Feb 13 12
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…
… 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).
The snow was as predicted, glorious champagne powder.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
Series - Chamonix '13
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