Whenever I disappear into these hills with a group of like minded souls, I come away realising that my time spent with these people is the most important part of my experience.
I skin up, breaking trail in a total white out, looking at the terrain above me, wondering where my skis will take me, gradually, one step at a time, conscious of the sound of the steps behind me, instinctively feeling my way upward, listening to my left ski as it guides me to where I want to go. The reward of climbing a steep slope without the need to make a kick turn because my skis have married the slope, effortlessly up. Lucky to be with like minded people, who dare to stick their necks out and commit to 7 days in the high mountains, knowing that it could be quite shite, sahara sand, storm force winds, thick fog.
We started in Chamonix, finding excellent spring snow for our warm up day. Then quickly changed our first two days to one, traversing through the col du Passon and onto Trient Hut in one day, a big day as the cloud ceiling went from blue bird, enough to warm the snow climb, then lower down to snow and sepia light with the 3rd sahara sand event of the winter. Next day, over the col des Ecandies, cramponless on snowed-over rocks, hanging hard on the fixed ropes, to Verbier, canceling our plan via the Valsorey, so sad to get weathered off that route. Still reading the forecast as heavier and heavier snow is forcasted, high avalanche danger, visible, weak bridges over crevasses becoming invisible, total whiteout, snow, fog to the top of the Rosablanche, summiting, then catching one ray of sunshine, shining it’s white light down upon us as we ski on lovely white 15cm of fresh snow, then dark again all the way to La Tzoumaz, plan D, go to Italia! The amazing Bezzi hut, 5 course meals, Pierre Georgio’s hospitality, and the forecasted bluebird powder for two days of magnificent ski touring, then back home to Bagnes, finishing with an amazing day helisking off the Petit Combin in January-like deep powder!!!
But I got ahead of myself, because my point was, that being with 5 people, like minded, sitting around a table, every evening, talking about life’s experiences, accomplishments, face plants, family and friends, that’s what this is all about. Taking what you get and running with it. It may not be the Haute Route you thought it would be, but my goodness, the places we’ve been, the suffering we endure (for short periods of time) and the people we shared experiences with , this is what I love about trips like these.
Thank you so much Steve, Ross, Lincoln, Karl and Johan for such an amazing adventure. “Every day felt like two.” So many experiences crammed into 8 days. I’m so happy to have this day off to reflect… Peace Man.