Ortler Ski Tour "Third Time's the Charm"• April 1 - 7, 2009

On one last trip to the Ortler this year, we were joined by buddies from the Methow Valley in Washington State.

Other Recent Trips

From left to right are Pat Norwil, Peter Eckman, Jeff Brown, and Chris Stern.


The Marteller hut bakes in the sun, this time. If anything, the weather was too warm on our first day.


Kathy and Peter get ready to do battle with breakable crust on a pre-dinner lap.


The next morning, what a change! Not cold this time, but still quite stormy.


This seems to be the story of our lives, this year; our second day never allowed for a climb of Cevedale en route to the Branca. Here we navigate through the fog.


HOWEVER, we had no complaints at all about the weather on our day's jaunt out of the Branca hut. San Mateo in the background.


We are not alone for our trip up the Pizzo Tresero on this gorgeous day.


But pouring it on, we reached the top at the head of the pack, or nearly so.




More importantly, we managed to be out ahead of the masses for a nice flouffy descent!


No fear of the hut running out of beverages!


No comment required.


Planning the next day's adventure before dinner.


We headed up Palon de la Mare the next morning, hoping for some south facing corn. Cold temperatures and thick cloud made the corn hard to find, but we managed some nice lines.


And the corn did materialize in the end.


San Mateo on the left, Pizzo Tresero on the right in the background of this shot.


We were definitely not alone on this trip! Warmed by about a hundred new friends in the dining room.


From the Pizzini hut, we again had very nice weather for an ascent of Cevedale. Coming up the final slopes of the glacier.


What a difference a week makes! Where on the previous trip we had cramponned up and down firm and icy slopes to the summit, this time we were able to ski all the way to the top on a good, wide track, and to ski back down in good snow.


The top is within sight.


And so is everything else, for miles around. Warm and nearly wind-less, for a change!


Finding fresh tracks was a bit more challenging this time around. Mark leads us into the bowels of the icefall, where he's spied what he thinks will be a good thread among the towers.


And it goes! Great snow.


So good in fact, we're not quite ready to call it quits. We skinned up the nearby Pasquale peak. Cevedale behind.


Again, Kathy scouts out un-tracked snow past some crevasses on descent.


That wasn't too shabby, now, was it?


On our final day we headed over the Cima di Solda to the ski area again. The snow was not so kind this time!


But we comforted ourselves with the last plate of chips we will be able to justify this year (hah! as if).


And an exploration of a nearby off-piste gully descent to town. Steep!


Pat coming in for a perfect touch-down.


The adventure continued, and the snow softened quickly as we descended. We played the aspects searching for corny stuff that would hold up well, and eventually finding it in plenty.


Back at the Apres Ski party. Once again, a pretty nice ending to a great tour!