Sunday 13 October 2013

First ski of the winter - Midi & Helbronner

The last 3 days have seen snow falling all the way down to town and it's been a shock to the system clearing the car again every morning. That's one chore I never mind doing though as it usually means a good day is in store, and so it was this weekend. 

First up was the Midi yesterday with Tom, Matt, Joel and Ben. A lap off the Midi Arete was followed by a fit of keen-ness which saw us drop into the Petit Envers and ski the first few pitches before skinning out. As is often the case, trying to describe a ski day is pointless when you can just show the photos so here goes - 

Snow clearing at the Plan de l'Aiguille.

Looking down on a snowy Cham from the top of the Midi.

Snow clearing at the top station.

Current conditions. Think the rock climbing season might be over!

Tom Grant deep in it on the Midi Arete.

Joel Evans skiing the Petit Envers.

Me deep in it. Photo Joel Evans.

Loving it! Photo Joel Evans.

Matt just about staying afloat. Photo Joel Evans. 

Me and Matt after some quality mincing. Photo Joel Evans. 

One more "deep" shot. Photo Joel Evans. 

With all the fresh snow, trail breaking back up to the Midi was TOUGH. Worth it though.

Today I went through the Mont Blanc Tunnel with Matt and Emma in search of more powder. We found it but if anything there was too much. It all felt pretty poorly bonded too and we didn't manage to find anything which felt steep enough to turn but safe enough to be OK. Still, it was great to be out and we managed to find a hut to jump off into the powder so a good day was had despite not finding any good skiing. Musn't grumble really, it is October after all!

Matt doing some high altitude bouldering/clowning.

Me jumping off a hut near the Helbronner. The run up was about a foot long so it was more a controlled face plant than a jump. Photo Emma Jack. 

 The aftermath. Photo Emma Jack. 

Matt at the moment of impact, with Emma looking on amused. 

We ran into a couple of guides at the Helbronner lift and they were telling of people getting back to the Torino Hut well after dark last night and I can see why after having been up there. There is a HUGE amount of snow up high and walking to anything is just about impossible now. Get skiing!