After lots of snow and high winds, these Alps are coated with a new white blanket of sparkling cream. It had gotten real dry, going from great spring skiing mid-April, to blackening snow and opening crevasses.
We skied off the summit of the other Bec yesterday, in strong NW winds. The north face was filled in like 20 years ago with spongey, grippy snow, making the steep and exposed upper slopes real playful. Alex and Roman started to grin ear to ear after they’d come to terms with the 300 meters of exposure, letting the skis ride over the fresh snow.
This is high time in the Alps for ski touring, safari, and haute route, and conditions are primed for some of the best in quite some time. The forecast is for beautiful blue skies and cool north east air for the next 2 weeks! I have one trip with space still available April 18-23. We will go to where conditions are best. The cost is 1’080.00 including guide fees and hut costs. Then Greenland again, April 28 – May 14 for the best skiing on the planet!
Here’s a few shots of yesterday’s two steep lines…
After an incredibly cool and wet spring, summer has arrived to these Alps. For the first time this year, steady daytime temperatures at 1500 meters are above 20 degrees. It warms the soul to see the look on everyone’s face and feel the relaxed attitude as people sit outside socializing in the evening. Verbier is filling again with people as the Music Festival gets into full swing.
After a 2 week rock climbing trip to the sea, I’ve had the opportunity to do some guiding on a few alpine routes and hikes. Vadim and I climbed the north face of the Tour Ronde between Chamonix and Courmeyeur before spending some time in Zermatt and Grindelwald. Then I did a mini Haute Route with the Summers over 3 days, alpine trecking from Mauvoisin to Chanrion, over the Pigne d’Arolla and down to Arolla. The conditions on the high glaciers are better then I have ever seen them in the 30+ years I have been here. Snow remains low on the glaciers and above 3000 meters, the skiing is still excellent!
I will be in Verbier all summer offering introductory climbing camps to people of all ages, leading people on a number of Alpine Hikes around this and neighboring valleys, and of course guiding on the 4000ers. Please contact me for detailed information.
The skiing quite simply does not get much better. With 120cm of snow coating these Alps at 2500 meters, and 40cm in the valley floors, skiing is supreme. Aside from the weekends, one has the mountain to ones self.
The foehn, which blew all weekend, has ceased this morning in Verbier. That certainly changed the snow pack. It is now snowing lightly. The forecast is calling for variable weather this week with a bit more snow towards the end of the week. But more strong winds from the SW are forecasted. The ice is getting thick!
The colors of Autumn are coming back. The grasses and Larch on the slopes of Savoleyres and Attelas are turning golden brown. The peaks are holding thier snowy coatings as Verbier sheds the long summer days.
Its been a long time since I updated this little blog on Verbier. Too much fun away, no time to restore a lost blog, and only a few photos has delayed any updates this summer.
Though the weather was generally good, timing was key in changeable forecasts to make any peaks. We climbed some fun peaks and scrambled up some fine pure rock routes. The glaciers continued their retreat, though the cooler and wetter weather meant that they were not as dry as in the past few years.