Saturday 22 March 2014

Aiguille de Toule W face

With 4 hours free in the middle of the day, Tom and I reckoned we had time to ski the W face of the Aiguille de Toule. We fired across to the Geant icefall quickly and then skinned up as fast as our unacclimatized bodies would carry us to the foot of the face.

What an outfit!

From the foot of the W face we quickly changed to crampons and got booting. The initial slope is easy bootpacking and then the final snowy ridge is excellent - spectacular and exposed but straightforward enough. 

Awkward final bit of skinning.


The final ridge to the summit.

Tom getting ready to ski, with the Tour Ronde behind.

Once at the top of the face we stuck the skis on and got stuck into some fun snow, with a combination of some thin crust and plenty of excellent springy stuff. 

Tom near the top of the face.

Skiing lower down.

The W face, with the Dent du Geant behind. 

With the face done we skied the VB out and just made it back to work in time. An excellent half day hit!

The weather has now turned after nearly 3 weeks of sun and to be honest, we needed it. The snow has thinned out unbelievably below 3000m and things were getting a bit desperate on the skiing front. It's tough to tell how much snow is actually going to come but most forecasts seem to agree that it's going to be quite a bit. The weather system seems to be extremely unsettled though so let's see how it pans out. Fingers crossed for a few powder days!