Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Haute Route Day 3

After a grey, wet day in Verbier the next morning dawned crisp and clear. We rode the gondola up from town and waited at a mid station for the tram to open. Sipping espresso while nibbling good croissants and taking in the incredible views was a fine way to start the day!

Looking southwest to where we came from. The Mt Blanc area.

and the view south to the Grand Combin.

and zoomed in.

After our pleasant wait we boarded this enormous tram car.

The view of our route from the tram.

Isaac looks ready.

A lone skier skins up below the slopes used in extreme skiing competitions. Big terrain!

Nearing the top of the Cod de la Chaux. Down from where we came.

Almost there.

and the view ahead of us.

We got a few nice turns in before beginning our next ascent.

Jed admires the day.

As does Dave.

The skin track seemed especially aesthetic.

About to top out on the Col de Momin with Mont Fort in the back right.

Our group begins the crossing of the Grand Desert glacier.

The group split here with Dave, John, and Gavin heading for the hut and the rest of us heading up to Rosablanche.

Jed, Isaac, and Nicki carry on with a bit of wind up near the ridge.

The summit of Rosablanche involves a short steep climb with a bit of exposure.

The mountains to the east included the venerable Matterhorn, the distant, darker triangle almost dead center.

Jed was digging it.

We were fortunate to have the summit to ourselves which gave Isaac room to celebrate.

  Luciene was kind enough to take this one of me.

Most significant peaks in the alps have a cross of some sort on their summits. This one was a bit different.

Isaac and Nicki were super stoked too.

The skiing below the summit was great right off the bat. Lucien shreds.

Jed shreds down the upper portion of  the Grand Desert glacier.

 The skiing was so good and the setting was spectacular. Isaac and Nicki.

Isaac goes switch. Why not?

 One of the best runs ever!

 Heading back up before the descent of the Prafleuri glacier to the hut.

Lucien checked out this military outpost on the shoulder of Rosablanche.

and enjoyed more truly fine skiing.

Must've got a little pow on the lens - sorry about the smudge in the next few pics!

Looking down at the Prafleuri hut low right before our last pitch.

A nice afternoon for kicking it on the deck!

 The crew settles in for dinner.

Once the sun left, the deck cleared out.

Went for a little after dinner stroll behind the hut.

Simply a perfect day in the mountains!

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