Gran Paradiso ski tour • April 10 - 15, 2016

A new trip with old friends. Many of the folks who joined in for our Gran Paradiso trip already knew each other from past adventures; some met for the first time. But as you can see, they all have skied with us over many years. It was great to get them all together for a new itinerary, one we tried with several of them in 2012. That year's dramatic change of venue is documented here, but we had better luck this time!


Other Trips with Marc Gallie

Vanoise Haute Route, March 2015
Val Maira, February 2014
Queyras, February 2011
Alps climbing, July 2009
Dolomite skiing, March 2009
Ortler skiing, April 2008
Stubai skiing, March 2008
Silvretta skiing, March 2007
Peru Expedition, June 2006
Ötztal skiing, April 2005
Ortler skiing, April 2004
Berner Oberland, May 2003
Chamonix to Zermatt skiing, April 2002

Other Trips with Nancy and Jeff

Summer Haute Route - July 2014
Albula - March 2014
Chamonix to Zermatt, April 2003

Other Trips with Kade Spears

Val Maira, February 2014
Summer climbing, August 2014
Alps, August 2013
Alps, September 2012
Western Berner, Feb - March 2012
Queyras skiing, February 2012
Queyras skiing, February 2011
Alps with Claire, August 2010
Ortler skiing, April 2010
Silvretta, March 2009
Cogne ice climbing, February 2009

Other trips with Jay Coburn

Vanoise Haute Route, March 2015
Ortler - March 2013
Berner Oberland - May 2008
Haute Route - April 2007


Other Trips with Mo Moceri

Alps climbing, June 2015
Vanoise Haute Route, March 2015
Val Maira, February 2014
Albula skiing, March 2013
Queyras, February 2011
Summer Haute Route, July 2010
Alps climbing, July 2009
Dolomite skiing, March 2009
Ortler skiing, April 2008
Stubai skiing, March 2008
Alps climbing, August 2007
Silvretta skiing, March 2007
Alps climbing, July 2005
Ötztal skiing, April 2005
Ortler skiing, April 2004
Mount Kenya, September 2002
Berner skiing, May 2002
Cho Oyu Expedition, October 2001

Other trips with Russ Lee

Val Maira, February 2014
Wildstrubel and more, March 2012
Queyras, February 2012
Ortler, April 2010
Berner Oberland, May 2008
Silvretta, March 2009

Other trips with Paul Farrelle

Vanoise Haute Route, March 2015
Queyras - February 2011
Dolomite skiing, March 2009
Silvretta skiing, March 2007
Ortler , March 2004
Berner Oberland, May 2003
Haute Route, April 2003

Return to all recent trips


Our first day consisted of a long trek up the Valgrisenche to the Bezzi hut, in spring conditions.


Warm weather had brought down many wet slides, but left plenty of pristine slopes as well.


The Bezzi hut, comfy and welcoming, awaits.


We had a birthday girl!


And an appropriately festive blow-out to celebrate among friends.


The next morning, we headed up over the ridge to the Benevolo hut.


Clouds gathered as we made our way up toward the Col Bassac Dere.


Some nice skiing on the northeast facing descent!


Lower down, we enter the "corn zone".


From the Benevolo hut, we made an excursion up the Punta Calabre. A beautiful blue-sky morning.


On top of the Punta Calabre!


Great Spring snow rewards our efforts.


Back at the Benevolo, we take advantage of the afternoon sunshine.


The following day saw a change in plans and a split of the group. Some had to duck out to tend to some "pressing" boot fitting problems, while others attempted the crossing to the Chivasso hut. In the end, they too had to turn around due to deteriorating weather. All ended up descending to Notre Dame de Rhemes. On the way, this scenic hamlet at the road end made for a nice photo opportunity while waiting for the taxi.


The group attempting the crossing, in weather at first friendly...


... then turning foul at a key moment.


The grand retreat.


The following day was lovely again. Group "1", returning to the mountains via the summer trail to the Vittorio Emanuele hut.


Group "A", taking the scenic route up the Vallone di Selva.


Heading up the moraines on the tack toward the hut.


And enjoying some spring snow at the end of the trek.


"Cozy" accommodations at the hut.


Starting out at dawn on our last day, our objective is the summit of the Gran Paradiso.


The forecast calls for clouds and wind on the high peaks, we can see that it is accurate.


About 300 meters below the summit, the cold wind hits critical force, and we begin to question the wisdom of continuing.


This tiny shelter, air lifted into place for an upcoming randonée race, provided scanty shelter from the wind as we reassess.


Discretion being the better part of valor, we decide to bail out from here. We will descend the Laveciau glacier past the Chabod hut, where we know there is good skiing to be had.


Beautiful ice features as well.


We break out into better visibility under clearer skies while the wind-driven clouds cling to the summit.


Great Spring snow conditions, and all to ourselves!


The snow is buttery here.


More and more of the same.


A good compensation prize.


When we finally run out of snow, we have about a half hour or so of trail walking down through the woods with buds just about to pop out on the larch trees.


Speaking of buds... summit or no, it's great to spend time in the mountains with good friends. Thanks to all for coming, and happy trails until next time!

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