche

… and getting ready to ski on the saddle at the bottom of the arete was positively balmy (although perhaps it was the 6 layers I was wearing that helped).

At the bottom of the arete the team get ready to ski the Valleé Blanche
At the bottom of the arete the team get ready to ski the Valleé Blanche

The snow was as predicted, glorious champagne powder.

Perfect blue skies at the Col du Midi
Perfect blue skies at the Col du Midi

We stuck with the traditional route down. As we got closer the the Geant icefall the clouds wafted in and visibility was reduced for a while. We took it easy and kept close to the tracks.

Passing through a little cloud neat the Geant icefall
Passing through a little cloud near the Geant icefall

The low cloud didn’t stick around for long, but the sun decided to stay hidden for a while which meant for a very cold lunch break.

Rebecca and Mathias in the Valleé Blanche
Rebecca and Mathias in the Valleé Blanche

As we got closer to Montenvers I checked that everyone was ok to continue further and ski down to the valley rather than take the train. I had re-assured the team that there was only a short bit up hill before we would continue along a track down to the valley, so they all said “yes”.

The "short bit" up from the end of the glacier to the buvette and the track down to Chamonix
The “short bit” up from the end of the glacier to the buvette and the track down to Chamonix

After the short bit, Richard, Rebecca and Mathias were very grateful for the buvette, where vin chaude and hot chocolate was consumed.

The track down to the valley is fairly narrow and quite icy, providing great entertainment on the corners.

Mathias, Rebecca, Laetitia, and Richard strike a pose in the sunshine on he track down from Montenvers to Chamonix
Mathias, Rebecca, Laetitia, and Richard strike a pose in the sunshine on he track down from Montenvers to Chamonix

We took it fairly easy on the descent, knowing we’d had fantastic conditions on the Vallée Blanche, arriving just in time for beer o’clock.

A celebratory beer in the bar at the bottom of the Les Planards ski area
A celebratory beer in the bar at the bottom of the Les Planards ski area

Series - Chamonix '13

  1. Burfday Powder
  2. Courmayeur – better weather, awesome powder,
    and the best hot chocolate in the world
  3. Vallée Blanche Powder
  4. Burfday pressies & Cake,
    roll-on Rock Climbing season…

5 thoughts on “Vallée Blanche Powder”

  1. One of the greatest days skiing I’ve had in my life :clap: Just the “short bit” turned out to be a very Australian “short bit” indeed 😉 – definitely not a German one 😎 I guess now it will be hard to ever do this route again knowing that it can’t get any better than this :star: :star: :star: besides my legs being tired and cramping during the first BIT. Maybe the height affected them a bit as well.

  2. Grr!

    Just had a look at all the fun you lot were having on the day that Dave and I had to trek back across europe.

    Hope you were thinking of us spending the day looking at the inside of airport departure lounges while you were knee deep in powder!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *