Posted by: sunshack | February 22, 2013

Mind Over Matter

After my skin up to the Hospice Grand St Bernard, I was very tired. So tired in fact that next morning when I met up with Chris from Tinderbox Ski School I had forgotten to pack my skins. New discipline, ski touring lesson with no skins!!

Visibility was not too bad, but for me, the light was very flat, and something was wrong with my legs, there was absolutely no life in them!

We went off piste at Le Tour Vallorcine, and dug a big snowpit, where Chris  measured the snowpack and we found 2 layers of ice crystals, which would make the snow unstable. Predictably, I fell over quite a lot whilst off piste, which meant that Chris could read his messages, while he waited for me to catch up!

Le Tour avec iPhone

Le Tour avec iPhone

We’d considered skiing all the way to the valley in Vallorcine for lunch, but the wind got stronger, and so we headed back over towards Le Tour, where we had lunch and afterwards I decided I’d had enough. I caught the Gondola back down to the car park!

By next morning after some more restorative Cakes, chocolate and a big sleep for me, we headed to Les Houches. The pistes looked in great shape here. The sun was shining, I love being able to see where I’m going!

Les Houches is nice!

The pistes were not our destination, time for more off piste, this time with more trees, and me still on my skinny touring skis!

Lets go play in the trees!

Lets go play in the trees!

This was huge fun!

This was huge fun!

Chris spotted a nice powdery slope on the other side of the railway line. So, just cross the line. The line was in a snow cutting, so the crossing involved stepping down onto the track, going across the track on skis and up the other side of the cutting, whilst watching out for trains. I was convinced the train would come along, so didn’t stop to get out my camera. I can report that crossing a train track on skis is ungainly!

Looking up from the slopes of Les Houches a building way up on a ridge was catching the sun.  At an altitude of 3835 metres this is the new Refuge du Gouter on the edge of the Arete du Gouter. Many climbers stay here before they begin the ascent of Mont Blanc. If you click on the picture, you can see the wind swirling around the snow on the mountain.

Refuge du Gouter 3835m

Refuge du Gouter 3835m

I was pretty fortunate with the view from my Hotel window. Right in town, so close to just about everything, and this was my mountain view!

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