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Baker Boyd’s First Trip to Ski the Alps

clairewsmiley 4 years ago

No-fall zones in the mecca of ski mountaineering

Mont Blanc massif

In April, Baker Boyd traveled to the French Alps with fellow Freaks (Aspen’s fastest ski gang) to test himself on the glaciers surrounding Chamonix. This is his brief recount of his most meaningful ski trip to date.

I flew into Paris on April 3rd and drove with my friend Victor Major to meet up with our friend Sam Coffey in Chamonix. We had wine and cheese and went to sleep, looking forward to the skiing to come.

Shot for mom: Baker Boyd, Victor Major, and Sam Coffey

In the morning we bought a one way ticket up Grand Montets. From the top of the tram we took the psycho traverse into the Argentiere Glacier. The terrain was massive, huge walls covered mostly with rock and ice. We skinned to the end of the glacier, eventually hiking and skiing the steepest run of my life. It set the mood for the rest of the trip and was exactly what we were looking for.

Sam Coffey hiking up
Baker Boyd on the way down

Highlights of the two weeks in Chamonix: Pointe Eales, Les Courtes, Cosmiques, Glacier Ronde, Toure Ronde/Geravasutti, La Fouly, Mont Favre, and the west couloir of Chardonnet. We traveled to Italy a few times, eating pizza and gelato and lapping the Helbronner and Courmayeur.

Argentière Basin and Aiguille du Chardonnet

We skied all over, stayed in the Refuge d’Argentière, met new friends, and ate great food. Our skills as skiers were put to the test and improved upon, which was the goal of the trip.

Victor Major sets the repel

In Europe the mountains are huge with over 9,000 feet of relief and particularly in Chamonix the motto is self reliance. If you think you can do something, you can try to do it, but you have to be able to take care of yourself. It’s a great place to go to test yourself and live.

Up the west couloir of Chardonnet

This was an eye opening trip that I feel lucky to have experienced with great friends, in an environment I hope to be back in soon.

The Cosmiques
From the top of the Helbronner

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