Extreme intro!

Julian and Piers wanted to learn about ski touring with the ultimate goal of doing the Haute-Route next year.

The Crochu-Bérard tour would offer them a varied terrain, ideal to practice all the skills involved with long ski touring adventures.

Hum... Hum... The skinning up was extremely technical with all this fresh snow. The kick turns were tricky to complete, the tips kept getting caught in big banks of snow. What a great opportunity to test the Polka turn.
We were then wading/swimming our way up a couloir on the right handside of the normal route. The assistance of a rope was needed for a rock section. Du jamais vu! It probably took us 3 hours to get to the Col Crochu. Pretty extreme conditions!

"... but this is the real stuff..."

Skiing down from the Col towards the long traverse was exceptionally beautiful. So much so that Julian was not paying enough attention and took a tumble on the steepest part of the traverse. He managed to self-arrest with style before taking speed and risking a long base jump off the cliffs. Adrenaline was flowing high...

When we finally arrived at the Col Bérard, we were contemplating our descent with excitment. OOOOOPS! WRONG! I have never skied that much windblown crust in my life. It was real combat/survival skiing. It got worst and worst. It was then covered with an icy layer. I was seriously concerned that one of us might get injured. Skiing on avalanche debris was the only turns I could safely afford. I even enjoyed my turns down the final James Bond exit. That tells you how bad the whole descent was!
I know you don't believe me guys but ski touring is fun!

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