Just back from my last week of the season on the Gran Paradiso Ski Tour with Pete, Bill and Owen – and what a snowy one it was.
Due to all the fresh, we started off with a warm up day around Chamonix (last day of the season at Le Tour, but it felt more like January!) before heading into the Refuge Du Fond above Rhemes de Notre Dame, where we stayed for the next two nights.
It continued snowing hard, but this is an area where it’s possible to still go touring if you know how to read a map and choose your objectives carefully. We skied a lot of nice snow, but couldn’t see much of it – the hospitality and comfort of the hut more than made up for the weather though, with great food and plenty of wine each night.
Wednesday moring the weather cleared up, so we made a dash round to Val Savarenche and headed up to the Vittorio Emanuelle Hut in order to ski the Gran Paradiso on Thursday. This was a big climb as ever, but very cold and windy to boot – so we were glad to be back on skis from the depot near the summit and heading down again to get a bit warmer!
On the final day we thought we had it all in the bag, until 2 miles from the car – when Bill fell and broke his ankle, so a quick call for a chopper was required! Not the best way to finish the season, but the recovery seems to be going well.