Thursday, February 29, 2024

Chamonix ski week, Day 5: Sun and avalanches!

We decided to do something different this morning and headed to Brévent-Flégère, a pair of south-facing resorts high above the city of Chamonix. We have skied there in previous years, just in one small area of Flégère and never in Brévent. Because it is in full sun all day, we knew the snow would be soft.

The two resorts are connected by a gondola that goes across a valley. We headed up on the Flégère side, traversed over to Brévent via a very steep and slushy red run, and then skied all of the reds on the Brévent side. We skipped the blues since they would be too easy and too crowded. There was one big black run at Brévent that we also skipped, since the snow was so bad.

We headed back to the Flégère side, getting frustrated at the long wait times for the return gondola and the little chairlift that brough us back up to the base level. We did one last red run and then took the gondola back down to the valley. Lunch time...and time to head back to Les Grands Montets, where the snow is still amazing (higher elevation and north-facing = great snow).

We had a fantastic afternoon of skiing the upper runs. The most exciting thing of the day was seeing an avalanche happen in real-time just across one of the valleys. I heard a big booming, rumbling noise and saw the avalanche start pouring down. Now we've officially seen two avalanches in Chamonix: one of rocks (back in 2016 when we were hiking in the late spring) and one of snow.

My parents took a day trip up to the Aiguille du Midi, which they quite enjoyed. We tried to go a few years back--it was included in our ski pass--but the weather was so bad that it was never open the entire week!

We have a half day of skiing tomorrow and then we have to head home early. Eric is bringing the Wabash socccer team over to Nice during their spring break, and they arrive at 11 am on Saturday. Driving back to Nice at 4 am that day would be cutting it close, so we decided to head back on Friday afternoon instead.


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