Time to Go home. Day 91

We are homeward bound

Well what can I say. The most incredible three months is behind us. Or it was a couple of years ago and I’m now finally putting up the last day.

We made it back to the UK during the virus lockdown as we decided we’d pushed it as far as we could hunkering down in the Alps and it became necessary to head back to the UK.

Been back a week now and it’s nice to be home although the view outside is a lot less pointy. So winding the clock back 2 years and …

70 odd days on skis, 25 visitors .. some of them twice. more than 10,000 photos, a lot of Dru worshiping, around 20 timelapses and a huge improvement in my ability to ski.

We must do it again some time.

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A lovely send off from the midi and the moon and cosmic rays over the Dru.

The Poulet glinting in the Sun, Bath were beating Liecester at half time .. don’t ask about the final score and onto eurotunnel we go.

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Back to the real world and plotting to do it again some time.

We’ll be back in the Autumn to use the last few days on our season passes then who knows…

 

 

 

April 6th and Day 90

Our final day to play

We are heading home tomorrow so obviously the we have to do the iconic Vallee Blanche.

Armed with Chris’s lovely boot crampons I am even looking forward to the Arete,

A bit of a wait to get on the lift but hey we have all day ..  I have already declared the intention of “No James Bond track” pretty sure the snow will run out part way down it anyway.

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A variation on the classic as still not brave enough to go too off the beaten track without a guide.

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Oooh and we have instructions …

Beware Parents & children .. apparently.

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Made it up the lift and down the Arete (thanks Chris)

The loop down from the Italian side looks lovely

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Maurice cam along for the ride

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Epic views of the Dru ..

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Up the Steps

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Up the lift

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And down in the train.

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The crocuses are out

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And one last B&W of the Les Praz Church and The Dru.

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Now a frenzy of packing & cleaning and an early start in the morning.

 

Day 89 – April 5th and the GM

Deserted Laps of the top of the GM

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These days the run down the back from the top of the GM is generally deserted on account of the lift station going up in smoke and the skinning needed to get up there. So completely surprising on a blue sky fresh tracks day we fitted in a few laps with minimal queuing and once down the steps the place almost to ourselves.

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At one point the clouds rolled in and it was completely zero vis but a little bit of yelling and patience and wow some of the best turns of the season.

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We cannot believe how amazing this season has been and we are so privileged to have been able to live every minute of it. .. yes even the lazy not bothering to get out of bed days.

Plotting the Vallee Blanche tomorrow as a suitable finale.

Day 87 April 4th

Our last chance to go to Italy this season.

The weather looked good for Courmayer with possibility of some fresh snow.

We were seen off by a lovely morning Dru and neighbouring spikes of the Grepon.

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Seemed like a good call as we arrived at Val Veney seems no-one else fancied skiing in the clouds.

We got some great navigation advice from a local guide …

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And found fresh fluffy stuff all day …. Job done …OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Only 2 more skiing days to go …..

Day 86 and a vist to Le Lac Vert

2nd April 4 days left and time to stretch the legs

What are you doing I hear you cry. Only a few days left and you decide not to ski!

Well you may have a point but I have always wanted to see Lac Vert and it was completely worth it. A lovely wander, great views of Mont Blanc, a Frozen lake and no-one else around. Must come back here in early summer or the Autumn.

Here is our route. Not too shabby for a day off.

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And here’s the lake.

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Back on the planks tomorrow apparently it’s going to snow.

April 2nd – Day 85 blue sky and fresh tracks at the GM

Is there any inch of this mountain we haven’t skied yet?

OK so according to the spaces between the blue that would be a yes.

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First things first though with a little morning Dru.

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We did our best to fill in a few gaps.

A lap round on the Glacier never fails to disappoint and comes with the bonus of feeling epic going equipped with harness, sling and shiny green ice screw.

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Now what to do tomorrow?

 

Day 84 and a little local wandering

April 1st and the cloud is down to the ground

A well deserved lie in and a little local wandering as didn’t fancy skiing in zero vis.

Pretty incredible it’s April and there is this much snow still at Chamonix town level. The crocuses are doing a fine job of popping out mind you.

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The Church in Les Praz and the Dru are looking mighty fine as ever.

And the dodgy old Flegere cable car which is gracing these pictures has been replaced this season (2020) am writing this on March 30th 2020 with a completely new system much like the Plan Joran at the GM. No more crazy queues to get up to the slopes.

I’ll take a few snaps of it’s deserted glory in my next 15mins outing in COVID-19 locked down France and post here. A monster of a building and I can’t quite fathom how I’ve not been up to Flegere or Brevent this season.

The weather is looking much better tomorrow so GM here we come.

Fresh tracks all day in Les Contamines

Day 83 and the promised snow has arrived

The Garden is fluffy and white again.

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It snowed

Rather than wait for the GM to be made safe and then brave the busy we headed to Les Contamines.

Blue sky, sunshine and fresh tracks all day. Not bad for the end of March.

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Only a handful of days left now as we head into April so we’d better make them action packed.

Day 82 .. into Italy

Ibex hunting

The weather is not up to much today so thought we’d go exploring up one of the Aosta valleys to see what we could see.

So of we set to Valsavarenche apparently one of the most beautiful valleys in the Gran Paradiso National Park. No sign of Ibex and our hope for a bit of walking was dashed due to bucket loads of snow but it was indeed super pretty and the village who shall forever remain nameless was very fine with it’s stone roofs and windy streets.

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Found a spooky snowbound dam on the way

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Hoping for snow tonight and a blue sky powder day tomorrow.

Day 81. Laps of the hearse

Day 81 and back at the GM.

Day 81 and the 29th March. I am actually writing this on 28th March 2020, 2 years later but in the same location under COVID-19 lockdown.  It’s strange looking back at these pictures not only because there was just so much snow compared to this year but the whole surreal world of social distancing, self isolation and having to fill in a form to self certify you’re going out on sanctioned missions.

Anyway back to 2018 and ….

How many laps of the hearse lift is it possible to do in one day. Probably more than 5 but in our defence we snuck in a loop to the top. Oh those were the days when there was an actual lift.

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Got home to signs of spring with this wee fella in our tree.

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And of course the Dru including a moonlight encounter.

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Check out 

 For the timelapse of the moon over the Dru.

Only a handful of days left of our season back in 2018. Right now in 2020 it looks like we’ll be here a while longer.

 

 

 

 

 

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