Saturday, 21 March 2009

Hectic times!

Finally back in Bozel again after 2 weeks on the road, and with my body complaining too much I resisted an invitation to go touring with Will & Erika in favour of putting my feet up & drinking coffee...

So firstly, congratulations to Tom, Tim, Erika, Ross, Matt, Paul, Jamie and Ed on passing the BASI level 2 course I was running the last 2 weeks in Zermatt. Despite challenging conditions on week 1 the guys put in strong performances, with a memorable highlight being Tom's lesson run using only the lyrics from songs..!

We did finally see the sun on week 2, and as always the Matterhorn never fails to impress...although the East face doesn't look particularly skiable at the moment!

With 2 days off last weekend I decided to head to Chamonix for a social/play.
On Saturday we headed for an easy day out on the Glacier du Mort, finding soft wind-blown powder:

Hiking the access couloir:

Looking back to the Col Crochues, Grandes Jorasses behind:

On the ridge:

Mt Blanc as backdrop:

Ross & Al ripping the powder:

On Sunday it was time for round 2 with the Breche Martin Encrenaz. Having turned back from here earlier in the winter, but with some insider information, Ross, Oli and I sweated our way up the South couloir and back to the Breche:

The first few turns are very exposed, down a 45ยบ couloir with a 50m drop underneath, followed by a cunning move left, and a few more turns down to an abseil point off a handy rock spike.

Oli concentrating:

Working down to the abseil point:

Looking down into the lower couloir:

Oli on the abseil:

Oli enjoying the powder in the main couloir:

Ross & Olis relaxing on the open slopes below the Col de L'Encrenaz:

Looking back up at the Aiguille de L'Encrenaz, the descent takes the obvious central snowy line:

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