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Trip Report Vanoise April ski touring

Discussion in 'Europe' started by Boodwah, May 1, 2019.

  1. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    My mate Morry and I took my son Balti who's just turned 9 over for his first big ski tour in the Alps.
    Our original plan was to start in Val Thorens, ski across to and then down the Gebroulaz Glacier then the Peclet Polset refuge, then yoyo and refuge hop across the roof of the Vanoise Glacier complex all the way to Pralongnan over 5 days.
     
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  2. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    However several factors got in the way of this plan. The first bit of rotten luck was my regular guide (and guru) Roland had a very bad fall a couple of weeks before our departure and broke his leg badly. And the next bit of rotten luck was the weather. Rather than spring sunshine and corn snow, we were heading in to a significant winter pattern followed by high Foehn winds and then a tonne of snow... not ideal conditions for a 9 year old.
     
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  3. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Roland found us another guide Nicolas, who is a lot younger, very able and very nice. He was terrific with Balti.
    Nicolas suggested a safer alternative would be to drive from our base at Courchevel (which had shut up shop for the season) around to Val d'Isere where the lifts were all still running, and to catch lifts up to the top and then start touring up to the Refuge du Fond des Fours, which is a very pretty valley high up in the Vanoise. From there we could either continue touring to other refuges, or do day tours as the weather permitted.
     

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  4. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Anyway, turned out for the latter, and we had three nights in the refuge before bailing back to courchevel. The weather was seriously atrocious with insane winds, variable snow conditions, a few nasty avalanches, and a testing snow pack.
    Regardless we managed to get out each morning for some fun touring and great climbing up to several cols overlooking the Bonneval-sur-Arc valley (when we could see anything at all!)
    Balti was a champ, with no whinging and several climbs in excess of 800m, including one where he bagged his first 3000m peak without chairlifts.
    The ski out involved a crazy traverse across avalanche debri, the likes of which i've never seen before!
    Back in CCV we were treated to an overnight dump of a foot of fresh powder which made for some pretty touring and great skiing on the last day.
    Anyway, overall a great trip.
     
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  5. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    sorry about all that tripple posting of photos, dont know what happened there!
     
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  6. climberman

    climberman CloudRide1000 Legend Ski Pass: Gold

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  7. telecrag

    telecrag Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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  8. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    @Boodwah Super epic....... worthy of FOTY nomination :thumbs::thumbs::thumbs:
     
  9. Froff Life

    Froff Life A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    So so cool!
     
  10. CarveMan

    CarveMan Pool Room Ski Pass: Gold

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    Awesome!!!!
     
  11. piolet

    piolet Better make it three Ski Pass: Gold

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    Excellent to see
    Thanks for sharing
    Looks like a good trip considering the conditions. Well played


    How'd roland bust his leg? Sounds nasty
     
  12. Rick Ross Da Boss

    Rick Ross Da Boss One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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    What a lucky lad to have a father like you!!!:thumbs:
     
  13. DidSurfNowSki

    DidSurfNowSki One of them Ski Pass: Gold

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  14. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    He was competing in a GS, not sure exactly what happened - he's a pretty handy skier, probably a freak injury.
     
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  15. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    I'm just training him up to be my sherpa when I'm truly old.
    Plus, anything to get them off their damned devices.
     
  16. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Also, no arguments from wife if you take a child (as opposed to a trip with mates!).
    So figure I get him up to speed quick so we can do some cool stuff together whilst I'm still able.
     
  17. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Great trip, great place, pics and vibe Boodwah!

    I love the hut - adds so much comfort to high alpine trips.

    Great to see the Aussie rules footy brandished too.
    (It's a great way to get attract attention and questions in nth Hemi!!)

    Very jealous of you and sharing this wonderful experience with your son. Great memories.

    ...BTW: The Avi debris is not dissimilar to our 94' tour -when it's over head high it's a worry!!
    Hearing the slope slide after one has traversed it is rather unsettling too!

    Just wondering if you drove in via Termignon? Or a have a map of your tour route?

    Cheers. SG.
     
  18. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    We just drove to Courchevel direct from Lyon airport, 2 hours, then around to Val d'Isere via Moutier and Bourg St Maurice, 1.5 hours.
    The refuge is pretty much 1-2km due south of Val d'Isere. if you look on google maps you'll see just how vast the terrain is.
     
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  19. snowgum

    snowgum One of Us

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    Cheers sounds like other side but it was quite a long time ago.

    Will revisit maps. Ta
     
  20. Boodwah

    Boodwah One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    The edit:
     
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