Friday 4 February 2011

Couloir skiing in Switzerland – Part 1 – Good snow, beautiful surroundings and an easy day in good company.

I just got back from Switzerland and a two-day ski mountaineering adventure in Chablais and the mountains des Dents du Midi together with friends Stéphane Shaw and Felix Hentz. We took the train yesterday (Wednesday), before noon in Chamonix direction Marecottes. On arrival in this beautiful little village we walked up to the ski station to get up in to the mountains. From the top of the ski area we continued over the back of the mountain via a couloir skiing great snow all the way down to the lake Salanfe, then traversing the lake and climbing the other side to the Refuge Dents du Midi. Surprised by the standard and the location of this little hut we enjoyed a three course meal with red wine planning the next days adventures skiing some of the classic couloirs of the Chablais region starting just a few hundred meters from the hut.

It was a dream coming true to finally be skiing in this region so near to Chamonix, but still so completely different. We did not see another human being on the whole trip, and the mountain have another feel to them resembling more the mountains back in Sweden or the Italian Dolomites. And of course being able to cruise good snow in easy terrain a month after snowfall feels much more like Scandinavia than mountains a few kilometres away from Grand Montets.

The story from the next day is coming up shortly… 

On the train Chamonix - Marecottes

Hungry train driver 

 Walking trough Marecottes

Lift ride 

 Hiking above Marecottes

Happy boys

Les Dents du Midi, we skied down to the lake and ascended the other side, the hut is on the big plateau just before the peaks

Steph skiing

Traversing the lake

Refuge Dents du Midi 

Appero with wine and grapes planing the next day

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