James, Kade and Russ, 4 days of skiing fun • February 28 to March 2, 2012

Following our Queyras trip, the threesome planned 4 days of more skiing with Kathy and Mark. We wandered far and wide, starting with a one-day tour in the Chamonix area, the traverse of the Col Beugeant. Moving right along, we did a two-day traverse of the Wildstrubel, starting in Crans Montana and ending in Kandersteg. And for our last day, Zermatt's classic Schwarztor.

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This is back on Day 1, the traverse of the Col Beugeant. Kathy and James at the start of the skin. Some firm snow here.


Higher up we enter the slope that leads to the Col. The Aiguille Verte, Les Drus and the Grandes Jorasses behind.


A bit of roped climbing on the final rocky section to the Col.


And the north-side descent of the Col Beugeant. This year, there was a short rappel / lower to get to skiable snow.


We skied down a short way, then booted up amazingly soft snow to a small col, in search of untracked snow on the back side.


And there it is, if a bit wind-blown just at the top.


Back in Les Praz, enjoying the "fruits" of our labors.


The next morning, with an early start, we drove to Sierre, and caught the funicular railway to Crans Montana.


The top of the Crans Montana lift complex, looking south.


Traversing the Wildstrubel.


And a long ski down to Engstligenalp.


The Berghaus Bärtschi in Engstligenalp, our home for the night. There was a school group there, as well, adding to the fun.


After riding the drag lifts at Engstligenalp, we set off to climb the Felshore, a great ski objective.


Almost to the summit, looking across at the Rote Totz.


The Matterhorn and Dent Blanche behind.


Here and there we found great snow, still undisturbed by the winds of the last two weeks.


This is the start of the great pitch in the middle of the movie above.


And more lower down.


Kade looks surprised!


We continued our descent to Kandersteg, had the obligatory beer (or two), then train back to Sierre, jumped in the cars and drove to Täsch. Another train and we were in Zermatt for the night.

The following morning, it is up to the Klein Matterhorn for the Schwarztor.


The snow was, shall we say, not the best, especially after what we found the day before. But the ambiance and views were spectacular.


Leaving the Matterhorn behind.