Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Haute Route Day 1

Our Haute Route began with a ride up the Grand Montets tram to the highest point of the ski area.

Young John ready for the first descent of the day with the Aiguille de Chardonnet and the Aiguille de Argentiere behind him.

Looking past the warning sign up the Argentiere glacier.

Ski tracks alongside an icefall.

Another look up the Argentiere glacier.

A gentle downhill glide across the glacier took us to our exit point directly above Dave's head here.

More amazing peaks. Aiguille Verte.

Aiguille Triolet back and Les Droites on the right.

After a short steep snow climb through the lateral moraine we donned our skis again.

Toward the next steep passage.

Random German dude skinning up behind us with the Chamonix valley below.

Looking back we started out by skiing from the upper right diagonally down to the left to the glacier.

The chute was indeed steep, but the heavy traffic had made excellent steps in the snow. Note the people below us.

Jed took this shot on the way up with Doc John, Nicki, and me.

Doc John was happy to top out!

This col was the final big climb of the day. The majestic Aiguille du Tour on the left.

Lucien was getting baked by the sun, so he covered up. Taliban man! Our col back to the right seemed a long way off.

Dave and Lucien head to the base of the col.

Lots of folks heading up and even a few were heading down.

Jed with young John and Doc John.

Descenders among beautiful granite spires.

The rest of our crew heading up.

Lucien on the top of the col.

More stunning peaks. More stunning glaciers!

Nicki enjoys this long gently downhill cruise.

After a long day we finally approached the hut.

But not before a nice little powder hill which everyone seemed to enjoy.

Lucien. Knackered and smiling - like all of us were.

The view from the hut wasn't bad.

Not sure what the significance of these statues is, but they were kind of interesting.

The deck scene.

Dave nabbed us a table with the best views.

Our party had our own room.

Dave, Jed, Young John, and Nicki rehydrate at $10 a bottle.

The weather changed abruptly.

 More rehydration. A fine swiss liqueur made with alpine herbs. Photo by Jed. My hand!

Well deserved.

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