Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

27th feb - Arolla ski touring

~ Wednesday 27th February 2008

A short tour today to the excitingly named Pt 2959. This is a short ski and a 20 minute climb from the top cafe of Arolla lift system, and gives 1100m vertical descent on north facing slopes to la Gouille. Still good powder today, although the last 5 minutes to the road had been in the sun and was deep slush!

20 minute skin to point 2959, with Mont Collon behind

Janine on the north facing descent


26th feb - Vignettes hut ski touring

~ Tuesday 26th February 2008

Ski tour up to the Col des Vignettes today. The work at the hut is still going on, with the opening date rapidly approaching...

Great snow on the descent, even a few powder turns. The rest has turned into perfect firm piste snow.

Building site at the Vignettes hut

23 feb - Italian ice

~ Saturday 23rd February 2008

Just back from a week in Cogne - perfect weather and good ice climbing conditions. IFMGA guide Terry Ralphs on the classic Patri Right Hand

Ron on the last pitch, Patri Left Hand

Jon finishing the steep pillar of Mistiria

14 feb - Via Ferrata

~ Thursday 14th February 2008

A change of scene today on the via ferrata at Nax. This was warm and sunny, and a welcome rest for tired frontpointing calves!

Dale on the Nax via ferrata

13 feb - ice climbing

~ Wednesday 13th February 2008

The fantastic weather continues, stable high pressure for the next week...

Climbing this week at la Gouille, Arolla (Usine Électrique) and the Tunnel routes. La Gouille left hand is thin now, but the others are all good.

Great conditions today on Cascade des Ignes. This is ice climbing in a brilliant mountain setting, and no-one else in sight - well worth the approach walk. Noticeably more ice than last time, but it was hard work on the calves. Snow shoes or skis help for the approach.

View of the route from the walk in

Dale seconding the third pitch


9th Feb - Arolla ski touring

~ Saturday 9th February 2008

The hot sunny weather continues! Today, a trip up the Mont Rouges above Arolla ski area. This is a great intro day tour, and also gives access to some steep skiing in couloirs on the NE face - the stuff you look at from the ski area café.

heading up to Mont Rouges, with the Pas de Chevre in the background

8 Feb - ski touring

~ Friday 8th February 2008

Warm and sunny touring today, on Pic d'Artsinol above the Evolene ski area. This is a great intro to touring, using the lifts then skinning for 1.5 hours to a great summit with superb views - Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn. The ski down back in to the Evolene area is 1600m vertical drop!

The top of the Evolene lifts, chilly early morning

In the sun just below the top


3 feb - sun, powder - and wind

~ Sunday 3rd February 2008

Beautiful weather, snowfall all day yesterday, perfect ski conditions today! The view from the front door this morning, north face of the Pigne D'Arolla...


Although, by mid afternoon there was a southerly gale blowing, 100mph gusts at 3000m, and the Pigne disappeared in a cloud of spindrift..

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