Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 27
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650

    Chamonix April 15-25th 2019

    Finally made it to Chamonix. Shit is crazy. A few pictures to share with you guys.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Rental Car.jpg 
Views:	146 
Size:	724.5 KB 
ID:	280230
    So I flew into Milan and met up with 3 friends. We loaded the clown car, bought some laundry line and tied our skis to the roof and set off for the Mt. Blanc Tunnel.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	token tourist pick.jpg 
Views:	144 
Size:	672.5 KB 
ID:	280231
    Two of us being first timers we had to do the token picture pose from Blizzard of Ahhhhs
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Lunchday1.jpg 
Views:	128 
Size:	368.8 KB 
ID:	280232
    Day one easy skin up the Grand Montet, had some lunch sitting skiers left of the Glacier des Rognons before we skied back down.
    Day 2 we were off to Les Houches, big day, we summited 3 peaks, ending in some tiny town where we caught a train back to Chamonix, I don't know the name of crap because the mountains are huge the names are confusing and I haven't had time to look shit up yet. A few pics from the day.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Day2.jpg 
Views:	126 
Size:	613.1 KB 
ID:	280233
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0724.jpg 
Views:	123 
Size:	516.6 KB 
ID:	280234
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0718.jpg 
Views:	122 
Size:	531.3 KB 
ID:	280235
    The one thing that got me is the sheer size of everything. The pictures don't do any of it justice. These mountains are bigger and steeper than anything I have skied before. Day two we logged 9 miles and 22,000 vert.

    I will post more in a bit.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Day Three off to our hut Cabane du Vélan — in Bourg-Saint-Pierre, Switzerland. Started skinning from the car, switched to hiking on dirt for about 2 miles then back to snow.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0503.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	880.9 KB 
ID:	280238
    A few creek crossing here and there
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0759.jpg 
Views:	111 
Size:	974.3 KB 
ID:	280239
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5706.jpg 
Views:	128 
Size:	454.1 KB 
ID:	280236
    Follow my buddies pole, zoom way in and you will see the hut up on the ridge
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0770.jpg 
Views:	107 
Size:	533.8 KB 
ID:	280240
    Final ridge to the hut, at this point the pucker factor is fully engaged, wind got super gusty and the entire sloped we just skinned up is boilerplate, you loose it on this track you are going for a very fast and far ride.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0516.jpg 
Views:	105 
Size:	603.6 KB 
ID:	280237
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5707.jpg 
Views:	105 
Size:	275.2 KB 
ID:	280241
    Last edited by easyrdr; 04-27-2019 at 04:35 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Gale force winds all night at the hut. None of us slept much. We were forced to bail on the days objective due to said wind. So we waited for first light then went back the way we came. First part was super sketch so no pictures of it.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0794.jpg 
Views:	105 
Size:	893.4 KB 
ID:	280249
    then back to the creek crossings
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0530.jpg 
Views:	109 
Size:	1.02 MB 
ID:	280250
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0524.jpg 
Views:	103 
Size:	1.12 MB 
ID:	280251
    and a few grass crossing for good measure
    Not to be deterred by the weather we decided to take a chance and hit Verbier.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5719.jpg 
Views:	106 
Size:	376.2 KB 
ID:	280252
    nice view of the Matterhorn from the top of Verbier

    Verbier is fucking huge, rode to the top and skied off the backside, it was absolutely terrifyingly steep. I now realize none of my pictures do anything justice because the only time my camera was out is when I wasn't scared. All the crazy shit/cool shit I have no photographs because I was just trying to focus on not getting dead.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0537.jpg 
Views:	107 
Size:	570.1 KB 
ID:	280253
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0543.jpg 
Views:	105 
Size:	411.4 KB 
ID:	280254
    We came onto one pitch when we saw a guy in a heap 3000ft below. He was at the bottom of a bullet proof 50 degree slope, there was a line of blood in the snow for probably 2000ft of it. Within minutes a helicopter came and got him. Watching him get lifted out of there and having to cross his blood trail to get up and out of there made for a mentally tough afternoon to say the least.
    Last edited by easyrdr; 04-27-2019 at 02:55 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Day 4 We return to Grand Montet for a big tour. Skinned up to where we were the first day, skied down and crossed the Glacier d'Argentiere.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5315.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	695.1 KB 
ID:	280260
    The glacier rising up behind us is what we are about to climb up.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_5847.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	528.3 KB 
ID:	280261
    this photo is taken after the first pitch up the glacier looking back on what we skied down from Grand Montet
    Once on top, time to leave France and repel into Switzerland
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0935.jpg 
Views:	102 
Size:	626.4 KB 
ID:	280266
    From there we skied across a glacier before climbing back up into France.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0956.jpg 
Views:	104 
Size:	498.5 KB 
ID:	280267
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG_0957.jpg 
Views:	99 
Size:	846.1 KB 
ID:	280268
    once at the top of the third pitch of the day we then had to down climb about 200ft of loose granite to get back on the glacier. This is me smiling and for those that know me I smile like only when I'm scared.
    Once at the bottom of the pitch we were standing on the largest glacier/snowfield I have ever laid eyes on and one of the longest continuous downhills I have ever had the pleasure of skiing. It was the Aguille du Chardonnett, we skied it top to bottom. It was sketchy enough that between all of us we didn't take a single picture of it.

