Gini and Gary, Aiguilles Rouges
June 28, 2016

The summer's trips
Gini & Gary, Chamonix
Dick Dietz, Jungfrau
Norm Numerof, Chamonix
Rob Elliott, Cosmiques

Norm Numerof, Petite Aig Verte.
July 13, 2016

Grant Carnie, Switzerland
Haute Route #1
Haute Route #2
Mike Riley, Switzerland
David Dougherty, Switzerland

David Dougherty, Pointe Zinal.
August 4, 2016

David Zhang, Mont Blanc & GP
Kyle Wehner, Mont Blanc
Brad Blythe, Dolomites
Debbie & Andrew, GP & MB
Michele & Craig, Dolomites

Andy Latham, The Cuillin, Scotland.
August 25, 2016

Mark Battle, Cosmiques Arête
Joe Arvai, Monch and Jungfrau
Andy Latham, Cuillin, Scotland
Salima Shafi, Matterhorn Plus
TMB, Ettore Group
Kathleen and Jim, Chamonix
Jeff Ray, Chamonix

Salima Shafi, Contamine-Grisolle.
August 31, 2016

Speaking of you...
We like to mention folks by name and feature them personally as much as possible. However we also wish to respect everyone's privacy, so if you have done a trip with us and would prefer we not share the particulars in our e-newsletter, we perfectly understand. Please let us know!

Jeff Ray, Petite Aiguille Verte
September 11, 2016

Happy Autumn!

The temperatures are dropping here in Chamonix, and the snowline too is creeping down toward the valley. Leaves turning gold, sheep and cows grazing in the empty lots of the neighborhood with the incessant (and charming!) dang-a-langing of their bells, shopping for new ski gear; it's that time of year! We are tied close to home this Fall, as Kathy had some corrective surgery on one foot, so no rock climbing road trip for us this year, sadly. Instead, we're catching up on home repairs and other fun stuff while she recuperates, while also of course planning next year's adventures.

Dick Dietz, Jungfrau, July 4, 2016

We did have a lot of fun this past summer, with many of the "usual suspects" plus new folks as well. Here are just a few photos of some of the highlights of the summer.

Grant Carnie, summit of the Dom. July 18, 2016

Mark racked up a busy schedule all over the Alps, from the Matterhorn to the Dolomites and beyond. Too many trips and climbs to summarize here; just check out all the links for photo journals of the great trips and climbs he did with his guests over the summer months.

Rob,Jerome, Claire, and Tom on the Pigne d'Arolla. July 20, 2016

Kathy got around a bit as well! Two Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route glacier treks, a couple of Mont Blanc weeks, a dash over to Scotland to climb in the Cuillin Hills of Skye, and a Tour du Mont Blanc finished off her season.

Michael, Laurence, Jeremy, and David on the Tête Blanche. July 30, 2016

Michele and Craig, Fünffingerspitze, Dolomites. August 15, 2016

 

Jeff, Jim, Ettore, Denis, Greg, and Karl, TMB. September 1, 2016
Coming up!
2016-17 Winter

We have a lot of skiing and ski touring planned, returning to some favorite areas, and exploring new ones as well. Mark will be ready for ski guiding starting in late January, and early February sees the start of our ski touring and ski mountaineering season.

Our first trip is a return to the Val Maira, that haven of Italian loveliness far from the crowds. This valley lies in the Maritime Alps of Italy, just a bit south and west of Turin. We'll stay in a beautiful Pensione high in an alpine valley, and make forays up the many surrounding peaks and sparsely forested ridges wherever the best snow beckons. There are several spots still available on this trip, running February 20 to 24.

Piz Kesch, Albula ski tour, March 3, 2016

Next we plan to head back to the Queyras, not far to the northwest of Val Maira. We have experienced some really wonderful snow in this lonely corner of the French Maritime Alps, and we are as likely to see great herds of Chamois as other humans! A favorite with French ski tourers, it is seldom visited by large groups otherwise; quite a change from the crowds on the more famous Haute Routes elsewhere in the main Alpine regions. This trip is wide open so far; come on your own, or bring your own group of friends to enjoy the "back of beyond" of France. The dates we have set aside for this tour are February 26 to March 3.

Amy, Maggie and Andrew on the Dreiländerspitze, Silvretta ski tour, February 26, 2016

Next up is a return to the Silvretta region straddling the Austrian/Swiss border. One of our favorite tours, this area combines reasonable length days, comfortable huts with amenities such as hot showers, and a variety of ski terrain from easy to challenging, making it a great choice for those new to the "hut to hut" lifestyle of the European Alps. There is also the possibility for the more intrepid, of some truly "alpine" climbing above the ski cache, roped up on the airy rock ridges of the Dreiländerspitze and the Piz Buin. This tour is also wide open at the moment, running March 7-12.

