Having been in the UK for a month, I am now back in the hills. Saturday was opening day of the Grand Montets for sightseeing, so time for some skiing. A gloomy day down in the valley. But the Drus was poking its head above the clouds.
The Argentiere glacier looked picturesque but not inviting to ski. Looks like a blanket of slop over lots of crevasses
Anyway 'No guts, no glory'. I drop in and find a glutenous substance making forward speed difficult, at least enough to clear suspect crevasse bridges. But it is nice and creamy even if it's sticky.
Turning back onto the north face of the Grand Montets things improve greatly from a skiing point of view. I'm on spring snow, a few sun cups but nothing disastrous. Below the end of the glacier things quickly get a bit thin. But there is till skiable terrain quite a ways down.
As the girth of my skis over any traditional touring ski saved me up on the soft slop. Their light weight over other freeride skis now became an asset. From the snow end to mid station was about half an hours stroll.
Early(ish) sunday morning along with Tomoko who hadn't skied since early may and Kaori who didn't think there was any skiing in summer i headed up the Aiguille du Midi. Out the door and onto the infamous Arette and a few bemused looks from alpinists off to climb something.
We weren't even the first riders of the day! there were tracks ahead of us!
There isn't the huge vertical playground of winter. But there is still a lot of snow to play with.
A couple of miles and a few thousand feet of decent. It's time to pay the piper and climb back up. But not all the way back to the Aiguille. Over to Italy instead. With the crevasses opening up and many of them unseen I roped to skin roped up.
Some parts were quite soft, whilst others we hardly scratched the surface. But never too hard or too soft.
The toughest part for my un-acclimatized lungs was the final stairs to the Hellbroner lift station. Spurred on by the prospect of a good coffee.