Glacier Mort & Col du Belvédère

Glacier Mort & Col du Belvédère

When your aiming to do two Aiguille Rouge tours in one day you need everything to fall into place. Getting to Brevent at 8:45 without my ski pass was not a good start. Running to Cham sud for a lift home and back to Brevent I caught up with the boys at the top of Floria drag just before 10am.

We were quick up the first col and then the Mort bootpack was also dealt with in 25 mins. The snow on the descent was variable. Chalky snow at the top with some nice powder pockets, some wind slab and nice spring snow. Flying down through the trees we caught the 12:18 bus back to Argentiere and after getting some food we were back at Flegere about 13:30.

Heading back up the Floria drag lift and traversing to where you start the skin to the Col things were starting to get very hot.

We started the 1 hour skin to Belvedere in roasting hot sun. We were feeling pretty good at the start but the sun took its toll on James and I and we started to slow down falling behind Tim who was cruising off in the distance. When we reached the top we saw the side slipped entrance and wished we had brought a rope and a harness. Using the fixed 60m rope we slowly made our way down the icy gully and just about managed to ski from where that ended. Nice chalky snow again down the north face and similar snow as the Mort descent. We made it back to Buet for the 16:18 bus. Very sweaty, very smelly and very tired. A massive day touring in the Rouge. Thanks to the boys for more fun in the sun.

Midi conditions update.

On wednesday Me and Sleigh skied over 11,000m descent and about 70km off the midi. He had to ski 4 midi laps for a bet and I had nothing better to do. Valley Blanche, Petit Envers, Grand Envers and Gros Rognon. The conditions were all the same. Hard snow and wind blown. Deep mogles by the requin and a slushy James Bond track. All good fun and a real test of the legs.

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This morning I also went up and climbed the Cosmiques Arete. Perfect conditions. Firm consolidated snow and very well filled in. Think climbing season might be upon us if we don’t get any new snow!

Glacier Rond

Getting a text wake up at 7am is never good, Unless its from Pete and it says “Do you fancy the Rond?”. I was not planning on skiing this morning but it was clear and conditions looked good so I thought it would be good to get up there and enjoy the mountain.

Getting to the Midi for 7:50 and Pete was queuing for tickets. After I saw he had a couple of number 12’s I whipped out a couple of spare number 9’s from last week! First Bin! Getting crammed in with a couple of guided groups and the French Army was good fun and we were first down the arete. Breaking the trail around to the Rond we started down the upper slopes only to find 6-8inches of fresh snow, that sluffed, on a super firm/icy base. After 20m of dodgy side slipping I decided that with no edges on my skis I would be better down climbing, so after a couple of hair raising moments on the transition I had my crampons on and began the down climb. Pete carried on down just below me with his nice sharp edges then I put my skis back on about 50m above the exit couloir.

Despite being first to the Rond we had been overtaken by 3 people by the time we reached the exit couloir. They set off down the exit in what looked like deep cold snow, and by the time we combat skied our way through the rocks we confirmed that it was!

With only 3 tracks down the exit we had lots of fresh and then upon the exit we could see that they had put the traverse to the Para face in for us. This was the first time for me down the west side of the midi this year and after doing it with Tom Grant last year I remembered how good this face was. Huge open fields of nice boot deep powder and no-one else around! Finishing back at the Midi at 12:30 it had taken 3 hours for the descent, Straight home and on a bus to Geneva, now very tired at work! Thanks for a fun morning Pete and I need to go and sharpen my edges, Local CHX i’m looking your way!

Click Here to read what pete had to say about our day up the mountain, also he has a pretty cool short film about the Rond.

This one was for Dave. An amazing guy who will be greatly missed by many. Thoughts go out to his Family and all those that were lucky enough to ski, drink or party with him.

Please read Lornes write up.

http://www.lornecameron.com/2014/rip-david-tapsfield/