I have just spent a week skiing in the French Alps with my younger son. We stayed in a chalet above the village of Les Gets in Les Portes du Soleil ski doman (the Gates of the Sun). Normally the snow is down to the village, but this February is the warmest I have experienced since I have lived in Geneva and the snow did not extend much lower than our chalet. Fortunately it snowed quite a bit after we arrived, and there was plenty of fresh powder for skiing. And enough to ski back to our chalet at the end of the day.
From the higher ridges above Les Gets are some great views towards Chamonix and the high Alps of the Mont Blanc region. Towards the mid-left of the skyline in the photo below are the Grandes Jorasses (4208m). The Aiguille du Midi (3842m) is on the skyline to the right of centre, it is the prominent spire. There is a cable car from Chamonix up to the top of the Aiguille du Midi which has spectacular views of the Mont Blanc massif. To the right of the Aiguille are Mont Blanc du Tacul (4248m) and Mont Maudit (4465m). Mont Blanc itself is to the right of this photo, and can be seen in the following photo.
Mont Blanc is centre right in the photo above. On the left skyline is the Aiguille du Midi. To the right of Mont Maudit is the main peak of Mont Blanc (4810m). Below Mont Blanc to its right are the Dome du Gouter (4305m) and below that is the Gouter Ridge.
The narrow ridge running down from the Aiguille du Midi to the right is the Arête des Cosmiques. This was the most technically challenging of the Alpine climbing trips I have done (see my earlier post (arete-des-cosmiques).
Using the telephoto lens, I got a very nice shot of the Gouter route to the summit of Mont Blanc. This was the route by which I climbed Mont Blanc in 2010 (mont-blanc). To the very right of the photo is the steep rocky Gouter Ridge. This is the most dangerous part of the climb as there are often rock falls and there is usually one or two deaths a year from rock falls on the Gouter Ridge. When we were descending it in the afternoon we kept out of the gullies and at one point several very large boulders fell down the gully beside us, barely missing some climbers lower down. Above the Gouter Ridge is theDome du Gouter (4305m) and behind it leading up to the left is the summit ridge to the top. The other popular route is from the Aiguille du Midi across Mont Blanc du Tacul (4248m) and Mont Maudit (4465m) to Mont Blanc summit at 4810m (the Three Mont Blancs route).