Saturday 15 June 2013

Grand St Bernard Touring

Quite the tour of the St Bernard passes over the past 2 days! After seeing yesterday how much snow is still lying below 2500m, Sharon, Matt and I decided to leave behind all the freshly opened lifts in Chamonix and head for the Grand St Bernard pass. The Col is officially closed to vehicles until 11am next Monday morning, but you can actually drive up both sides and there is about 10 metres of snow covered road right at the top which is unpassable, so you can't cross the pass. Seems a bit strange not to just get it opened completely, but there you go. 

With no firm plans we skied into the Italian side (having driven up the Swiss side) and started skinning towards Mont Fourchon in baking heat. It would have been good to do Fourchon, but when a peak with visibly better terrain and a much shorter approach appeared on the right and we soon changed our plans. I think it may have been Pointe 2823 on the map, but we weren't sure.

Matt earning his turns

The Pain de Sucre N face. I skied this in November - quite surreal to be back here nearly 7 months on and still be touring.

Me on the final summit ridge

Having reached our little summit we quickly pulled skins off and skied down before the sun cooked the snow even more. 


Getting psyched for the ski

Although heavy, the snow was really fun to ski, and the terrain was awesome.

Me on a fun little ridge about half way down

Matt on the same spot

Sharon on the lower slopes

After a quick beer at the Col, we were back in Cham by late afternoon, but not before snapping a few pics to show just how snowy things still are in the hills - 


The weather looks pretty good for the next few days here but looking at the synoptic charts, I think that the recent sunshine has been a result of a weak high pressure, not a really solid pattern of good weather. All of the weather forecasts are slightly different and although it seems that there will be plenty of sunshine over the next week, things aren't that predictable, so I'd advise making plans at the latest possible moment. There will be plenty of options for getting out though, so good luck and stay tuned for updates.