Chamonix CC & Birthday Skiing

Rebecca, Pete, and Laetitia in the clouds at Le Tour

Last week we were visiting Chamonix for a week of winter sports. We weren’t sure the skiing would be up to much as this year as there has been very little snow. So we had prepared for what might be ideal alpine winter climbing conditions. However, as it turned out there was a large dump of snow over the first weekend of our trip, and there is nothing that beats skiing fresh powder! 😀

The week coincided with my birthday too so our good friend Rebecca joined us. We missed Mathias though who got left home in southern Germany on child minding duties.

And added to all of that the week was listed as a Climbers’ Club meet and there were a few club members in town to hook up with for various adventures. Although it was quite tough synchronising people’s whereabouts during the week we did manage to have a few nights out for dinner together and several days on and off the pistes together. Here are a few images from the week…

Les Houches

Rebecca and Pete skiing at Les Houches

As it was my birthday during the week Laetitia treated me to a rare luxury. Instead of packed sandwiches and a visit to the Salle Hors Sac we had a proper meal in one of the mountain restaurants. Skiing is always better with a little alcohol induced flexibility! 😉

Birthday lunch at La Cha

Meeting up with CC members

Rebecca and Laetitia enjoying a beer at Bistro des Sports
The Climbers’ Club gang at the Bistro des Sports

Grands Montets

The next day saw the heaviest fresh snow, and with it’s customary poor visibility, it took us to our favourite valley venue for these conditions, the Magic Forest at Grands Montets. Rebecca and I were joined by Lorne, Chris, and Kevin from the CC gang. Laetitia stayed home for a rest as after her recent operation she was feeling the strain and wanted to take it easy rather than over do it in what can be challenging skiing off-piste in poor vis at Grands Montets.

Skiing in the heavy snow at the Magic Forest at Grands Montets

Here’s a shot of the gang at the end of the day at the Marmottons bar. What the picture doesn’t illustrate is that Kevin, Lorne, and I were completely knackered. We had just got back after catching the bus back from Les Illes after failing to follow the right gully all the way down to the valley floor from the Magic Forest. We should have enjoyed something like the Magic Forest section of this report. Instead we had thrashed through endless forest with crap snow cover. It wasn’t great skiing, well the top half of it was, but it was a good adventures! 😉

Kevin, Chris, Rebecca, Lorne, and Pete at Grands Montets
Laetitia’s second breakfast on her “rest” day
More birthday indulgences – enjoying some whisky! (Thanks Mathias!)

Le Tour

We made a few trips to Le Tour too during the trip as it’s a great venue for fresh off-piste powder. It was great fun blasting through the off-piste area I call the “Scandi-Trap” with Lorne whooping with joy! Plus we were lucky to meet up with Rehan, President of the BMC, who lives nearby.

Rebecca, Pete, and Laetitia in the clouds at Le Tour
Skiing with zero contrast at Le Balme
Pete, Rehan, Laetitia, and Rebecca at Le Balme

Megève

For a change from the Chamonix valley we headed over to Megève one day. Well, if the truth be told we had planned on a ski tour from Les Contamine but I forgot to pack our skins. Doh! I realised as we drove through Saint Gervais and so we were able to quickly repurpose the day and enjoy a glorious day above the clouds in the sunshine rampaging the extensive linked pistes of the Saint Gervais – Megève area.

One feature of Megève is that there are acres of un-pisted ground easily reached with the the help of the lifts. And all of it still had deep fresh snow to enjoy. I won’t say it was untracked, it wasn’t, but it was still brilliant fun to ski! Especially as it was our first day properly out of the clouds and bathing in warm sunshine. 😀

A panorama looking back towards Les Houches and Mont Blanc from the expansive Megève ski area
Rebecca, Pete, and Laetitia at Megève
Enjoying the powder skiing on one of the massive side-piste areas of Megève

Family

Our final day of skiing was with a completely different gang, Laetitia’s sister Saskia and her family had arrived for a half-term week of skiing. It being their first day they needed to find their ski-legs of course so we opted for another trip to Le Tour. Laetitia stayed home again to rest. But she joined us at the end of the day for chips and beer at the Olympic Bar…

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