Lately the weather has been great in Chamonix. Memories of a past season of powder skiing are slowly fading away and the high mountains have been calling out for alpine adventures.
I have done my best to use the weather windows combining my passion for mountain skiing with training for the upcoming guide exams this spring. Within the span of a week I’ve been on Aiguille Verte (100 meter from the summit), Aiguille Argentiere and Aiguille du Tour – not to do anything extreme, but to just spend time up high, do some turns and practice my short roping skills.
Usually a streak of days spent up high tends to lead to some interesting outcomes, and yesterday was not an exception from that tendency. It actually came to be my best ski-mountaineering day in a very long time, including some of the tings I really love about being in the mountains; esthetics, surprises, mind games and good company.
I set out with Isaac Doude van Troostwijk to do some short roping training on Arête de Rochefort, one of the most esthetic ridgelines in the Alps. Situated between Dent du Géant and Aiguille Rochefort and just below 4000 meters it lingers it way on the French-Italian border giving birth to space on its flanks.
We effectively scaled the ridge with snow well above our knees, and then, did a climbing traverse over to Mont Mallet’s north ridge. From here we did seven short rappels down to her shoulder and skied the couloir that lies hidden on her northwest face.
Knee deep perfect powder awaited us as we skied down the couloir at sunset down to Glacier des Periades and then further down the Vallé Blanche down to Chamonix.
This is the ultimate ski-mountaineering day for me, combining first class easy alpine climbing, with a most probable new variation to one of the most sheltered and esthetic couloirs in the massif. It’s great to reinstate that there is always powder somewhere if you search for it and for my own experience I’m really happy to still, after all this time in Chamonix, being able to find new surprises in the Mt Blanc massif.