We will be offering only one Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route this year, the Plateau du Couloir variation. There are three spots available on this trip, which runs March 24 to 31, so let us know soon if you want to join us for this classic tour!

Russ, Marc and Kade, Rifugio Benevolo, Gran Paradiso tour, April 12, 2016

We will return this year to friendly, sunny (usually!) Italy for a Gran Paradiso Haute Route, from April 19 to 24. Crossing high rugged ridges between the headwaters of the Rhemes, Valgrisenche and Valsavarenche valleys, we make our way to the Gran Paradiso, whose ascent finishes the week. We have room for 6 more skiers on this trip.

Col des Ecandies, Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route, April 20, 2016

We will return to the wilds of the Bernese Oberland from April 11 to 16. This is one of our favorite tours, for its big terrain and varied ski ascents, as well as the sense of remoteness among the enormous glaciers of the Jungfrau and Eiger region. There might still be spaces left on this trip as well, so please contact us if you are interested.

The rest of our season is committed to trips with private groups. If you have a group of friends or family and would like to put something together just for you, please be in touch to see what time slots we might still have available this year.

Nancy and Jeff, Col de la Gouille, Mont Vélan, April 21, 2016
Hotel based and Hut-to-hut Ski Tours for 2017

Val Maira - Italy, February 20—24. See pics from our 2014 trip
Queyras - France's answer to Colorado, February 26—March 3
Silvretta - Switzerland, March 7—12
Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route, Plateau du Couloir, March 24—31
Berner Oberland, April 11—16
Gran Paradiso - Italy, April 19—24
Private trip dates. If you have a group of friends, or simply want a smaller team, we may be able to make space for a private trip. Any of the dates above can be switched to a private trip, as long as we have no current sign-ups for them. If you would like to discuss a private trip, be in touch, we’d love to hear your ideas.

2017 Summer offerings

Mark will be available as always for alpine ascents, rock climbing, and ice climbing this summer. Please check with him by email, and/or refer to our Booking Levels page to see what dates he has left.

Kathy will again run two glacier treks this summer: the Chamonix to Zermatt Glacier Trek July 10 - 16 and also a Bernese Oberland Glacier Trek July 19 - 25. Do be in touch soon to join her on these classic high mountain routes! She is also available for custom, private treks and/or climbs, in late July through most of August.

On a completely different note, Kathy is launching her agri-tourism Woolly tour this summer! Crafty "maker" types, mark your calendar for June 18-22 (or extend to June 25 if you want to "run with the sheep"), for fun with fiber! This is a unique opportunity to see a less touristic side of France, and get acquainted with shepherds and artisans of the the Dauphine region, nestled among several national parks of the French Alps. Learn (or refine) some skills with wool: natural dyeing, felting, hand spinning; along with some pleasant hiking in the Queyras, and finally (optionally) take in the "Fête de la Transhumance" in Die, a massive party to celebrate the return of the flocks to their summer pastures. There are (probably) one or two spaces available for this tour.

Meanwhile...

As mentioned, we'll be sticking close to home for the next month or so (taking plenty of time to VOTE IN THE UPCOMING ELECTIONS!), then the annual visit to the U.S. in December as always. We will be reachable by email or phone, so please be in touch if you think you can join us for any upcoming ski tours, treks or climbs.

And to the extent that Kathy's lightning fast rehab allows, we will as always be plugging away at our pre-ski training with.... drum roll please....

A pre-ski tip for you and plug for our physio friends...

SkiFit!!! A four level, 8 week (or more if you wish) program, designed to be done two or three days a week. Those of you who know us well, have heard us talk about this program, developed by our Chamonix-based physiotherapist Neil MacLean Martin and his team at La Clinique du Sport. Available as an app for computer, tablet or smart phone, it makes vigorous pre-season training easy to fit into a busy or erratic schedule. Prepare for ski season, prevent injury, and enjoy your season maximally from the very first day. The full program, an abbreviated "8 minute" version, as well as other training programs for for running and triathlon, are available at BeFitApps.

Keep in touch!

Please let us know soon if you would like to join us on any of our ski tours, we would love to have you join us.

Have a great Autumn and Holiday season, and please be in touch!


Kathy and Mark


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Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides | 151 Route de Lausenaz | 74310 Les Houches | France