Roger Weatherby and Rob Wendon Col de la Croix du Bonhomme • February 27-28, 2009

Roger Weatherby (latest trip the Vélan Haute Route 2008) squeaked in a couple of days of skiing with his friend Rob Wendon and Kathy and Mark, before joining friends and family in Les Arcs. We wanted to include a hut stay, even knowing that the ski touring huts are generally not open at this time of year. In fact, this was part of the charm of this trip, as it meant we were all alone, North American style, and fending for ourselves for meals etc. We selected a route that took us from the ski area at Contamines Mont-Joie, to the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme, which lies on part of the summer route of the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Other Recent Trips

Leaving the top of the lift system far behind, we enjoy lovely sunshine as we skin toward the Col de la Cicle.


Clicking in at the col, Roger is ready!


The snow is wind-scoured, but never mind. It's time to go downhill.


Kathy dives into the task, Mont Blanc in the background. "C'mon down, boys! The snow is..... decent!"


Actually we found lines of better than decent snow in the shelter of the ridge. Climbing back uphill toward the Col de la Croix du Bonhomme and our home for the night, Roger is thinking of dinner as the shadows lengthen.


"It's just around the corner!" (sound familiar, anyone?)


The evening light welcomes us at last to the col.


We made it!


No smells of cooking or happy voices emanate from the hut. We will have it to ourselves. Tant mieux!


We quickly set about dividing up the tasks of fetching snow to melt, chopping wood and lighting the woodstove, melting snow and boiling water, and cooking up the vittles we'd brought in our packs. The solitude seemed an absolute luxury on this stunningly beautiful evening. We were just in time for sunset too.


Sunrise the next morning reveals the incredibly scenic and sun-drenched location of this hut! It's a beauty.


We had our eyes on a steep couloir for this day's tour, descending from the ridge above the hut. It had a few tracks in it, but scope for freshies below. We set out up to the ridge crest in blazing sunshine.


We brushed off a panoramic marker, laying out the names of the plethora of peaks to the south. Perfect weather, absolutely beautiful.


Our couloir turned out to be plenty steep, especially the entry, but filled with good, stable and soft snow. Roger pauses to collect his wits and admire his tracks, mid pitch.


The smile says it all.


Heading up to a secret stash spied on the way up the previous day ...


For some reason no one had gone into that lovely concavity on the right.


All the better for us! Nice cold sheltered snow! Rob stacks 'em.


Getting heavy, time to head home.


Our route back to the car took us by the beautiful and historic chapel at Notre Dame de la Gorge, well known by Tour du Mont Blanc through-hikers.


Waiting in the sun for a table for lunch... a wonderfully warm and hospitable restaurant (great food too!) in a 400+-year-old house right next door to the chapel. A very fine end to our two-day mini-adventure.