Saturday, 28 January 2012

Les 3 Cols

The weather in Cham has been pretty unsettled for the last 10 days or so, but with one good day forecast before the clouds rolled back in, everyone was keen to get out. Will and I fancied a descent of the Y Couloir on the Aiguille d’Argentiere, and recruited Peter to come along with us. However, having got to the top of the Grand Montets we quickly realised that the SE facing Y couloir would have so much snow that it would take us days rather than hours to climb it. We considered dropping in from above after climbing the Milleu Glacier instead, but with the potential for massive avalanches we weren’t too keen on going in with no knowledge of conditions in the couloir.

Ever resourceful we thought that the SE Couloir of the Chardonnay might be good, but by the time we reached the Col below it at midday it was already too hot. Time for plan number 3, which was that we’d get over into the Le Tour basin and try and ski the Table Couloir on the Aiguille du Tour. As it turned out it was about 4pm by the time we got to the Table, and so we bailed on that too. All would have been lost but we then got 800 metres of fresh, fluffy powder all the way down to Le Tour. This coupled to the fact that we’d seen loads of amazing views and unintentionally ended up skiing one of the real classic tours of Chamonix (the 3 Cols tour), as well as having plenty of good banter, meant that although we didn’t ski anything “silly”, we had a great day. Here’s some shots – 

Skinning up to the Col du Chardonnet

And the Fenetre du Saleina

Will and Peter on the final Col

Will abbing down

Fresh tracks all the way to town

Will and Peter mid way down.

Will in an untracked gully. Who says Cham gets tracked out?

Will shredding

Will loves tree skiing so much that if there is one tree on a huge face, he'll find it.

Le Tour beckoning at the end of a long day.