Alpine Climbing & Skiing: Frost Guiding Blog

Patrouille des Glaciers

~ Monday 23rd April 2012

 Preparation for the Patrouille des Glaciers is going well apparently, despite the weather. Arolla has become a military base, with 5 helicopters parked at the improvised landing site in Satarma today. This has to be the prime slot for your military service - Arolla or Afghanistan? Amusingly only days after the commune installed parking meters in Arolla, the army have closed off all the parking! We had a great ski in windy conditions up to the Vignettes hut, then 1000m of great untracked snow back down after lunch. 

Imperial Haute Route

~ Friday 20th April 2012

The Imperial Haute Route is the classic Val d'Anniviers tour. Unfortunately the weather wasn't on our side. Day 1, after a long wait for the lifts in St luc to open, saw us battling poor visibility and delicate avalanche conditions to reach the Turtmann hut. Day 2 was worse, and we spent the day snowed at in the hut. Rewarded by clear skies on day 3 we set off for Tracuit, a perfect day with stunning views at last.

Climbing the Gassi couloir


The descent from Tacuit was a clear winner in the worst snow of the winter competition - 1300 vertical metres of breaking crust in poor visibility. Hmmm. Abandoning plans to head up to Grand Mountet we were happy to find great skiing yesterday in the Zinal and Grimentz areas, a nice end to the week. 


Chamonix Climbing

~ Tuesday 10th April 2012

 A change of activity this week...The weather wasn't helpful on Sunday, meaning all we managed was a ride up the Grands Montets lift for a coffee - the café at the top was full of people waiting in vain for  the forecast improvement. 

Monday was better though. After the usual "service with a scowl" from the Midi staff, we were soon up the lift and snowshoeing over for a great traverse of the Pointe Lachenal. 

Tuesday and the Midi staff were still grumpy - can the end of season not come soon enough for them?  - but we climbed the Cosmiques Arete in more wild and windy weather. 

Chuffed at the top

Haute Route

~ Saturday 7th April 2012

 Success against the odds last week on the Chamonix Zermatt Haute Route. After a great warm up day we set off from Argentiere with fingers crossed for the weather...the forecast wasn't good!

All went well though, the bad weather not arriving until we were safely in the Dix hut. Next morning we woke to 25cm of fresh snow and a mass retreat over the Pas de Chevre. Optimistically we slogged up to the Vignettes hut in the afternoon. Again the forecast was mixed but happily Friday dawned clear and we skied powder to Zermatt under blue skies - a great end to the week!

Sound advice from the Dix hut

The retreat from the Dix

Vallée Blanche

~ Sunday 1st April 2012

 Excellent day today on the Vallée Blanche. It's peak season but we were at the lift early and soon skiing rock hard snow...We toured up to the Helbronner café for a well earned coffee then skied the right bank of the glacier - excellent and atmospheric skiing. 

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