Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Off piste in Evolene

~ Thursday 27th November 2008

Blue sky, powder and no-one in sight, a great morning at Evolene. No lifts yet, so it's a long tour up but worth it for the skiing. Lots of piste preparation and snow making going on up there, although the lifts here arent due to open for a month. There's more snow forecast for the weekend...

Perfect snow from the mid-station to the car

Snow cannons, Point de Vouasson in the distance

Ski conditions

~ Sunday 23rd November 2008

 The snow has been great - especially remembering it's still november. 

The Tseina Reifien north face was fantastic last week - boot deep powder! This is the face up and left when approaching the Pas de Chevre. You can skin up the lower thirds, but then it's skis off and booting up to reach the ridge - which took some time in deep snow. 

North face, Pointes de Tsena Refien


Today saw a return to blue skies after yesterday's storm - 24 hours of snow and wind. Touring above Arolla today there is a lot of new snow, but there's been a lot of wind too - lots of windslab, and some challenging skiing! Back in the trees near the village the snow's still good though.

skiing into Arolla

Skiing into Arolla                              

Altogether a good start to the ski season - plenty of snow in late November, and more on the way tonight


~ Friday 14th November 2008

Early season skiing - no lifts yet so plenty of uphill, but boot-deep powder, blue skies and no-one around. There is already quite good cover - skiable all the way from Col Collon to Arolla 2 days ago - and the main piste area at Arolla is great fun - skin for an hour and a half, then fresh tracks next to yesterday's track...

Following yesterday's skinning track


I've been telemarking for the first time in 8 years. Well, it's still harder work uphill compared to Alpine Dynafit touring. Kick turns are still harder too. Downhill is harder...technically and physically. But it's great! Perfect snow and tele turns feel good - I wanted to go straight back up, but legs had other ideas.

A very white Pigne D'Arolla

Re-using yesterday's skinning track

Summer is over...

~ Friday 7th November 2008

 A week of cold snowy weather and it's definitely winter now, with snow forecast down to 1200m next week. A good time for a look back at the guiding season, or the "Summery Summary"

-Mont Blanc: 5 attempts, 2 summits, 1 via Gouter, 1 via 3 Monts route. The failures all due to the awful june weather.

-Left Edge route on Tacul in great condition

-Traverse of Pointe Lachenal

-Cosmiques Arete, 3 times(?)

-Kufner (Frontier) Ridge. Great conditions to the summit

-Dent du Géant Normal route, mixed weather so only 2 teams on the mountain

-Grandes Jorasses Normal Route

-Gran Paradiso North Face, only team on route. Good ice conditions in summer!

-Mont Blanc de Cheilon normal route, 4 times!

-La Luette twice

-Pigne d'Arolla traverse twice from Dix, twice from Vignettes

-Dent Blanche South Ridge twice, once from the winter room, only team on the hill

-Pointe Marcel Kurz north face - a great little ice route from the Bouquetins bivvy

-Breithorn, Castor, Pollux and attempt Monta Rosa, a great few days in Zermatt.

-Weishorn Traverse

-Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route. Very mixed weather meant deserted hills.

So, a great season, plenty of good routes, no long periods of bad weather...and still some energy left for climbing "just for fun"





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