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~ Saturday 28th March 2009

Oh dear, no blog updates for a whole week! Here's a long one...

Last week was the "Arolla Summits" week for the Eagle ski club. The plan was to do some challenging skiing and to reach some of the big peaks around Arolla.

It started well - using the Arolla lift we reached Point 2959 of la Roussette by 10.30 on the first day, and found powder on the  north side.

Powder and blue skies

                                          

 

                                    We then made the long hot climb to the Aiguille Rouge hut, and on to the Pointe de Vouasson, 3489m. 

Monday - we headed up and over the Col des Ignes and a steep ski down to the Dix hut then up la Luette, 3548m, after lunch. We skied the steep SE face and got back to the hut just before the "weather" arrived. 

Skiing Col des Ignes west side

                            

                         Tuesday was awful - high winds and heavy snow. We left the hut in a clear spell but soon were in white out conditions - retreat to the hut!

Wednesday started well with a clear weather window, so we set off to traverse the Pigne d'Arolla. Around 3500m the weather closed in, and the rest of the day was a battle against wind and snow. We reached the col du Pigne, 3770m, with a unanimous decision to forget the summit! Then began an eventful afternoon of poor visibility, tricky navigation, roped skiing and a crevasse moment! All ended well though and we reached the Vignettes hut.

Somewhere on the Pigne d'Arolla - 4 people in the picture!

                              

Thursday - a great ski down from the hut. 1100m of fresh tracks!

The reward!

Tree skiing above Arolla

                                  

       Friday - with more weather forecast we went to Evolene. At 9.30 they started the lifts specially for us - there was no-one else there! We climbed the Pic d'Artsinol with only Chamois for company, then skied the deserted west side, with a long hot skin back to the Evolene area. A great finish to an exciting week!

Chamois on Pic d'Artsinol

Acres of untracked snow....