Our first target was a rarely skied line at Les Droites. We skinned up to the Couvercle hut fully motivated and exited about our objective. We started around 5 from the hut and everything went as planned until about 150 meters below the summit where we got stuck. We pushed several different alternative routes to get past some tricky snowless slabs. After three hours of desperate route finding we decided to turn back. Maybe it was the lack of snow, clock ticking too fast or our alpine climbing skills, but nobody can't blame we didn't try... Although we didn't ski the line from the summit, it was still one great steep skiing adventure. We got to ski some interesting steep sections with perfect snow. But despite of excellent skiing it was still a bitter disappointment after all our efforts. We'll be back. Pics here.
|Ben Briggs & Brendan O'Sullivan on a mission|
|Mikko pushing it on the slabs|
|Mikko on one of the steepest sections of the face|
|Finding our way back to the exit couloir|
We got lucky and found the line in perfect powder conditions. At the end we skied it down in a few minutes without any technical difficulties. That was more free-riding than steep skiing. What a line! Pics here.
|Petit Mont Blanc couloir alley - during the weekend we skied two lines on the left and one on the right.|
|Heta and Mikko on the Miage Glacier|
|Mikko approaching the NE Face|
|On the exit couloir|
|It took about 5 minutes to ski down this beautiful 700 meter line|
After skiing in such perfect conditions you want more! So next morning we wanted to get back for some more and if possible even two lines. For Finnish flat-landers skinning up to the glacier and climbing up two big lines is not really an option. Thanks to Luca Rolli we managed to get a early lift to Bonatti Couloir. The Bonatti was a quick early morning warmup together with Luca. Conditions hard at the top, but after one third down really nice powder. Freeride! Pics here.
|This time it didn't take that long to reach the couloir...|
|Luca and Mikko rapping down to Bonatti|
|First steepish turns with some nice wind packed snow|
We continued from Bonatti towards Tete Carree East Couloir. This line turned out to be the most beautiful of all the lines I've skied along the couloir alley. The first 200 meters or so were pretty steep and icy so we had to put in some careful turns. After top section we could let it go with bigger freeride turns. Pics here.
|Hard work climbing up deep and sticky snow on Tete Carree|
|It took three and half hours to reach the top|
|Mikko dropping in|
|Careful turns on the top section|
|This is Italy! Love it!|