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~ Sunday 3rd April 2011

Things started well with blue skies but the weather turned in the afternoon of day 1, making the planned Grand Lui variant out of the question. Instead we had a great ski down the Val d'Arpette in fresh snow, and taxied to la Fouly. With the return of good weather we managed a delicate stage through to St Bernard only to be foiled again by the weather - plan B saw us skinning from Bourg to the Vélan hut, passing the site of the terrible avalanche accident the previous weekend. Early morning cold meant fast progress the next day, up past Valsorey and over the Plateau du Couloir with no-one else around all the way to Chanrion. Another wild day followed, climbing the deserted and trackless Serpentine glacier on the Pigne d'Arolla and skiing to the Vignettes, where it was a shock to rejoin the hordes for the final stage...

Col des Écandies

Above la Fouly

Climb to Plateau du Couloir

Serpentine glacier

Pigne summit