An unexpected trip through the gorge!

21 February 2017

I was expecting sunny skies this morning but it was overcast with a conflicting forecast of cloud rising from the valley below to clouds clearing as the morning progressed. Chris and I headed to the Fornet to go over the Col thinking that we might be high enough to stay above the sea-of-cloud that was forecast and also to stay away from the crowds. We ended up with cloud cover and the odd patch of sunshine and although the light was flat we had good visibility for navigating but not enough to properly ‘read’ the snow. Anyway, we ‘skinned’ up to the Glacier Pers and although the snow was ‘educational’ it was a great outing and everyone on both teams thoroughly enjoyed it. I could tell my team of Frits, Camilla, Sarah, Rupert, Penny and Nick were pretty adventurous and it was evident that they wanted to go through the gorge, so after explaining the pro’s and con’s and having a consultation with Chris we both decided to have a go. (Going through the gorge was definitely not part of the thought process this morning!) For many it was the first time and with the frozen waterfalls, some holes, and a fresh rock-fall to add to the ambience the cameras and smart-phones were clicking away. Near the bottom we found an easy place to walk out if necessary so Chris stayed with both teams while I went down to check out the exit and surprise, surprise, someone has been in there with a shovel rearranging the last snow bridge, which made it much easier than the other day when Millie went through. So we all made it down without incident and on the way out we were treated to an excellent wild-life show and one of Chris’ clients said, “What an end to a perfect morning”! And what a result for ‘educational’ snow!

Meanwhile Andreas and Thomas were planning an reconnaissance mission but were put off by the clouds and not really knowing what to expect weather-wise, so they went for a ‘double-skin’ and had sunshine for the most part and everyone had a great morning. Bravo boys for coming up with a Plan B that worked! I’m in code-mode again but I’ll give the gorge away because anyone who wants to go through the gorge is welcome! Henry was also in action with Karl and Pippa, who we haven’t seen for a few years so it was lovely to see them back, and Henry skied the Col Pers, Vallonnet and Grand Vallon.

My girls made it back in good time last night as the flight took off early, landed early, and except for the usual go-slow at customs it was a fantastic journey, and I made it home in good time to the Eagles, Pink Floyd, and Led Zeppelin!

I’m hoping to get Chris over soon to see if we can get my photo link working but in the meantime a few photos are posted on Monday and Friday’s on the Valdinet site. Stay tuned!

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