Mon - January 22, 2007
Snowboard Verbier Powder
We had a fine day riding the fresh snow at the higher elevations.
High winds and 5 cm of fresh snow on Friday, amounted to 25 cm in some of the couloirs. The riding was really fun on this soft surface. It was warm, with +5 at 2000 meters.
The forecast is calling for really cold weather this week. It will start to snow tomorrow, Tuesday, and may last through Wednesday. The North wind will be blowing hard, and with the cold temperatures, will feel like -25.
View the photos
Posted at 12:15 PM
Wed - January 17, 2007
A big thank you to everyone for leaving us these classic Verbier lines!
What a blast we've been having in these here Alps. (There's no snow in the Alps! Please pass that info along...) Our snow pack has stabilized, the lower rotten layer, now bridged by the 60cm that fell last week. Davos places the level at 2.
The crowds have left, and it really feels like old Verbier. We heli skied the other day. The wind blew the snow hard and smooth up high, but left us some powder lower down. We came back to Verbier for the afternoon and found great powder off the Mont Gele. We skied some fine couloirs today. Though the light was flat, the snow was so fine. It felt like mid-winter in Verbier, couloirs to bars! The images are not great, but the ambiance was. The video adds a new twist!
View the photos.
View the video.
Posted at 10:22 PM
Wed - January 3, 2007
Winter is here!
We have a little more than a meter up on the hill and 60cm around town.
The skiing was a blast today, just as the sun was coming out. Here's a 6 shot series of Brett Thomas skiing deep powder on the Marlene.
View the photos.
The forecast calls for variable weather for the next few days. It was very windy with this last event, so there are some big drifts, creating the potential for big avalanches. We have a solid level 3 in this area.
The crowds in Verbier have been absolutely stunning these past 10 days. It should be pretty calm from Sunday on.
Posted at 01:22 PM
Sun - December 24, 2006
There still are not many people around, leaving us vast valleys, all to ourselves.
We got lucky and climbed to the head of a long valley, filled with old powder. This gave us 1500 meters of good, fun skiing, with a pot of tomato fondu at the end!
View the photos.
The weather forecast calls for more fine weather for the next few days. -8 is forecasted for the valley floors, and +5 at 2000 meters! MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Posted at 02:54 AM
Fri - December 22, 2006
One needs to stay high to find snow.
We went up to 4000 meters to find some nice powder. The ambiance was spectacular with no one for miles around.
There still is no snow in the forecast for the next few days. The ice climbing is getting very good now though. Give it a try! You will not regret it!
Posted at 08:15 PM
Tue - December 19, 2006
Ice Climbing Verbier
Better late than never!
After a really warm autumn, the waterfall ice is only now just coming into shape. Give it a few more days for most of the classic waterfalls in this Val du Bagnes to come into shape.
Posted at 09:40 PM
Mon - December 18, 2006
We skied the north side of Savoleyres on its opening day Saturday.
What fun that was! The powder skiing has been good on grassy terrain. There are plenty of rocks off piste above 2500 meters so one needs to be very careful. The front face of Mt.Fort opened with fine conditions Saturday. This is rapidly changing though, as more and more people ski.
The forecast is not very promising. We should have beautiful, sunny skies for the next 7 days. Hmmm...
Posted at 05:49 PM
Sat - December 9, 2006
2006 Verbier Season Opening
40 cm of fresh!
We had a good little gang for our first powder day off-piste in Verbier. Last run was the mega classic col at 2637 straight down to Verbier. Yahoo!
We got 30cm in Verbier last night, with 40-50 on the mountain. The forecast calls for cool sun tomorrow and warm temps next week. I like this base!
Posted at 04:00 PM
Fri - December 8, 2006
The Monastery at the col de St. Bernard
A short climb on skis to this famous monastery.
A glance out my window showed me the Foehn was up, and I was not to forget my outer layer of Gor-Tex to cut the wind.
Frank and I skinned to the col St.Bernard to start our winter season. A superb winter ambiance greeted us the moment we stepped out of the car- the wind was blowing snow everywhere!
We still do not have much snow. Skiing is possible in Verbier on artificial snow- Lac des Vaux and down to Ruinettes. But one needs to go a bit higher, say above 2500 meters, to get into the natural stuff with any depth at all. The forecast calls for more snow tonight, so things are slowly shaping up...
