THE CUNNINGHAM!

Anna & I woke up today & decided to rappel off the midi bridge and ski the Cunningham Couloir.

Every time I have gone up the Aiguille du Midi cable car during this 1st full season of learning to ski, this couloir has been nagging at me, inspiring me to want to learn to ski properly. It’s the end of the season now, for Anna today was about complete confidence in recently learned rope skills, for me it was about trusting my legs even though they vibrated as if attached to a sewing machine at times.

Still, for both of us, it was about taking a few deep breaths and believing.

From the top it doesn’t look so steep. It is. I’ve never put my skis on in such a crazy spot.

Pretty damn proud.

 

01

Dropping the ropes in.

02

“Hmmmmm” I had quite a dry mouth at this point.

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Happy Days.

03

Dangle, dangle.

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Down to the first rappel station.

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Bit more to go yet.

07

Here comes Anna!

08

Anna’s face says it all at the first rap station.

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When a new gondola arrives at the midi, the sudden noise of 60 new pairs of feet on the bridge sounds like rock fall above. Not cool.

10

Looking out over Mt. Blanc.

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No simple way back to the station now.

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Anna’s view from 2nd rappel.

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Crampons off, in bag, skis on, rope off.

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Balancing on a 50-55 degree slightly icey (at the top) slope on skis, whilst pulling and packing 2 ropes was for me the sketchiest part of the trip. Once all sorted with no more rope faff, bag on, 2 skis on and 2 poles in hand, although nervous, I had a real feeling of being free that I hadn’t felt before.

17

The pitch below.

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Me and the Midi.

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Looking down.

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Anna goes first!

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Anna 1st attempt at avalanching me. The second was quite successful.

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Big back drop.

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View down to Chamonix.

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On the Glacier Rond, soaking up what just happened. I shouted quite a lot.

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Not the most perfect tracks in the world, but good enough for a 1st season and ours are the only ones.

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Super stoked.

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An extra bit of fun on the traverse back to the mid station.

Short Video of Anna kicking things off at the start of the day 🙂

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4 thoughts on “THE CUNNINGHAM!

    • No man, that was my first steep ski training day, the day before when did the Rond. Julian and Oscar then booted up the Cunningham to find excellent condition…. apart from the fact that the whole snow pack could be a bit deeper allowing you to start higher up. To be honest, it’s probably a better idea to ski the Rond and then boot this to ski it at the mo. There is a nice little ice stream to easily boot up and you get 2 runs for the price of one. Anna and I wanted to bring a few things together for a big adventure though, her new ropes and my new skiing.

  1. Steve this is just too amazing. No wonder you’re stoked. Looks like your skiing is progressing at quite a pace. Bet it will be hard to leave. Looking forward to a good catch up.

    • Yes. Tues 29th April will be a sad day but hey ho, it’s Rio next, then the lovely blighty in Summer by campervan. Also, big plan is to sell my wee Scottish pad and move here. It may not be your decadent hot tub chalet but I reckon you’d be up for a visit.

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