Thursday
May292014

Surviving Chamonix

Reentry complete. I’m back to work. Doesn’t feel like I was gone that long. The transition from ski bum to working stiff was strangely painless. But I profoundly miss the excitement I felt each morning waking up in my flat, looking out of one of the roof windows and peering straight up at the summit of Mt. Blanc, wondering what the day would bring. I’d make a quick trip down to my bakery for a chocolate croissant and baguette. The walk back ascended steeply to my flat with the Bossons icefall tumbling down directly above. It’s hard to believe people can live within a stone’s throw of such severe alpine topography. But there I was living and breathing it everyday.

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Wednesday
Apr302014

Chamonix - Final Days

Mt. Blanc in the clouds and Vallee de Chamonix-Mt. Blanc

It’s ironic that winter has returned to the Haute Savoie a week before my Chamonix adventure ends. We’ve had decent snowfall with a couple of clear spells during which it’s been possible to enjoy it. It stormed hard all night and I enjoyed the sound of rain on my window, lulling me to sleep. The snow line also dropped to less than 100 meters above the valley.

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Saturday
Apr262014

Breche Puiseux

The Glacier des Periades with Col du Tacul (left) and Brech Puiseux (right)Well, the end is near. Seems long enough to me, given the snow this year. There haven't been too many storms during my stay so the skiing has been less than inspiring at times. Still, it's been pretty damn awesome and Chamonix has lived up to the hype for sure.

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Wednesday
Apr232014

Grand Paradiso, Italia

An early summer in Chamonix continues to be eminent. Warm temps and the lack of precipitation make skiing objectives less attractive. Some climbing may be in order for me before my departure on May 2. That said, I received an invite from my guide friend, Jean, for another adventure over in Italia. He has two clients in town with designs on Mt. Blanc and they need some acclimatization and touring miles before that happens.

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Saturday
Apr192014

Mt. Blanc du Tacul

Pat and I had time for one more outing before he had to leave to guide a client on the Ortler Tour in Italy. Both of us had designs on summiting Mt. Blanc and thought that doing the classic traverse would be the way to go. This route starts at the top of the Midi and hits the tops of Mt. Blanc du Tacul, Mt. Maudit and, finally, the MB. This covers significant linear distance as well as the obvious vertical.

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