Chamonix is the magic destination for most of us and yet I had never been in the promised mountains. But the spell has been broken and now I’m bound to that place!
The Massif du Mont Blanc hosts not only the highest mountains but also one of the most rugged ranges within the Alps. In combination of very easy accessibility by lifts it is a true land of dreams…
The first day we did a smaller tour to the Pointe de la Terrasse just above Vallorcine with our locally based Russian friends to catch up on old times and to get to know the region and snowconditions. Seeing all the infamous couloirs and steep faces we decided to give the Aiguille d’Argentière a try on the next day and started our adventure early in the morning to catch the first tram.
The way up to Grands Montets on 3300m was very quiet and we had plenty of time to toll the mountains and the first rays of sun our respect. Finally on our skis and fighting against the bitter cold wind to get down to 2500m on Glacier d’Argentiére we knew that chances on summiting were good if we just went at a fast enough pace. It went very well and progress was fast up to about 3700m where making switchbacks became impossible by the hard snow and the 45° slope. The following bootpack slowed us down as things don’t go as easy as normal on such an altitude. Step for step we plunged our crampons and ice axes into the hard snow and especially the last meters at just above 3900m demanded full concentration and all the strengt of us.
A bit tense at first but full of stoke we got on our skis and what came after was simply incredible: A first class technical descent on hard but grippy snow with complete focus on every single turn! On what other skitour do you get a 3350m verticals downhill?!
Chamonix has captuered my interest and the technical high-alpine paradise won’t have to wait too long for me coming back!!!