What a great day in mountain share with my long time friend Wim. This year we still didn’t skied together, that was time to speak about our respective season and projects. The thing is Wim just come back from the Patrouille des Glaciers with a full skimo winter and I…. not really. It’s always the fear to be the slowly one with big warm I hardly support. We stared easy from the Simplon hospice, watching Hubschhorn north face we skied together two years ago together. The ridge to the top of Monte Leone is beautiful and a part of me would like to jump in the teasing NE slope but I know a rappel festival would wait for me at low part.
At the top I can see the tracks of Davide who gave me the idea to come here. Wim with a empty steep season doesn’t feel to drop in the north face. I jump alone so. Snow is great! Thanks Davide.
Wim ended the way back a bit later and we went back to the Hospice happy and with a deserved glass of apple juice. Always happy to come back to Simplon and great to see big faces are ready.
With the Tiejer Flue last Friday, I am super happy to finish my project to ski the 3 big faces between Arosa And Davos.
Yesterday was the perfect sunny, warm, without people day. Leaving in center of Switzerland demands early wake up at morning to reach the Grisons before sun heat the slope. The adventure began in Arosa, it remembers me the day at Schiesshorn. Today the uphill is slightly bit more demanding to go to the Tierje Flue but view is amazing. I reach the top around 12h surprise the snow doesn’t melt so much. Here I was already with Adelin and Michal last January. At this time we missed a bit snow and I didn’t find the right entrance.
Today I try to start from the top few meters but join back the ridge, the top section stayed the same as in January, just a heap of stones.
I headed down the north face few meters more down our past attempt, it’s steep, I must cross unstable and steep ice flute but I don’t heat any rocks. Then a I reach a nice couloir, life would be great to follow that one till the end but it’s a trap it just heads to a cliff. I follow my plans and cross the face to the center.
Here is the better place to pass the middle mixte section. Then I cross to the left but not enough as I planed. Whatever a bit more mega steep plus narrow mixte section with the huge cliff under keeps me aware to stay on the slope. I finally reach the terminal ramp. Until the mid part of the ramp all is fine, the view is spectacular and the crusty snow horrible but all good. Then began a short but intense part of the route: the dalle section. This could have been maybe better in January but right now the sluff has devastated this part and just let it with ice and rock. Seb skier switch to seb climber to unclimbed this beauty.
It remembers me a bit the exposed climbing part of The Rautispitz but this time I do not ask for the same end. After a rappel on dead man I finally join the skiable last part of the rampe. I pack as fast as possible to don’t take sluff or more on my head and head done back the Valley.
This route complete my local trilogy: Shiesshorn west face, Chüpfenflue And Tierje Flue north face. This route doesn’t seams to has been skied before.
Here is a little clip about the Chüpfenflue north face with Michal Dzian.
Vidéo Chüpfenflue is here
After last weekend with the whole face went down below my skis I decided that level 3 today was my limit. When all faces are windpack and I am too lazy to make hours and hours of train to check projects I oftenly go to Mini mountain land: Emmental.
The goal for the day was to first arrive to track in this extra splashy snow then ski a mini couloir on the north west face of the Strick. Up hill was nice, warm but extra sticky. As expected the couloir was properly icy, true ice with a bit of fresh snow, a new sport was born thé redbull steep crash ice. Better when it’s maximum 40 degree.
Then all opened to give some of the best turns of the season, and classic when it’s steep: nobody their. I love East Switzerland.
Finally I and Michal skied this face. It was yesterday the third attempt and finally it worked. The reasons of past failures were always the same: a tricky snow instability at top section. Yesterday has past times we checked if any avalanche come down from the mountain it would reach anyone under.
We decide to try, yesterday as usually the top section went down (30cm without any cohesion with the harder section under, avi report 2 ….but well all mountains are different). This time I decided to go further and to ski down.
All top section windpack was away so it was safe.
