Friday, June 29, 2012

La Grave the season Entry 2K12'

The ability to drop 2 million vert of descent in a three months skiing big lines in the French Alps is overwhelming. Now back in the Washington state I reflect on the winter season in La Grave and am realizing how much I love to ski and guide skiers. This season was filled with good people, great friends, good snow, bad snow, big lifts, and 7,150+ vert a lap.
     In mid January I took off from Seattle to Geneva, Switzerland. Hoped on a bus to Grenoble then  a bus to mon neuveau maison in Le Freaux just outside La Grave in the Haute Alps, in the Oision region. The day after I arrived a storm laid down 30cm of fresh and next few days were spent with friends skiing many of the all-time road runs and becoming reacquainted with the La Meije Massif. A great way to start the seasons winter migration.
it takes a kit to get it!

One of many nice corridors! Girose Center
Le Banane

Russ the Godfather! St. Christophe 

The Back side... just over that knoll.

Taking first track on La Rama/ up. 

La Rama/ Down.

Lars in the Les Couloir de Maisonneuve

Pro Joe Vallone in le Maison... Nice Italian Stash! those skis make you butt look big!

Just one small wall of ice 5 min from the Road.

Her Majesty! The Queen- La Meije
  I have the privilege to contract guide through the Skier's lodge with Pelle and Ayse Lang and now have completed two wonderful and successful seasons with the family and crew at the lodge. Thanks to all.  I'm planing my return for next season already. The folks I had the chance to guide span 15 different countries this year and every one was unique and excellent. I was happy to learn a ton more about the french culture, language, guiding and the mountains of this area. The Ecrin National Park is the largest park in France and the Oision region is the actual birth place of french guiding, believe it or not chamionx was not the start. The honor to work along side some of the best guides in the world from many countries has truly become a realization of my dreams as a kid to be a european qualified guide. I am very thankful for all the mentorship from my friends, partners, parents and especially Laura for her support in me living my dreams.

 I'll tell you a little story about a girl I know. We got engaged  in a igloo at 3200m.... We had 4 star accommodations thanks to our friends at 3200 chalet. An amazing day and evening caped by Genepi and  Laura saying yes! 
3200 Chalet/ Girose Glaicer
Thanks to the Lift guys for keeping the homemade tele' running and letting us be a part of the best lift serve access on the planet! Many a cig' and drinks to you boys and girls.

1977 prototype- 5 cabin 2 stage 6 pulsating  Telepherique

First tracks engagement!

I wonder how old those snow crystals are?
The season was one of my best yet. Though we went for a bit of a drought mid season, not all days can have powder but, all days can have great skiing! For the next 2 week Laura and I, along with JT and Gilbert made some great turns and climbs in La Grave.

Laura and Gilbert Climbing to dome Girose
In the big studio with JT, AG, LJ team.

Laura, Iraitz, Gilbert and JT traverse the lower section of Rateau West
The Gang decending to the skis. Rateau West
Laura and Moon!
LJR shredding the La Rama.

Full Moon Ride La Grave/ Vallon.
Then for the final days before laura , JT, and Glibert went back over the pond we made a visit to Chamonix. I was a super way to end a month with my lady in europe enjoying what we love the mountains. Big thank you to Rasmus Krogerus for the vehicle to transport us on our journey.
Sunset Aiguille du Midi from Cosmiques Hut

Cosmiques Hut on our departure.

Mont Blanc Tacul. ski valley blanche

Skin up.

Climb up.

Rap down.

North Face the Grand Jorasses.

Hike  to snow 

Ski down way down. 2,800m

Le Petit Dru

Where all the turkeys come to play Grotto Mur de Glace. 
I would like to thank Farmer for the hospitality at his home and all the other great gestures. Also want to thank him and Miles Smart for a great long tour in the Aiguille Rouges wonderland. It is a great rage over shadowed by Mont Blanc but sports great skiing and the best views of Mont Blanc massif available. 
Farmer Looking to be like a bigger Mont Hunk not Mont Blanc!

The Chief Miles Smart.

Farmer and the Rouge we crossed.

BIG Blanc.

Farmer, I sure like corn.
The late half of winter was a grand time with the support of the LG gang, and with some new snow fall.  It yielded wonderful times skiing with great community. A very special Thanks to Joe and Russ my unofficial house mates you dudes kill it. Again to all my partners, friends, coworkers, the lodge staff, Pelle, Ayse, the village, and mountains of La Grave La Meije Thank you for a great season! People. Passion. Progression.
Not a whole lot of other things i'd rather be doing -Glacier Girose

Not so bad.

The Pan du Ratau

Haute Montange 

La Meije from the bonus on des Enfetchores

Matt Cote getting some in des Enfetchores

Farmer farming pow chica pow pow.

Joey's ski through crevasse hole!

Matthieu on the traverse to the Pan with Joey. 

The upper Rateau Glacier 

Jake Beren highlight visit! 

Russ and Joey on our deepest day of the season giving la Grave a reach around from deux alps!

"You are in a High Mountain environment!" the brochure states! 3200m Chalet Party with the big dogs last day for me, ugh!

The village of La Grave just a small mountain village with a skiing problem, 2,000m+ a lap, and 1 lift. Paradise!