Ski Touring at the Simplon Pass: Sunday 18th of November already on the skis!
Marta is a young skier, her dream is to become a Ski Instructor. Last weekend she was at home, after an intense five days stage at the ski school.
The snow conditions, at the moment, in the western Italian Alps are quite unexpected for the 18 november. After a long, humid period there are at least 1,5 m of snow at 2500 m, 30/40 cm at 2000 m. Now the clouds are over, is getting cold, and there is a word to describe it: perfect!! We like to start the ski season with a nice tour on the skis: good to make the legs working to find the right balance and do a bit of fitness.
Our target for Sunday is a skitour classic in the Simplon Pass region: we try to reach the Breithorn, 3436 m.
Arriving at the parking at the Ospice is like entering a party: dozens of cars, coloured jackets, backpacks, skis and snowshoes all around. Looks the place to be!
The first tour of the season means re-discover the beauty of this feeling, but also face the rust in organize the gear; where is the probe? In which pocket of the new Avabag is better to store the camelback? Extra gloves yes or no?
After a few minutes we are ready, skins placed, beacon checked, let’s go! It’s cold, -4 at the car, the snow looks concrete for the first 300 m, than it turns in a compact, sugar-like winter pack. The key passage to the Breithorn is a short downhill traverse at the foot of the NW ridge of Hubschorn, and we arrive there with the right warm-up.
Is amazing look up to the rest of the slope, find the shape of skitourers climbing along the classic route far up, and, looking backwords, far down! There must be 150 persons, all the categories are represented; racers, with their skinny outfits, split boarders, classic couples (no backpack for her, big pig for him), old skitourers with slim old fashion skis.
Each one finds his rhythm, the pace for those who enjoy the landscape, and those with eyes only for the chronometer. Today is really a festival of outdoors, after 15 days of rain everyone was struggling for some open air. We arrive at the huge cornice that marks the Breithornpass and staying left, with a short up and down is possible to bypass the obstacle; after 10 minutes along the short ridge, all ornated with ice flowers, we arrive on top of the mountain. 360 degrees panorama, sea of clouds over the Italian side, blue sky in Switzerland with the parade of 4000 m of Oberland and Wallis.
A power bar, sip of water and is time to ski down. The young lady reminds me that “ski is speed!” and all of a sudden she disappears in a cloud of powder! Poor guide, what shall I do? Ski, is what we do, fast, light, searching the line and feeling the beauty of being there!
Some stops to breathe, the traverse, this time with a short uphill, down carving the compact snow to the Ospice.
It was a perfect day, skiing with your daughter has no price.