Gran Paradiso N Face

Posted: July 3, 2011 in Alpine, Climb, Ski, tour
Tags: , , ,

Two weeks ago myself and Luca went to try to ski the north face of the Gran Paradiso, there had been unstable weather there and we were hoping there would be fresh snow on the face. We went over on Saturday afternoon and walked up in the evening after it had stopped raining. The walk is a nice one but it was a bit hard work with tent sleeping bag ect as we were to tight to use the hut!

The next day we were in no rush to set off as we had seen there was no fresh snow on the face and we would have to wait for the afternoon sun to soften the snow. By the time we set off the first group of climbers were nearly at the top of the face. We made good time and reached the top around mid day. The snow conditions were just about OK to ski but the wind was around 50km per hour! Two Italian friends were also at the top and had been waiting since the morning to the wind to drop so they could ski. We waited with them for another 3 hours but it didn’t drop. Eventually as it was getting late we skied down the normal route as it was just not safe to ski the tricky snow conditions in such high winds.

The skiing turned out to be great fun with hard snow at the top, some wind-blown powder in the middle and spring snow lower down. There were many skiers heading up as we were walking down and with lower winds the next day the face probably saw a lot a descents.

The N Face seen from our bivi spot

Luca walking towards the climb after our lazy morning

Ben climbing the N face

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Comments
  1. Eduardo B says:

    Awww, poor Benni, having to take tent and sleeping bag… 😉 mate, you need to come out to the pnw some time…… getting too comfortable in the alps!

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