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Early season in Cham

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
With the early season snow high up things are looking very good. The runs from the Aiguille du Midi here in Chamonix normally start becoming skiable in the early New Year. However this winter is starting off differently. I ventured up the cable car to have a look how things were shaping up, I took my gear along ‘just in case’ there was some skiing to be done.



The start of any run from here begins with the infamous ‘walk down the ridge’. There were no deep footpaths as in later season, but plenty of soft snow to make it a viable if very scary experience. With 500m of exposure to one side and almost 3000m of exposure to the other this is not a place to be taken lightly.



I was almost completely alone in my choice of skiing. A couple were skiing the Valley blanche and another skier headed of to do the versant Rognon. I myself headed down the Envers du plan. My route started with a wide open powder field with 20cm of fresh. The route winds its way in and out of seracs and crevasses and ends in sheepish couloirs before joining the normal route. Towards the end the snow had changed to wind pack and finally wind scouerd snow on the Mer de Glace section.



Right at the end there was a real sting in the tail. With it being early season the Ice Caves tourist attraction is not open, hence the gondola accessing it is not. The only route up to the Montenvers railway and home was up 200m of ladders, rather harsh in ski boots. The train contained 20 sightseers and 2 skiers, a nice quiet day.

post #2 of 5
Another great occasion to the 02/03 season. All in one week we have the first gathering, and our first report for Tom. Things are looking up. Thanks for the report Tom. I for one, know that seeing a new post (and hopfully photos) from your adventures is a highlight of mine at this site. Look forward to more.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally posted by artimus:
Another great occasion to the 02/03 season. All in one week we have the first gathering, and our first report for Tom. Things are looking up. Thanks for the report Tom. I for one, know that seeing a new post (and hopfully photos) from your adventures is a highlight of mine at this site. Look forward to more.
Ditto. Tom has developed a great way to present with incredible pictures and interesting text that really captures the highlight of skiing at it's best. To me, his posts are a step up from the ski-porn mags. Yeah, I'm jealous.

Here's a story: My dads first time across the knife edge was back in the 50's when the ski guides were just good climbing guides who were taking on skiing to fill their winter months. My dad is completely terrified of heights and the guides had to poke him in the ass with their ski-poles to force him across the knife edge. He was crawling across on his hands and knees while my mom (who had to carry his skis across) was laughing from the other end. He said the only fun part was that when he finally got his skis on, his group smoked their guide because although the guide was totally at home in the mountains, he wasn't too at home on skis.

Well, that's one thing that's changed
post #4 of 5
Still think that old Citroen he drives is the most dangerous vehicle in the Alps!
post #5 of 5
Thanks, Tom@Cham.

Your little adventures make for highly enjoyable reading.

Keep 'em coming!!
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