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Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Spring skiing

~ Wednesday 24th March 2010

 Suddenly it seems to be spring. Warm weather and rain to 2700m over the weekend has had a drastic effect on the snow and triggered massive full depth avalanches. The awful unskiable slush from Monday has now frozen after 2 clear nights and created some fantastic spring snow. Pics from today in Nax, deserted hills and good skiing. This is the same slope as the 9th march blog - quite a change in 2 weeks!

Photo Finnish

~ Friday 19th March 2010

 ...3 great days with the Finnish team Heikki, Pasi and Tatu (more pictures here) We started with another good ski from Pt 2959 as in the last blog - good powder and no-one around, although a lot more skinning this time as the Arolla lift was broken again. In the afternoon we made a very hot trip over the Pas de Chevre to the Dix hut, made more exciting by the army blasting the slopes around us in preparation for the Patrouille des Glaciers. 

On top of pt 2959

                         

                       Yesterday we set off for the long climb up Mont Blanc de Cheilon. Firm snow meant a quick ascent, and a very fast descent. By 11.30 we were back at the Col de Cheilon and someone suggested going up la Luette...hard work but more excellent skiing.

Near the winter top of MBC

Dramatic scenery on MBC

                                

                            Today we set off up the Pigne d'Arolla, stopping at the flat spot below the Mur de la Serpentine. From here we turned left and skied the impressive Tsijiore Nové glacier back to Arolla - fantastic skiing in impressive terrain beneath the Pigne north face. Big open slopes lead to some careful skiing between crevasses and the long, steep final descent.

Looking up at la Serpentine and tiny figures

 

Tiny skiers in big terrainsteep ground

 

the final steep bit

Arolla Ski Touring

~ Tuesday 16th March 2010

 Another great day ski touring fro the Arolla lifts. A single ticket to the top costs CHF15, and from there it's a short descent and a steep but short climb to point 2959, just east of La Roussette. Here the clouds cleared and we skied great untracked snow down the north side before getting skins on and heading up to the Col des Ignes. The only other people we saw all day turned out to be British - and using some fine "English" words as they skied past us! From the col it's 1400m down to the café at la Gouille, powder all the way. Almost.

Pt 2959

Below the Col des Ignes

Descent, col background right

More fresh tracks...

Arolla Ski Touring

~ Friday 12th March 2010

 A great day trip up La Luette today. This is a nice short trip from the Dix hut, or a nice long trip from Arolla. Surprisingly there were no tracks - recent wind has covered everything. Quite good skiing though despite the odd bits of crust, and some really good powder below the Pas de Chevres.

Saw a team making very slow work of the Pigne d'Arolla. It's quite bare on the Dix side with some open crevasses (pic below) and after 7 hours they still weren't at the top....

Luette from Pas de Chevre

Ski Touring Nax

~ Tuesday 9th March 2010

Ski touring today in Nax. This is a great little ski area with good lift access skiing, some good tree skiing, and some very good day tours. We headed down into the Val de Reche, then up through la Brechette and along the ridge to point 2732, before skiing lots of fresh powder back to the lift area. 

 

Nendaz Off Piste

~ Friday 5th March 2010

 An excellent day in the 4 Valleys system today. We started from Siviez and skied over to the Grepon Blanc tow, finding some great untracked powder on the way. Then we made 2 runs down to the Dixence valley from the Grepon Blanc - great snow and plenty of fresh tracks - and no missed buses!

Zinal Off Piste

~ Monday 1st March 2010

 Excellent snow in Zinal today. After some great skiing off and on piste we went down the Chamois couloir and over to Grimentz where it all seemed very windblown - quickly back on the bus for another good run down the Chamois, and more fresh tracks. 

Chamois couloir

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