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Servus, whoever you are. This blog offers you some tips for trips, links and my experiences with given tour. There could be also some interwievs or philosophical thoughs hidden here and there. But don't take them to seriously.
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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Petit Verte

Difficulty: f
Altitude: ~3500
gained: 2300
date: May

Petit Verte is definitely not wild mountain. The tour I am introducing here is rather good training than breathtaking adventure. Kind of that training, that one can not wake up next morning and only reason to leave the bed is a really big breakfast. Even though, the tour crosses the glacier that is quite crevassed and some of the slopes could be potentially avalanche areas, so better to go in group. However, I was alone.

The blue path has been used as ascent, the grey one as descent. I started very early in order to have free piste in the morning. I would say, to start before 7am is actually necessary, as walk the piste up is forbidden. I left the piste after 500 meters of altitude gain, when the landscape opened to large snow fields and I continued on the left side heading to Argentiere glacier. At that point in the morning, I still haven't met anybody. I stopped for a while when my desired mountain, Aig. Verte, has shown me its west face. Pretty nice from all sides, I have to admit. Pretty scary, better said. 

Later in the morning, first people appeared somewhere from upper station of the cable-car. Most of them planned to ascent some of the passes on the other side of the valley. The piste was actually completely empty, everybody choose rather the off-piste tour. Well, better enter the "real" nature, I agree.

Unfortunately, nature doesn't care whether you are a good person, if you believe in god, or if you work a lot. Only things which matters are: if you are careful and if you are lucky enough. That day, it was the bad luck for some guys just 300 metres from me. I could not resolve, what happened from that distance. Nature is never safe. That's why we love to discover and observe it. Its beauty has origins in wildness and danger. Studying it too closely can mean death.

Back to my tour: the pte Vert (in the centre of the picture below)  looks quite scary from this side, but the real tour leads around quite safely.

Pte. Verte

one of the very nice passes

Aig. Midi and the greatest

The summit of Pte. Vert is shown on the picture below. Due to easy accessibility by the cabin-car, there is big activity on the glacier and the risk of falling into crevasse is very low.

However, the final 20 metres were unsafe from my point of view, since I didn't have crampons.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mt. Fort round trip

Grey path depicted in the map at the bottom corresponds to intended tour, but the reality was more green. Those 6000 m of altitude gain wasn't original intention, but as it ended up, it was condition in order to get back to the car parked in Le Chable. The red numbers in the map shows some problematic places, which I am going to discuss here.

1) Col de Mille, 2536 m
    The slopes bellow this pass are quite steep and crossing them could mean risk of avalanches. There is a mountain hut in the pass, but obviously closed in winter season. Wind was too strong to continue along the west ridge to the summit of Mont Rogneux. I decided to descent slightly and keep on the right so that I can join the grey line somewhere lower.

2) During the ski descent I got the place, where I had to turn and return back, because the valley was pretty rocky with steep slopes on both sides. Following the valley was clear mistake. Thus, I had to change my tour completely and forget about the intended one.

3) Just few meters lower, where forest started, I wanted to catch a path and descent to the valley. Paths at this location do not exist any more. There had to be some storm or avalanche, or both, which caused falls of many trees. Following the path was real pain in the ass  (since my ass suffered from many falls).

However, the place is abandoned in the end of winter. I didn't met any people or tracks of skies. In my opinion, it couldn't be better.

Col de Mille

Col de Mille
I spent a night on Cabane du Mont Fort. It is very beautiful place. I reached it when sunset. If I wouldn't be hard guy, I would be crying from that beauty. It is one of the better mountain huts I have visited. It can be however quite crowded even it is situated in lower mountains.

View to Col de Mille
4) In the morning, I am rising up with two guided groups into pass, Col de la Chaux. I waited in the pass until two guides reached me, to discuss whether to continue or not. They suggested, that I shouldn't go there alone, due to avalanche risk. I rather agreed.

Col de la Chaux

5) I returned back and ascended to Col de Gentianes. There is piste leading down the Tortin ski resort. This piste was however closed because of big risk of avalanched falling on the piste from the cliffs on the right. I stupidly ignored this, and dived down into rainy clouds, see picture bellow.

6) I reached another abandoned pass, pistes were out of order. The piste was in terribly bad shape - cheer ice. It wasn't however long descent on the snow, maybe 200 metres. Rest on foots, in heavy rain, until next pass.

In the last pass, I reached 6000 altitude metres done in weekend. This was quite cool. I would say even frozen. You can imagine, what happens when you go from rain to snow.

7) shit at the end. Bellow Verbier, there is no clear marked path down to valley. The reason: why, when every stupid rich idiot in BMW can bring mistress up to Verbier by the highway. If I have ever money, I'll be doing exactly the same things I am doing now. Eating pizza in fasf-food and travel on my beautiful beloved skies, doing track for my wife or my children.