Yippie! France & Italy……
Music: Amit – Second Cut
Bad_roo provided his experiences in extremely well written detail in this thread:
Str8line camp Chamonix.
Countries involved….Italy and France.
Snow riders from all over the Northen Hemisphere which included shirk, Hicks, Horizon, Bad_roo, Hayduke, Skier666, Francis the Guide, and of course Mr. Str8line himself.
Day One – Courmayeur, Italy- 1300 m to 2300 m on this day
(the only non-bluebird day) taking the Tram from Entreves from just about 1300 m and riding lift access to about 2300 m. The upper trams were shut due to flat light, so we took this day to acclimate on some piste and tree runs. Roo tweaks his knee skiing through the untracked rooted mazes….go figure.
A quick 15 min ride through the Mt. Blanc tunnel from Chamonix:
My first Italian espresso:
Closed upper mountain:
Trees that like to eat knees:
Now do you see why Roo got hurt?
Courmayeur pedestrian mall:
…and a hidden pizza establishment in a dark alley:
Day 2 – Courmayeur, Italy – Helbronner tram from La Palud at 1370 m to Mt. Helbronner to just around 3466 m.
I found this Brit in the parking lot begging for Euros:
Some nice chutes on the way up….
Mt. Blanc looker’s right:
You can see the Matterhorn in the distance…
Looking down toward Chamonix:
The top with Mt. Blanc in the background:
Mt. Blanc – a tall hill…currently my desktop background:
Here’s our run…..
And here’s how you get down to the run (lack of snow prevented any chance to ski down to the glacier)
You can see the town of Courmayeur way down there…..and yes, we ended up down there, not too bad for vert?
Str8line wants my camera, but I won’t give it to him:
Str8line carves up the photo-op:
From the midstation down to the valley floor was a tad thin….the line lookers left was primo, but I was also the first guy down. The traverse on lookers right is all dirt and rock.
Once in the chute, it looked like this:
Horizon makes a few turns:
….then shirk decides to give it a go:
Day 3 – Les Grands Montets – From Argentiere at 1252 m to 3275 m to ski from the highest tram.
This day was firm…..the piste was great in the morning. The longest groomer I’ve ever skied happened today. Not many action shots because well…it was hardpack. And by the way, I’m not taking groomer pics if we’re skiing Cham.
Popular ice-climbing area:
Some big blue ice….I think its called a GlaCieR…the Argentiere one:
From the summit, loking down at the valley at the World Cup DH course at Les Houches:
The "sunny" ski fields…..Le Brevent on the left (usual spot for the Cham extreme comps) and La Flegere on the right:
Zoom function enabled:
Looking up the valley towards Le Tour:
The Argentiere Glacier and Valley….
and then panned to the right:
Aiguille Verte….4121 m…we all skied that line….yep, that one
Looking at the famous Aiguille De Midi and Mont-Blanc at 4810 m.
This pic gives you an idea of the vertical here….we skied skier’s right of this photo all the way down to the valley below…not too shabby eh? Cue the "you should see this place when its powder comment"….like we didn’t here that everywhere we went.
Horizon slaying the open fields of gnar-firm:
Str8line and I decide to do a recon mission down this chute off the tram….dirt, stumps, rocks, but then a nice chalky line down to the groomer.
Str8line wondering if we should do this…..he doesn’t want to scratch his edges on his new Rossi’s that he sandpapered for 95 minutes this morning:
Cue Leroy Jenkins…..
Let’s do this….
Later on we catch up with Bad_roo at the MBC….we wish we hadn’t:
Gary Bigham and his patented slide show…..priceless:
Myself, Daron Rahlves, Mrs. Rahlves, the crew, and Mr. Boring himself….Hayduke on the right:
Day 4 – Le Tour – 1462 m to 2270 m of some really varied and fun terrain. You can also ski into Switzerland…so that’s an added bonus if you are in the market to purchase a new timepiece.
Mrs. Rahlves joined us for the day while we toured around every section of this mountain…we found lots of windloaded sections, that however, proved to be very dangerous a couple days earlier, so we played it safe with an eye for caution.
Vistas across the valley:
Looking towards Switzerland:
Some of the wind-blown terrain traps:
Traversing out to hopefully a skiable chute….
Nice view of Hayduke’s behind….er, I mean the mountains…..