We reached the ramp wich let think a more stable snow cause not touch by wind. Here is the tricky part of the trip make let me think about a 5.3, a jump not as high but long with a bad take off. After few seconds hesitation I decide to try the jump cause landing seems to be in good snow, all fine. Then the way travers a snow field, regarding the experience at top section we decide to attack it at highest as possible, finally snow doesn’t move at all, lower we get better is the cohesion.
Then a little slalom between the cliff make us reach the low freeride section.
The cinema snow allow us for huge big powwow turn. At the bottom we saw that the top section avi stayed on the face and didn’t even reached the low section of the mountain. Thinking about it all the steep section require a bit of orientation, it’s punctually technical but never extrem. The snow is the key of the trip, its hardly compact and I was surprised to almost get trapped in a hole.
I saw this face for the first time when I ve ran between Sargans and Linthal. Without snow I did found the top section …. rocky. Then in winters and last spring the lines were easier to see but still the top stayed a mystery. This winter is a snow record for Glarus so I was thinking it could be great to give a visit, a least take a look. From the beginning I totally left the idea to start from the top, just a long mixte extra exposed rampe. I Skied 50m direction west on the flat shoulder then the start looks super mega steep but definitely possible.
After 150m of steep with good pack powder I had to do a short 10m rappel (yellow sling on a becquet, right). After the short rappel the slope becomes a bit softer, a short dry ski moment head me to the big rampe, then the slope is 40 degree steep maximum and I can make big turn.
A little route mistake offer me 100m extra climb back to cross the face and ski a portion of 100m steep icy snow/grass.
Once out of the main difficulties I have to find the exit and don’t lose myself in an ice fall.
I did point a little forest I knew it will head me down to Elm. At low part of the forest is a nice little house, would be perfect after a steep ski day!
What a nice day in this big face. Last year it took me and Adelin hours to make it walking and skinning up from Flims, this year I did really enjoyed the cable car.
Last year in same time the couloir looked something really different.
This winter I am new resident in Argovie and Glarus is beating snowfall records, absolutely unfair! The trick when you leave in a flat region is to wake up early and to get a good book for the train. Today I share my steep adventure with my friend Michal. Morning wake up at 5am is not the easiest ever but I am happy to go back to the mountains. We start a little bit higher than the sea of clouds, a great felling to see the sun after a week in the clouds. we fast leave the 700m skin up and begin to the the couloir, it has nothing to compare with last year, except the start the rest looks full of snow. I am a bit scarred about the side wall where snow can go down but it’s cold and it seams it has been down already.
The rimaye pass easy and we pass easy the little ice fall.
Then we easy climb up straight, the view is just awesome.
Then the couloir head up on a nice ramp on the right, until the summit ridge. I decide to stay few meters on the side of the top corniche. The ramp is definitely the most impressive and steep section, the view on the lake is just great.
Then straight down into the couloir, we use the side way too to get good snow.
Little unclimbed section of 3 meters for the ice fall and we arrive at the bottom of the couloir. What a nice place to ski, with some great landscape.
Photo are courtesy of Michal.
Quelques photos du festival de ballons de Châteaux d’Oex. Toujours un grand spectacle!
After those storms and really complex snow situation I am happy to finally ski this route.
Never extrem, the top and low sections allow big turn with good snow, the route stays exposed in the middle with smaller turn and some « straight and stops ». The most difficult in this route is to know where you are and follow this system of lateral ramps. The first 50m are bit steep but nothing crazy.
Then the big top section is flat and allow to let it go when snow is good. The last little traverse could have some sharks.
Then I didn’t followed the nice left couloir lead nowhere but the little ramp goes to the mid mixt section.
I ve made here a small rappel (equiped on left with one blade and a sling)and a little climbing traverse. Ski is straight and good until a mixte section I did unclimbed. Then it skis easy until a last small traverse to reach the last couloir in splashy snow. After this happiness and joy in the face came the cross-country kilometer and the walk back to Arosa. To regret the wilderness nothing better than a full train, but my mind is to my princess and my time in mountain. After few infos and request to local guides it seams my scott superguide 95 could be the first Skis into this route, but always hard to be sure.