Thursday, November 10, 2011

Winter of Skiing La Grave 10'-11'

Then February came and the following is my mission to Europe.  I began a 10 week journey to La Grave, France for one of the best winter sessions of my life! I hope to stay longer discovering and learning the European alps more this season.  If you like the mountains and have never been to the Apls, a trip is mandatory; it will change your perspective of mountin travel forever.  The lift access is truly amazing and mountains are a way of life for many.  I based out of La Grave and worked as an independently contracted guide, spending most weeks working out of The Skiers' Lodge La Grave. This lodge offers all inclusive off-piste guided ski packages with one of the most affordable prices and amazing guides.  It's a privilege to work in this small 12th century village with just one lift, accessing 7,200 vertical feet of uncontrolled and  un-patrolled area and a population of only 600.  La Grave is a small village with north facing terrain and south facing pubs.
Laura came to visit me in March which was the highlight of my stay, and it was great to be able to share it with her and great people from all over the world.  I wound up meeting up with friends old and new.  My pal, Iraitz, aslo showed me a sampling of super rock climbs and some great times at the Refuge Promontoire this spring in the the Parc des Ecrins, Haute Alps. Day dream...
Le Telepherique - cable car w/ Le Rateau .

Happy Skiers !
La Meije and zone of danger

Laura schralping La Voute

The Village of La Grave

Nice fresh wind buffed pow at Montgenevre

Top of the cable car with the daunting pyramid of  La Mejie behind.

The mountains of the Parc des Ecrins from the Refuge Promontoire

Guiding Ken and Ben on the Breche du Rateau.

Laur, surfing the piston bully across to the tele-ski toward Pic de La Grave at 3500m for a 2,400m lap    
Laura on path to ski route La Voute 2,400m
Getting some in La Voute
 La Voute, Laura and a very stoked guided group

View off the Back Porch of Refuge Promontoire of S face of La Meije.
The happy view of the upper 2,000m of Les Enfetchores.
Powder fields...south side of col de la Lauze
 Many agreat cafe and inspiring times at The Les Ruillans /Troismilledeux Chalet
12th Century Church, incredible.
Guiding and giving way too many directions.
Party Time in La Grave with The Derby de La Meije Parade.

With tons of pics taken over the La Grave season, this is the mist memorable.  Pro Joe Vallone skis the Pan de Rateau NAKED for the all time score in the game of G.N.A.R.! proud send Joey!
The sun sets on  La Meije from the village of La Grave
 Great fun climbing with Iraitz in les Freaux. A season not to be forgotten.

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