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Pete_H

[TR] Chamonice - Multiple 3/31/2012

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Trip: Chamonice - Multiple

 

Date: 3/31/2012

 

Trip Report:

Kat and I took our first ski trip to Europe with the intent of enjoying some classic tours. As we left town for our week-long vacation we were almost wondering why we were leaving knee deep pow at Stevens.

 

Oh yeah. This is why.

Cham%25202012%2520013.JPG

 

We were a bit tired from our travelling so on our first day we chose a relatively short tour up to Col du Chardonne.

Cham%25202012%2520016.JPG

 

Vive La France

Cham%25202012%2520018.JPG

 

 

Finding some fun corn on the way down.

Cham%25202012%2520022.JPG

 

Thought we'd check out the Aig. Rouge side the next day. We happened upon the Crouche-Berrard traverse

Cham%25202012%2520031.JPG

 

Conditions in the Berrard cirque were a bit variable but softened up a bit lower down.

Cham%25202012%2520076.JPG

 

The tour ends when you ski into the small village of Le Buet and you literally click out of your skis at Hotel Le Buet, a bar / restaurant / hotel, where its mandatory to have glass of beer or vin blanc and perhaps a fresh salad or omelette as you wait for the train back to Cham.

Cham%25202012%2520038.JPG

 

Cham%25202012%2520039.JPG

 

After a rest day we went up the Grand Montets again with the plan to ski the south face of the Aig. Argentierre, thinking it might soften up nicely in the afternoon.

 

But first we had breakfast. SuperPowerFood. Yum.

Cham%25202012%2520095.JPG

 

Unfortunately, Kat was understandably having some issues with the elevation especially after a lot of travelling and some long days in the mountains. So as an alternative we skinned up to the Tour Noir Col and took a look at the N side of the Aig Argentierre.

Cham%25202012%2520046.JPG

 

We had enjoyed the Crouche-Berrard tour so much a couple days before we thought we'd do it again with a ski of the Glace du Mord variation.

Cham%25202012%2520069.JPG

 

Glace du Mord was awesome but apparently Drew skied all the powder off last week. Nevertheless we still found some "pow-like" conditions and even some corn in spots.

Cham%25202012%2520074.JPG

 

What trip to Cham is complete without a ski of the Valle Blanche? I'd never seen a whole glacier turned ito a mogul field before, so I was stoked to check off another unique cultural experience.

Cham%25202012%2520084.JPG

 

I did make a side tour up to the Col du Tacul and found some pretty fun skiing on the way down including these slopes above the Mer de Glace down-schralp mule train.

Cham%25202012%2520089.JPG

 

And what's a trip to the Valle Blanche without getting creeped out in the funky ice caves below the Montvert.

Cham%25202012%2520092.JPG

 

All-in-all it was a very fun trip. The weather was splitter the whole time even if the snow conditions were a biy variable. It was also really cool to experience the ski culture there, where ski alpinism is so mainstream. Though it was definitly weird to see whole backcountry runs skied out. Kat and I are stoked to go back and check out some spots a bit off the beaten path next time.

 

Gear Notes:

Vin Rouge. Perhaps Vin Blanc, depending on conditions.

 

Approach Notes:

About 24 Euros

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Definitly stoked to go back and do some rock routes. And more skiing too, of course.

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