Posted at 12:38 PM
Sat - September 23, 2006
A Himalayan experience out my back door.
We headed to the end of our Val du Bagnes for a bit of Autumn climbing, and got a real nice Himalayan experience. This area is so wild and beautiful. There are so few visitors here, that you get the feeling you are far from civilization. The glaciers are big, and the North walls were rimmed with snow from the past week's storm. Cramponing on the lower glaciers was on perfect, frozen snow. High up, we had the ambiance of a mid-winter climb. Temperatures were real mild, so we were able to go light and stay warm.
The Foehn is with us now. 0 degrees is at 4000 meters! Climbing on the North Face of the Pierre Avoi yesterday was warm and comfortable in a t-shirt! This fine weather will deteriorate over the weekend, bringing us rain for most of next week. Temperatures will drop 9 degrees.
Winter is getting close...
Posted at 08:12 AM
Thu - September 14, 2006
The Matterhorn via the Hornli Ridge
Conditions were close to ideal on the Matterhorn.
It took us 3.5 hours to reach the summit of this fine rock. Not bad, considering we needed to queue 25 minutes at the base! On top of that, Rob was not exactly acclimatized. But the weather forecast did not allow us much time to dilly-dally. The forecast was for intense rain today, Thursday, which is what is happening now.
The limit of the rain in this radar image is just on the other side of the Monte Rosa group. But it's getting close to the 'Horn. The forecast is calling for intense flooding over the next 2 days for some parts of the Vallais. Let's hope it aint too bad.
Posted at 11:48 PM
Mon - September 11, 2006
We traversed these 2 peaks over the weekend.
Early September weather is providing fine weather for alpine climbing on these Alps. It is actually quite hot, with 0 degrees close to 4000 meters most of the days. The forecast is calling for good weather until Thursday, when the Foehn should predominate.
The Fletschhorn-Lagginhorn Traverse is a 10 hour PD route with a luxurious cable car descent. It's a great way to climb 2 4000er's in a day. (Well, the Fletschhorn is only 3997.3) It is varied, offering nice ice, easy rock climbing, and plenty of rubble-trash to traverse.
Posted at 08:40 AM
Sat - September 2, 2006
Allalinhorn Traverse- The Hohlaub Ridge
After a hot July and a cool August, September announces summer's return.
We traversed the Allalinhorn, August 31, via the Hohlaub Ridge, just a couple of days after August's last cold front left 30 cm on the peaks. Conditions were superb, offering soft snow on the lower glaciers, crunchy nevé on the upper ridge, and consolidated snow on the rock section. The climbing was classic alpine, non-fatiguing, lift accessed descent to valley beers. What more could a person want? Perfect Corsican granite?
We got that too, hiking to the Almageller Hut and climbing the super, structured, granite just behind the cabin. This place offers simply the best granite climbing anywhere. And the hut is 5 minutes away.
The weather forecast is calling for warm, summer weather for the rest of the week!
Posted at 06:58 AM
Thu - August 24, 2006
Mont Dolent Attempt- Pure Rock
The rock climbing was nice, but the forecast is pretty bleak for the next few days.
Hence I had a look at what I've been up to these past few days. A bit of rock climbing and a try on the Mt.Dolent among other things.
It looks like the weather will be quite unsettled for the next 4 days at least. The south side of the Alps will see better weather. Snow will fall from 2500 meters here in the north. July, so hot and dry, left us with a cool and wet August. This has coated the alpine ridges with up to a meter of new snow in places. As a result, the classic lines over the Valaisanne Alps are out of shape.
Posted at 05:28 PM
Fri - August 11, 2006
Pure Rock, Via Ferrata, Mountain Biking and Sailing Week
We set out to climb high, but pulled off quite a variant- climbing, sailing and free-ride mountain biking appears to have quite a future in Verbier.
The snows of Thursday, August 3rd, put a damper on many of the high, alpine peaks. We improvised with some downhill biking, via ferrata, sailing, and multi-pitch climbing- all within 5 days. The surrounding hills and lakes of Verbier offer some pretty fun activities if one is willing to improvise! A short video of the sail showed the mellow winds we had before it really started to blow on Lake Geneva.
The forecast is pretty dismal. It's snowing at around 2600m now. Expect it to warm a bit and blow hard from the South as the Foehn kicks in.
Posted at 10:26 AM