Thursday 6 March 2014

Cosmiques, Plan de L'Aiguille and Vallee Blanche

Another big day! There was talk of a tour today but with the sun due to shine for the foreseeable future, we decided to hoover up as much lift served powder as possible and save touring for when the good snow is a bit tougher to find.

First up was a run down the Cosmiques couloir and then out on the Bossons Glacier to town. The Cosmiques was icy for the first 20 metres or so but pretty good thereafter, with a mix of cold chalky snow, powder and just the odd bit of funky crust.

Phil showing me how it's done on the abseil. Photo Morgan Sinclair.

Morgan about to finish the abseil.

The west face of the Midi really is an amazing place to ski.

Thumbs up!

Once out of the couloir we scurried out from under the Tacul seracs and headed off down the Bossons glacier in fantastic powder. There is one small ice cliff that we abseiled using an in-situ ice thread but otherwise it was smooth and fun going all the way.

About to do the abseil.

Me on the abseil. Some people jumped this but you're landing on thinly covered ice and if you blew it you could be in big trouble as there is a huge cliff just past the landing so we took the safer option. 
Photo Phil Ebert.

Phil on the Bossons Glacier exit. 

Up next was a lap down the Plan de L'Aiguille, which has provided some of the best runs of this season and once again it didn't disappoint. The track out is still well formed but with the snow cooking quickly below 2000m and warm temperatures forecast for a while, we're going to need some pretty freak weather in order to have another good run down the Plan this season. If this is my last time down for 2014, I'm glad I signed off on such a high. 

Phil not quite landing his jump!

Me posing in the powder. Photo Phil Ebert.

To finish the day, Sharon joined Morgan and I for a cruise down the Vallee Blanche's easiest route. We skied some great mellow powder but generally just checked out the views and took in the scenery. Just to add a bit of ski interest we crossed over to the Italian side and took the skiers right side of the icefall by the Requin hut. I've been there in some terrible conditions (click here for details) but it was as well filled in as I've ever seen and it provided some great skiing.

Sharon crossing over to the Italian side of the VB.

Morgan admiring the scenery.

Me and Morgan just after the icefall.

A stunning end to an excellent day.

Sun, sun, sun is the forecast now so I think it's touring time. There will still be plenty of powder if you know where to look and the south facing stuff should hopefully turn into spring snow soon so there's lots to go at. Stay safe and enjoy.