I guess the guys thought I was handy enough to have around to bury myself putting in boot packs that they invited me back for another trip through the tunnel to check out another cool summit, this time above Courmayeur. Mt. Fallare is a popular hiking destination in the summer with a nice Euro-style hut not far from the base.
When I started thinking about things to ski when I got to Chamonix, a list of classics came to mind. But little did I know that the first locals I would meet would be more interested in skiing out-of-the-way objectives in Italy. Jean, Fred and Roman all favor the less crowded side of Mt. Blanc and are keen on long days and high adventure. I was game.
Got up motivated for another tour on the Vallee Blanche with plans on hitting some powder up a side cirque we spied the day before. But the winds were ripping up high and the Midi tram was only going to l'Aiguille du Plan. So, I busted over to the other side of the valley to ski groomers and some side piste at Brevent.
Rene and I met for coffee at his small apartment above the Gare des Glacier, the place where I will live for most of the next 2 months. The space is unique is that it was build in the 1920’s as the first tram station for the Aiguille du Midi cable car. It was ready for the 1924 Olympics held in the valley. Since then it was decommissioned and the tram station relocated down the street about a mile. It fell into complete disrepair and was falling apart when Rene took on the task of renovating it. The tenancy is a bit complicated but part of it is rented out to chuckleheads like me.
Wow. After months of dreaming and a few more months of planning, scheming, pleading and, by the good grace of those involved, I’m finally on my way to the Alps. It didn’t really hit me until today in the Seattle airport. After flying in from Anchorage I walked up the stairs to the international gates, heard my name being called on the overhead and saddled up to the gate. I was expecting some sort of unfortunate news. It was over an hour until boarding so what else could it be, right? Nope. No problem. They just wanted to check me in. And as I walked away from the desk it suddenly hit me that I was about to fly a good ways around the globe to play for 2 months. Indulgent? Absolutely.