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Wayne and Gill Watson.
Alpine Experience
Alpine Experience

Off Piste & Back Country Skiing Specialists

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Wayne's Photos of the Day >


What a morning that was! Wonderful slopes, great snow, lots of mishaps, my worst fall in ten years or more, and a lost camera. And I didn’t get home until 2:45!

I’m shaken and stirred but miraculously in one piece. Jesus, I’m going to be sore tomorrow!

Stay tuned for photos and report after the West Ham match. Come on boys!

Well, that was a fun morning with some seriously good skiing. We started with a brilliant Face du Charvet. Getting in was interesting but not as tricky as it might have been. There was some avalanche rubble to traverse but once across it made for some great skiing top-to-bottom.

Next up was way out left in the Tour du Charvet above the Mont Blanc Couloir. The snow was totally clean but we did need to take our skis off to access then next patch of snow. We then ‘skinned’ for about 5 minutes to access the traverse towards the TJ’s Shoulder exit. During the ‘skin’ we spooked a herd of about 20 chamois, which ran towards Chris and Suzanne who’d taken the traditional route.

Our first mishap occurred exiting into the gorge to exit the main Charvet slopes. Richard fell on the steep exit and took me with him. We tumbled around and bit before thankfully stopping just above the water.

Then we headed to the Cugnai where mishap number two took place. I caught an edge or something and fell in one of those ‘no-fall-zones’. (Catching an edge is pretty rich coming from ‘Mister-get-off-your-edges!’) It happened so quickly and I really couldn’t do anything about it.

I slid about thirty-five metres over snow and grass and eventually into some rocks. I took a heavy hit in the lower back  but fortunately my backpack cushioned the blow. After the rocks I slid another ten metres or so and finally managed to stop myself. I was miraculously uninjured but I may be pretty sore tomorrow.

The team came down and collected both my skis and poles and I was extremely lucky. Thinking about it it’s the most dangerous fall I’ve had in forty years since the one in my book. Falling off the rat-track off the Grande Motte with Jean Ribart about ten years ago was pretty bad as well. (At least Francesca witnessed the entire episode!)

I was a little shaken as we continued on and then I realised that my camera had flown out of my pouch during my tumble. The entire team of Francesca, Virginie, Mark, Paul and Charlie persuaded me to go back up to have a look for it.

At this stage I wanted to go home and lick my wounds because I thought we’d never find it. Anyway, we circled back around to ski the Cugnai again at about 1:15 and it was absolutely perfect. We had a fantastic run and arrived where I took my fall.

I looked down at where I’d fallen and ended up and thought to myself how lucky I was. We started stepping down looking about and couldn’t find it. Once down through the rocks we skied the fall-line as it could have slid all the way to the bottom. I stopped after about thirty-five metres to wait for Paul who was still up in the rocks. And then Charlie said, “what’s that in the grass?” Sure enough it was my camera and I took a photo of the team to see if it still worked!

(There is a photo of Paul standing in the grass and rocks that I slid over. And the photo was taken from where we found my camera.)

By the time we arrived on the summit of the Manchet Chair it was about 1:45 and we had an excellent Marmottons. Marmottes. Because it was so late after a good freeze it was just right and a nice reward for the team. I was a little carried away and skied too low and missed my preferred exit so we needed to make one up. (last photo) It kind of went with the theme of the morning!

All’s well that ends well and it was a fantastic morning.

Thanks to everyone for helping!

Meanwhile Andreas and Henry had great morning’s in Tignes. Thomas did a ‘skin’ to perfect snow and finished with the Cugnai and Marmottons/Marmottes. And Chris and Suzanne skied the Face du Charvet followed by the Tour.

I’m hoping for a less adventurous day tomorrow.  Stay tuned!

PS There is a BBQ at the Danois on Tuesday afternoon starting at 1:30 featuring the Revolverlites. See you there !