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Alps Mountain Meet March 2010 Chamonix and Tignes France


(photo: Annette Meesters)
News of our recent expedition: Alps Mountain Meet March 2010
27 February to 13 March, 2010
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Dispatches: Please click one of the links below to go directly to that dispatch or just scroll down.

13 March: Dan dropped Andy and Bob at the Geneva Airport, then spent the day exploring Geneva.

 

Susnset through the Aguille Percee at Tignes, (Susan Koelewijn). Master skiier, Jan Midde, skiing powder on the Sainte Foye Traverse (Dan Mazur).

12 March: team skied to Italy on the Helbronner traverse from the Aguille du Midi, then rode the cable car down to Courmeyeur, Italy, had dinner, then Gill Browder kindly gave them a ride back through the Mont Blanc Tunnel. back to top

 

Putting on all skiis and harness, top of Vallee Blanche (Richard Wharram). Helicopter makes a bold take off from the Argentiere icefall (Dan Mazur).

11 March: team rode the funiculair train and the chair lift to the mer du glace and practiced avalanche and crevasse rescue techniques, then rode the train back down to town. back to top

10 March. We split into two groups. Group 'a' went to the cremerie for a three pitch ice climb, and group 'b' went to Argentiere, rode the cable car to the top of the Grande Montets, and skied down the Pas du Chevre, crossing the Mer du Glace and climbing up to the Buvette hut, then skiing down the road. back to top

 

Summit of Mont Blanc, seen through the Gervasutti Col (Dan Mazur). Sunset on the Aguille du Midi (Andy Slater).

9 March. We went up to Aguille d'Midi, in an effort to cross to Italy, then take Helbronner cable car to Courmayeur, then take the Mont Blanc tunnel back from Italy to Chamonix. Unfortunately, once reaching the top of the Aguille, it was very windy and cold, with blowing snow, clouds, and high winds, and we decided it would not be safe, so we descended to Chamonix and had a cup of tea in a cozy tea shop. back to top

8 March. We went up to Aguille d'Midi and skied down the Valee Blanche on the Mer du Glace. It was a stellar sunny day, no clouds, no winds, and the weather was warm and the snow was surprisingly very good. We skied all the way to the bottom of the Mer de Glace, then climbed the hill to the restaurant, then skied/walked down the road to Plan Arc ski area, then down the pistes into town and walked back to the car. A long and lovely day. back to top

 

Team looking at the Ggervasutti couloir, where Edouard Baud passed away in a skiing accident. Our respects to the Baud familie (Dan Mazur). On the Ssainte Foy traverse (Susan Koelewijn).

7 March. We went to Les Houches, rode the Bellevue Cable Car and enjoyed a lovely day of skiing in beautiful warm weather and had delicious Savoyard lunch while gazing at the incredible flanks of Mont Blanc. back to top

6 March. We had a leisurely morning at Chalet Chardons then piled into the hire car and drove down to Albertville and up to Chamonix, where we arrived at our lovely Gite de Etape: La Tapia. Its so good to be here! back to top

5 March. Today was windy and cold but very beautiful. We skied all around the massive Tignes ski centre, crossing into Val d'isere as well, and we found powder, thanks to our fabulous ski scout Mark. back to top

4 March. It was cloudy and snowing today. We skinned up to Les Boisses and then toward the Nature Reserve above Breviere. We dug avalanche snow pits and tested the layers, with a 'skier test'. We chose an especially steep slope for the test and were surprised at how stable the snow seemed. back to top

3 March. We all went ice climbing, together with some of the great staff at the Chalet Chardons, and everyone enjoyed the solid ice top-ropeing in the Val d'isere canyon, above the tignes reservoir. We climbed on two different pitches, one a stair-steppy sort of affair and the other a more vertical ice pitch. Both were well protected from the top with chains attached to trees. During the climb we spotted an incredible site, a massive lammergeier bird (I think its known as a 'Gepey' in French) carrying a freshly caught mouse in its mouth. The bird had an orange head and a grey body and it must have had a wingspan of 1.7 metres or more. this bird floated slowly and stately past us with not even a flap of its wings at a distance of around 10 metres. truly a close encounter with gorgeous nature. back to top

2 March. Today was lovely and clear and we made a stunning tour from Sainte Foye to La Piguette. Along the way we skied beautiful powder and visited the ancient primitive town of La Monal. It was really fun and we checked a lot of varied conditions, including deep powder, mountain roads, and skied all the way into the valley. we never saw another person the entire time on the tour. we really had the mountains to ourselves. back to top

1 March. Today was gorgeous and sunny and we skied all around Tignes ski area and explored Val d'isere as well. Also we road a cable car to the top of the Grande Motte (twice!). it was a stunning day with lots of visibility, and no winds. It was very warm. A perfect day in the Alps. back to top

28th February. We skied Tignes and Val D'isere today and explored the area. back to top

27th February. We arrived in Geneva today, picked up the hire car, drove to Tignes, got our rooms at the Chalet Chardons, and then went out for a short evening skinning session to Les Boisses before dinner. back to top

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