Le Tour Glacier, and the hidden chute we skied on the left…..this just proves how well Francis, our guide, knew the terrain….its the only one that has snow all the way through.
Idris’s shot from across the valley…great perspective.
Mrs. Rahlves slaying the windpack….
Shirk making it look like fun….
The midway angle….
Hicks carving up the anti-pow…..
Str8line gracing us with his gorgeous physique….er, technique….
Looking up at the Le Tour Glacier…
Breaktime in France…
Idris and his home-made Spatulettes….and yes, he rips on those things…
Posettes Chutes – 800m (2500ft) of vertical down to Vallorcine area and train back to Le Tour:
Str8line carving up the best snow of the day:
All the pitches are consistent without any flat areas….here is Hayduke looking bored:
Hicks with carving-steeze:
…..he just loves the camera doesn’t he? Thanks for the 50 Euro Hicks!
Valley pedestrian tunnel steeze:
Idris’s handsome modelling technique…
Day 5 – Aiguille Du Midi- 1035 m to 3842 m
Most of us skied to the bottom with a grand total of 9,209 feet of vertical in one run! Granted the run wasn’t too exciting, but we really didn’t have much other choices. Francis was convinced it was some of the worst coverage he’s seen up high for this time of the year….you can blame the Chinook style wind that existed the day we arrived. Oh well, at least we could ride top to bottom, in GORGEOUS BLUEBIRD WEATHER!
Since most of us were Aiguille JONGS, we took the scenic route toward the Glacier Du Geant, and down the Mer de Glace….
666 – Bored already!
Loading dock…short walk from the Best Western:
View from the mid-station….only if we had MORE SNOW!!!!
Ski the lift-line, I dare ya’….. S I C K ! Definition of Gnar…..
About half of these people are without harnesses…
View from the top…ice-cube steeze…
Couloir from the top…you’ve seen this in ski films with people rappelling down into it…but I was told its just as good to ski around.
View of the run:
My house….I’m taking roommate applications:
"Chamonix…over 9,000 vertical feet!"
I found a drum and bass club up there….not very crowded:
….classic Blizzard shot? I think so, but not sure on the names, please help:
Roo = Samuel L. Jackson!
Just don’t slip…..
As the leader of the roped crew, I thought I should screw around a little….good times.
Old mate in front of me was having some issues….sweet Jansport backpack though:
666 contemplating whether he should "ski on the ridge"…
…I kept yanking everyone to hurry up….I wanted to push Hayduke down to the midstation…I was getting sick of his British accent:
I was waiting for Plake to due some "back-handsprings over the crevasse"
Str8line likes that "YMCA" song too much….please tell him its 2006:
Another Blizzard shot…Hattrup and Plake have troubles on the chute on looker’s left…HOW I WISH THIS WAS SKIABLE!!!!!
Only open in the summer, this boring lift takes you to Helbronner and thus to Courmayeur, Italy.
First one in the crevasse wins…
Sicko mountain….lots of exposure…
Even more when you’re ice-climbing the damn thing…
At this point, Hayduke and I were BORED of the scenery…
Hicks makes his mark…
Bad_roo forgets about his knee for a photo-op:
Mer de Glace…
Francis getting serious about ice-screws…
Roo with crampon steeze…that wall was 300 ft tall!!!!!!!!
Losing light on the Mer de Glace…..grrrrrrrrreeaaatttt!
Near the bottom of the glacier…a sweet ice cave:
…it fell on shirk and killed him…
…committed left-hand turn:
Hicks in the gut…..
Skiing the road back to Chamonix…
Str8line profile shot….so serious about his work:
Day 6 – Le Brevent & La Flegere – 1032 m to 2525 m
Again….bluebird. Waited for it to soften a bit, and then rallied some piste runs from Brevent to the far side of Flegere. Wicked terrain up high on these hills….just more variable snow conditions since most of the mountain gets a lot of sun. We did some avalanche beacon searches/probing/pits today. Last run from summit to the car. Good times.
The ski fields….
How cute…the guys playing with their probes…
Nice vertical back to the carpark….Hayduke had a great time on this run:
The view of the Aiguille from across the valley…
The new anti-point…."the hand":
Hayduke went down to change…and then he blew past us on skins….go figure:
Last night in Cham….Roo ran around scaring dogs…
Roo was constipated from the weeks activities….
This guy played a nice set at La Cantina…and then I went home to pack…when I should have started working on this TR: