Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route • March 31 to April 7, 2005

In the spring 2005 season we skied two Haute Route trips. On our first we were joined by Susan Lowery from Connecticut, and a veteran of many adventures with us, Fred Larke of Denver, Skip Edmonds from the Seattle area, Tom Thornsteinson of Bermuda, Malcolm Moore of Marlboro Vermont, and Mitch Karadanis from Reno, Nevada.

Though the season had been pretty dry, the few days before we all gathered in Chamonix we got a fair bit of snow. In fact we were concerned that the weather might not clear up in time. Our first day in the Vallée Blanche gave us heavily overcast skies. But after that, it was blue sky every day, finally being chased down into Zermatt with the next storm on our tails.

Other Recent Trips

The cast of characters... From left to right we have Fred (always identifiable in his red jacket) Skip, Malcolm, Kathy, Tom, Susan and Mitch. Here we pose in front of the Matterhorn at the Col de Valpelline - our last day of skiing on the tour.


Day one in the VallÈe Blanche. Skiing into the Requin hut for lunch. The weather was pretty overcast all day, but the views were still impressive.


On day one of the tour proper we broke out of the cloud on the telepherique and enjoyed amazing good snow on the descent of the Grands Montets to the Argentière Glacier. Here we skin up to the Col du Chardonnet.


After crossing the Col, we head across the Saleina Glacier to the Fenêtre de Saleina, the steep pass up and left.


Crossing the Plateau d Trient not far from the Trient hut.


The Aiguille du Tour. This photo was taken not far from the hut, perhaps 5 minutes away.


The following morning, again, perfect weather. Here we ski down the Trient Glacier. The Dents du Midi behind.


A few hours later on that same day, we have a fine lunch in Champex, waiting for the taxi to take us to Bourg-St-Pierre. Going around the table from left to right is Susan, Mitch, Tom, Kathy, Skip, Malcolm and Fred.


From left to right we have Bessy..... Actually these fine specimen were also lodging in the same hotel as us in Bourg-St-Pierre. We were a couple floors up and the cows had the ground floor. Ah, country life!


Early in the morning in Bourg-St-Pierre. loading up the packs for the hike towards the Valsorey hut.


Kathy and Tom, skiing up towards the Valsorey hut. Mont Vélan behind.


Sunset and Mont Blanc from the Valsorey hut.


Starting in the predawn cold at the Valsorey hut.


Here Malcolm, Susan, Fred and Kathy arrive at the top of the long slope leading to the Plateau du Couloir on the Grand Combin.


Mitch starts down the Glacier du Mont Durand. though much of the snow was "interesting" we did find this one great shot of wonderful stuff.


Malcolm eyes his line while Fred goes for it.


The Chanrion hut. With the dry spring and warm weather, the grass is already coming out. Later in the month of April, more snow, much more, turned this back into a wintry scene.


Gettin' artsy. The Swiss flag at the Chanrion hut.


The next day we start into Les Portons with the Grand Combin behind.


Fred, Susan and Skip joined Mark for the traverse of the Pigne d'Arolla. Tom, Malcolm and Mitch went with Kathy on a somewhat more direct route to the Vignettes hut. Here Mark's rope climbs over the Col Nord du Portons.


Skiing up near the Col du Brenay on the wa up to the Pigne d'Arolla.


We all joined forces again at the Vignettes hut. the following day, our last of skiing, we start out with a climb over the Col de l'Evêque. You can see the high clouds indicating an end to the long spell of clear weather we enjoyed.


Crossing the glacier to the Col du Mont Brulé, number two of the three cols that day.


Jump ahead a couple hours later and we are skiing down the glacier in front of the Matterhorn. Kathy enjoys a bit o' crud.


And a bit lower, Skip hops around under the icefall.


With very thin snow lower down, we had a fair bit of walking on the edge lower Zmutt glacier. Believe it or not, three weeks later and this was all covered again.

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