    All in all the people that call these mountains home are total badasses. In the 11 days I was in Chamonix I only slept through the night one day and that was the day I knew I wasn't skiing the following day. I was scared everyday I was there, it was a healthy scared but man I was blown away at the intensity of these mountains. I quickly learned what I would call a 10 in difficulty in Utah or Colorado was maybe a 4 or 5 in Chamonix. For those of you that haven't been go now before you get to old and to smart to do it. I pulled this trip off at 42 years of age, a cool ass wife willing to let me go and 3 children that were convinced I was leaving to go die in the mountains all the more amazing because I live in Michigan and ski about 5 days a year. I trained 6 months for it and managed to summit 8 peaks in 6 days. One of the best trips of my life.
    Last edited by easyrdr; 04-27-2019 at 03:45 PM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Donostia - San Sebastián
    Posts
    56
    Quote Originally Posted by easyrdr View Post
    All in all the people that call these mountains home are total badasses. In the 11 days I was in Chamonix I only slept through the night one day and that was the day I knew I wasn't skiing the following day. I was scared everyday I was there, it was a healthy scared but man I was blown away at the intensity of these mountains. I quickly learned what I would call a 10 in difficulty in Utah or Colorado was maybe a 4 or 5 in Chamonix. For those of you that haven't been go now before you get to old and to smart to do it. I pulled this trip off at 42 years of age, a cool ass wife willing to let me go and 3 children that were convinced I was leaving to go die in the mountains all the more amazing because I live in Michigan and ski about 5 days a year. I trained 6 months for it and managed to summit 8 peaks in 6 days. One of the best trips of my life.

    Well said and it looks like the 6 month's training were worth it! Thumbs up!!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    6,013
    So sick Easy! Total legend.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Aspen
    Posts
    670
    Love the recap and honesty. Good on you guys for keeping it going despite the foehn and pucker factor! We made our first trip there last year and it's def a must-go place.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    flatland
    Posts
    2,833
    high consequence availability, un-quantifiable. First time, I was 35. changed my skiing forever. I'm 60... the post superman factor is humbling.

    solid report
    "knowledgeable in escapades of the flesh"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Before
    Posts
    20,174
    w000t! The Alps r00l, huh?
    Merde De Glace On the Freak When Ski
    >>>200 cm Black Bamboo Sidewalled DPS Lotus 120 : Best Skis Ever <<<

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Posts
    61
    Damned awesome.
    Love Cham reports.
    Do what you like. Try not to arbitrarily be an ass. -- skizix

    the bumps are just better without hooveprints in them. -- lightranger

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Quote Originally Posted by Buster Highmen View Post
    w000t! The Alps r00l, huh?
    mind blown!!!!!! now just have to figure out how to get back.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Paper St. Soap Co.
    Posts
    2,322

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bottom feeding
    Posts
    7,150
    You're funny. Post more TR's. Yup it's steep. (But then there's pretty good food too.)
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Spokane/Schweitzer
    Posts
    5,109
    Great report! Good on you for getting it done while you're young enough to pull it off. Good luck in getting back there, again someday. Having never skied there myself, I can only imagine the pucker factor (I've been there and went up Aguille du Midi but it was summer and I didn't ski) when looking at that terrain. I'd love to pull that off but, it's never gonna happen. Congrats on a great trip.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Plugboots you speak the truth, food was awesome.

    Goldmember after thinking about it over the last few days all I want to do is go back. Figure it out, make the trip even if you stick to the lifts system the terrain is awesome and you could dial it up or down accordingly.

    Surprisingly it wasn't any more expensive than a trip out west. Airfare was the same as to Colorado for me and the lift tickets and lodging were cheap, hotel we booked was $50/night and lift tickets were anywhere from $16 to $45 ($16 was for the single ride up so we could tour)

