Friday 5 December 2014

Breche du Carabinier

There's still no sign of any more snow here in Cham and I'd mentally filed skiing away for a few weeks. That was, of course, until Tom Grant turned up with his usual enthusiasm and convinced me to head out. I haven't been out in the hills with Tom anything like as much as I'd like over the past year so I didn't really take much convincing.

He'd skied the Gervasutti Couloir on the Tour Ronde with Ben Tibbetts yesterday and reported good conditions (but then he always does!) and was keen for a return trip. Ben confirmed that the snow had been really good and was also up for another day out so the 3 of us headed through the Mont Blanc Tunnel and rode the Helbronner up.

The visibility wasn't up to much initially but we stuck with it and got a really nice pitch of cruisy snow leading down to where you put skins on, underneath the Aiguille de Toule. 

Looking across to the Midi.

Ben at the start of the skin.

From there, we decided that actually we were keener on doing the Breche du Carabinier, next to the Grand Capucin. I'd skied this back in March and knew how good it was, plus we saw some guys breaking trail up it, which would significantly ease our passage.

The skin over was easy enough and the bootpack went smoothly but we decided to branch off left just before reaching the Breche, taking a thinner couloir instead. I stopped not far up this as the section above looked like terrible snow and although Ben and Tom carried on briefly, they soon headed back down having found even worse snow above.

The ski down was.....interesting. The odd patch of good snow was mixed with plenty of awful crust but the lower section was just about OK and provided a few fun turns. Overall, not classic but it was just amazing to be back out in the hills on skis, especially with such high quality banter flowing all day! 

Tom Grant doing what Tom Grant does.

Me loving being out in the hills, with the Grand Capucin towering behind. 

Tom and Ben post-ski.

Snow forecast from Tuesday onwards, stay tuned!