It felt like Scottish winter fizzled out like a match in the wind, desperately trying to hold on but really not fully delivering the goods. In what has been a tragic winter with the loss of several climbers over the season, the dawn of Spring has been a welcome sight.
I took the direct line to the Alps and after a couple of warm up ski days, I met my clients for the next 7 days. On the cards was the famous Chamonix to Zermatt Haute Route and I was working for Alpine Guides.
The first comments from the clients were regarding my photo on the Alpine Guides website. They thought I was too young…perhaps I should change it to a more rugged look?
With a 7 day itinerary, to complete a five day trip meant we had a shake down day at the start. And given that we had members from the USA, Australia and the UK meant there could be all sorts of problems with kit etc. So a tour in the Aiguille Rouge meant we could have a nice ski, answer any questions and allow the clients to know that I’m not as young as I look!
We were very fortunate on our traverse, we had fantastic weather throughout. Unfortunately our ski day into Zermatt beckoned foul weather so we knew we had a specific time window. We were unable to delay and make use of our 7th day because that was even worse! We needed to leave early, be efficient and have quick transitions. I think it was an 8+ transition day (transition - changing between skiing down hill to skinning or climbing uphill). We did it by the skin on our teeth! We got too our final transition (downhill all the way) and the cloud enveloped around us, leaving us with a rather precarious ski down through the glacier which homed huge crevasses. A huge relief for the whole team as we made it through in poor visibility.
Beers, burgers and cheers in Zermatt. We did it!
Our final day we had some nice powder skiing around Chamonix and was a great finish to the trip. Looking forward to more next year.