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Spokane/Schweitzer
    Posts
    5,109
    Quote Originally Posted by easyrdr View Post
    Goldmember after thinking about it over the last few days all I want to do is go back. Figure it out, make the trip even if you stick to the lifts system the terrain is awesome and you could dial it up or down accordingly.
    Nah, not going to happen. I've been down this path before, even with a friend who would guide me but, not getting it past the wife. She would want to go but doesn't want to ski what I want, doesn't want to ski alone, and doesn't know what she'd do with the time if she wasn't skiing...it's a long story how it got to this but let's just say, I may have abused my kitchen pass with numerous heli and cat trips in BC. Also, on the cost side, since I am on the west coast, it's probably double the travel expense that you have. I just have to live vicariously through the eyes of others.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    BoZone
    Posts
    409
    Nice...was just there myself with the Mrs. for the first time (skiing) April 12-16th and just got home after extending the non skiing portion of our trip to Annecy, Lyon, Arles and Paris. Hoping to get some photos up soon. I'm 50 and glad to have gone while I am relatively young, fit and active. Mind-blowing scenery and culture and we will return!
    Buy the ticket...take the ride.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    679
    Very nice trip report and great photos! Chamonix really is something special. The unlimited quantity of "you can't handle it" kind of terrain does something too you. And seeing that there are tons of people, virtually unknown and without sponsors etc, who _can_ handle it like it's kindergarden, is very humbling indeed. I also like the town in it self. You meet a lot of great people there!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    LiveLarger, I can't shake the place from my head. The town, the people, the resident badass's, the food, the lift system, the exposure, the intensity. If I got there 20 years ago I don't think I would have left. I am already working on convincing my wife to let me go next year.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Bottom feeding
    Posts
    7,150
    By all means go to Chamonix, but try another town or area as well.
    Well maybe I'm the faggot America
    I'm not a part of a redneck agenda

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Quote Originally Posted by plugboots View Post
    By all means go to Chamonix, but try another town or area as well.
    I am not micro focused on returning to Chamonix as much as another trip to the alps. It's stupid how many options there are, picking the next location will not be easy.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    In a Subaru, heading North
    Posts
    365
    Nice TR...my wife and I did a Paris/Chamonix trip last season (first time in the Alps) and it was amazing. Stuck to only lift serve (wasn't there long enough to get involved in bigger plans, plus she doesn't BC ski), but with only 3 days of skiing the lift serve was plenty to fill up my ski days and have a first time Alps experience. Love the general ski culture of the Alps and how it wasn't just about the skiing itself.

    Did you hire guides for these tours?

    As I look ahead to a future Alps trip, question I have for a lot of your guys posting trip reports like this: How do you go about figuring out where to tour, finding guides, knowing where you are going, what you're doing etc etc when going to a region like this for the first time?

    This TR is a good example of that I think...seems like you knew what you were doing and where you were going and how to make it happen and work out, yet you said it was your first time there. Would seem the sheer size of the BC, combined with language barrier on signage etc would make this pretty overwhelming to go into the BC. (hence why I asked above if you hired guides) etc.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Posts
    679
    I'm not OP, but In general, this is how it works:


    Quote Originally Posted by ADKmike View Post
    Did you hire guides for these tours?
    Depends! Are you comfortable with glacier travel, crevasse rescue, being in the high mountains with exposure, no avalanche control, quickly changing weather, route finding in these environments when you can't see shit and are blasted with cold winds etc? And are equipped to do so? Then by all means, go without a guide.


    Quote Originally Posted by ADKmike View Post
    How do you go about figuring out where to tour
    Guidebooks or eg: https://www.camptocamp.org/

    Quote Originally Posted by ADKmike View Post
    finding guides
    There is one main guide company in Chamonix, and several other smaller ones. It's my impression that most of the guides who are from the region, work for the main one. It's called Le comagnie des guides de Chamonix. https://www.chamonix-guides.com/

    These are all UIAGM mountain guides, which basically means you are next level badass and can be expedition leader, lead guide in Himalaya or whatever like it's kindergarden. They will take you ski touring, steep skiing etc, if they find you good enough.


    Quote Originally Posted by ADKmike View Post
    knowing where you are going
    This is where the guide comes in. If you don't know the answer, hire a guide.

    Quote Originally Posted by ADKmike View Post
    what you're doing etc etc when going to a region like this for the first time?
    Start researching for the classics. In Cham, that includes eg Valle Blanche (tons of variations from very easy to pretty steep), Glacier rond, Cosmiques couloir etc etc. There are just soo much. Fatmap is a good app for checking out things close to the resort. But bear in mind, that even if it's marked there, it doesn't mean it's safe. It can be very much deadly. But gives you an idea.

    For touring it's just soo many options. Look at camp to camp, or hire a guide.

    Edit: I forgot, this map is great when you are planing: https://map.geo.admin.ch It's swizz, but it covers Cham as well and is the best/most detailed I was able to find.

    Edit2: Also good for researching stuff you want to do, guide or not: http://www.chamonixtopo.com/
    Last edited by LiveLarger; 05-11-2019 at 08:06 AM.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    lakeside
    Posts
    650
    Quote Originally Posted by ADKmike View Post
    Did you hire guides for these tours?
    The short answer, we hired a guide for the sketch ball days and didn't for what we felt comfortable with. There were 4 of us, two of us first timers the other two had been there twice each. We studied topo maps and discussed the next days objectives every night, knew our options when we set out and had plans A, B, C, and D in place to address whatever was thrown our way. We had two days where plan A was a go, the rest were plan B and our final day was plan D.
    For any first timer I would recommend a guide, the exposure and sheer size is so different than your home mountain it is the only way to go. The days we didn't have a guide I was still touring with guys on routes they had done before so we had some idea of what to expect.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Up in ya face!
    Posts
    3,448
    Dope. Thanks for the write up.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •