Monday, 24 September 2012

Saas Fee skiing, Passy Via Ferrata & sad news from Nepal

The weather here in Cham is frankly awful right now, with heavy rain bouncing down outside and no sign of a let up. However, the end of last week was pretty good, and Tom and I went over to Saas Fee to once again make the most of the free lift passes. Unfortunately the summer skiing isn't included, but we were aiming for 4000ers anyway, so it was no great problem. 

It turned out that there was a lot more snow in Cham than in Saas, so we didn't find much great skiing and did plenty of walking in ski boots, but had a good time and scoped out some ideas for next winter...

Me skiing off the top of the Allallinhorn. Photo Tom Grant

The weekend saw more unsettled weather, so Sharon and I shot out during a clear spell to go do the Passy Via Ferrata. I'd never done a via ferrata but thought it was fun, and well worth knowing about if there's a few hours spare and you need some exercise. 

Sharon on the Passy Via Ferrata

The dreaded foehn wind is said to be arriving this week, which as ever will bring warm temperatures to all altitudes and make everything pretty unpredictable and unsettled. Bugger. It looks like tomorrow and Wednesday could be OK though so let's see.

Finishing on a sad note, it seems that Cham has probably lost 2 great skiers over in Nepal, with the disappearance of Remy Lecluse and Greg Costa. I didn't know either of them but had chatted to Remy before and found him a really personable and friendly guy, and he was without doubt one of the most accomplished skiers in Chamonix, which is saying something. The news from Nepal, plus the death of Stephane Brosse in May means that it's been a bad year for french extreme skiing, with 2 of it's greatest names being lost in the space of 6 months. Skiing will carry on regardless but the sport, and Cham, will be poorer for this news.