Eurotrash 2010 – Update 2

Currently in Andermatt Switzerland after getting chased out of Chamonix by rain, and more rain in the forecast. But our second day skiing in Chamonix was plenty interesting…

Steve and I had a bit of a late start, and we were made even more late by missing the bus, after waiting another hour, we loaded on the Brevent tram with the intentions of doing some touring around the backside of the ski area. We toured to the top of a cool little peak with a Buddha statue on top and followed some tracks off the summit to a north-east facing bowl. The snow was deep, soft and steep. Steve cruised down first to photo me on a slightly steeper line. He waived for me to go, and I dropped in, there was a short straightline to a hard right turn over some rocks, then a nice, big, open, powder face, I made a hard first slash, then something didn’t look right. The snow was breaking downhill, my mind raced as I realized I was in an avalanche. Doing the only thing I could do, I punched it. I straightlined over the toe of the slide and sped down to a high point in the bottom of the valley. I turned around to see the plume of the avalanche stop just above me. My heart was racing, but the slide was really pretty small, only a 6″ deep windslab. Steve and I continued down to another lift and another skin track. By the time we reached the top of the 1000′ climb it was late in the day, we decided rather than explore, to just ski what we had climbed. This line was longer and steeper but a different aspect than the run before. Still nervous about the snow, I volunteered first to drop in first, since I had an Avalung, I made some tentative turns to test the snow, and it felt ok, I punched it through the narrow, steep part when the snow was moving again, only this time faster and I was mid-turn. I tried to straightline out of it, but I hooked a tip on the toe of the slide and fell. I bit as hard as I could on the Avalung as the snow pushed me downhill. I tried to get my edges to hold and finally they did. It took all of my strength, but I was able to self-arrest after being carried about 200′ feet. I skied out with my tail between my legs, and a little shaken. The next day we woke up to rain, and more rain in the forecast, and decided to head to Andermatt, where I am now, and after our first day of skiing, this place is super sweet!

Also be sure to check out my partner in crime’s website where there are more (and better) photos of the adventure! Check it out here .

Chamonix beauty

Steve Gilson looking small in Chamonix

Steve skiing with Mont Blanc in the background

Steve Gilson touring the Chamonix backcountry

Your's truly on a 'small' Chamonix Peak

This small Buddha greeted us at the summit

Steve Gilson far below, right before I was caught in the first slide of the day.

One Response to Eurotrash 2010 – Update 2

  1. Jon Jay says:

    wow, stay safe out there dude. And drink some Swiss wine, you can’t get that anywhere else (seriously, they don’t export ANY wine).

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