Paul James, MIC - - Winter and Rock Climbing Conditions

Monday, 12 April 2010

12-04-10, Switzerland - Ski Touring

The last week I managed to find some dry rock in North Wales and climbed on Clwyd limestone with Barni and Liam on Monday and then at Tremadog with James and Liam on Wednesday. I Flew out to Geneva on Thursday and will be in the Alps for the next 3 weeks.

(PK and Kath at the Plateau du Couloir after booting up the steep section from the first hut)

On Friday PK, Kath and myself embarked on a shorter four day version of the classic and original 'Haute Route' ski tour (Chamonix to Zermatt). Due to PK having a flight to catch 5 days later and numerous mountain huts being fully booked we started the tour from Bourg in Switzerland and travelled to the Valsorey hut on day 1. Over Plateau du Couloir down Glacier du Mont Durand to the Charion hut on day 2. Up the Glacier d'Otemma to the Vignettes hut on day 3. Down to Arolla today. Friday to Sunday we had glorious sunny weather, but it soon deteriorated Sunday afternoon and this morning to being cloudy and snowing. The journey and scenery was ace, despite the downhill skiing not being the best. Today with the poor weather forecast and epic consequences we missed out on the best part of the tour which should travel east from the Vignettes towards Zermatt, skiing downhill almost all of the 24km distance passing under the north face of the Matterhorn. The weather is set to be unsettled in the alps or the next few days, however I hope to do some more skiing and hopefully some rock climbing in the weeks to come.
(taking skins off skis to ski down towards the Charion hut, day 2)

(smiles all round, day 4 - skiing back down to Arolla)

(skiing down from Vignettes hut this morning)

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