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Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Blue Skies In Grimentz

~ Friday 27th January 2012

 At last the blue skies returned to Grimentz - perfect weather and perfect snow, making us wonder where everyone else was...

Catching the first lift there were only 2 others touring. We went over the Col de Louché for fresh tracks all the way down the Val de Reche. We skinned back up to la Brinta, avoiding the big cornice on the left and skiing more fresh tracks. With time to spare we climbed back up the other summit before skiing more fresh tracks and continuing all the way to St Jean. Perfect day!

Grimentz and Zinal

~ Monday 23rd January 2012

Huge snowfall has left some great conditions in Grimentz. The snow cover is fantastic now, way better than it has been for years. High up it is quite windblown but we were skiing good snow through the woods right down to St Jean.  

Vuibé Glacier

~ Tuesday 17th January 2012

 Ski touring today up the Glacier des Pieces to the Vignettes hut. At the Col des Vignettes we bumped into friend and local guide Josette, and teamed up for a very sociable ski down the Vuibé glacier. This passes through some amazing scenery with some quite steep bits, and was completely untracked - a great descent. 

Ice Climbing

~ Tuesday 17th January 2012

 This winter everyone's talking about the brilliant skiing, but the huge amount of snow hasn't produced great ice climbing conditions. There's still plenty to do though, as we found over the last few days. 

The Hotel de la Tsa deserve a mention for their efforts in creating a great little venue. A boulder and a hosepipe have turned into the ideal spot for training and an introduction to ice climbing, with a café 50m away. It does get busy though - be prepared to go elsewhere. 

Looking for more of a mountain experience we ski toured to the Cascade des Ignes yesterday, finding perfect ice and some nice snow, well worth the 2 hour approach. Compare this to the pictures from the same route in November

Pointe de Vouasson

~ Thursday 12th January 2012

 The Pointe de Vouasson is a classic "up and back " tour, either from the excellent Aiguilles Rouges hut (incidentally now a private hut and about to be renovated) or - as today - slogging all the way up there from la Gouille, a somewhat tiring 1700m. With stable snow the descent to Evolene makes a great trip - more down than up, with the down all north facing and on glacier for the top part. The descent starts on wide open glacier before a section of tricky route finding leads to more open slopes, all of it untracked powder. Arriving at the amusingly named Merdesson stream we skinned up into the Evolene ski area before skiing down through the Vouasson "mayens" and down past the lovely lac d'Arbey.

Col de Breona

~ Monday 9th January 2012

 Excellent ski touring today. The holidays are over and the valley seems deserted, but the blue skies are back at last and forecast to last all week. With the current fantastic snow cover we were able to skin from the front door to the Col de Bréona then up the little peak next to the col. From there it was almost 1600m of fresh tracks back to the house, great snow all the way. 

 

Happy New Year!

~ Thursday 5th January 2012

 Lots of very happy skiers in the Alps at the moment, enjoying the best conditions for years. There's around double the average snow depth in Switzerland now, and it's snowing hard again today. The forecast says snow tomorrow, Saturday, Sunday and Monday...

They haven't yet installed the parking meters in Evolene so make the most of it...

Here are a few pictures from the Pallanche de la Cretta last week. Photos and copyright, Andy Teasdale

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