Mont Blanc Ski & Crochues-Berard Traverse • April 2003

Lanice Jones, Denise Nelson and Steve Norrie had planned a Chamonix-Zermatt ski tour with Canadian guide Murray Toft. Just for giggles, and a "chance to acclimatize" she though a climb of Mont Blanc would be a good start to the vacation. It would have been a good idea, except that the the weather had some plans of its own. Though it was clear on the ski up to the hut, at about dawn on summit day, the weather closed in with blowing snow and cloud—not good weather for skiing on glaciers.

After regrouping in Chamonix, we did a fun day ski over the Crochues-Berard Traverse in the Aiguilles Rouges.

Other Recent Trips

The route up to the Grands Mulets hut, the normal ski route on Mont Blanc, starts out close under the north face of the Aiguille du Midi.


Looking up the Glacier des Bossons. The Dome du Gouter is on the Right and les Grands Mulets on the left. The hut by the same name sits on top of the left rock point. High winds blow snow off the ridge crests.


Skiing across the glacier to the hut.


Impressive seracs near the route. Here we are a couple hundred meters below the hut.


Getting closer to the hut. The winds aloft were worrisome. Later that night the sky become cloudy. Not knowing what the future would bring we started out for the summit the following day. But just before dawn, we bumped into the cloud ceiling just as it started to snow. With a poor forecast and bad visibility, we descended to Chamonix in defeat, but still in one piece.


Not to be discouraged, and after a day of relaxation, we departed on a one day tour over the Cols Crochues and Berard and down to the little hamlet of le Buet. Here we are waiting for the bus in Chamonix.


Skiing up to the Col du Crochues. We frequently climb on these rocky peaks in the summer. It is nice to see them with their winter mantle of snow.


The last little bit is steep and normally done on foot. Lanice carries her skis.


Stripping the skins at the Col. The Aiguille Crochues behind.


Great snow on the north side. We had some all too much fun on this run down into the Combe de la Balme.


And another short skin up to the Col de Berard. We saw many ibex high on the cliffs above as we rounded the corner between the cols.


And fun turns into the Combe de Berard. le Buet, and our train stop lies at the bottom of the valley.


Eventually we run out of snow. Lanice negotiates a stream crossing.


Walking past la Poya, a few meters from le Buet (not much bigger).


Kathy had a few too many beers! Waiting for the train to take us back to Chamonix.

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